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News, events, updates, and tidbits from the Presbyterian Historical Society. Use tags to read related articles or sort by author for similar posts written by PHS staff members and volunteers.

December 14, 2012

As we enter the month of December, speculation continues surrounding the end-date of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012.  While end times prophecy is not common within our Reformed tradition, some Presbyterian preachers and authors have focused on eschatological themes at various times in the past.

Sketch by McKendree Robbins Long

From the late eighteenth through the...

October 11, 2012

As we prepare to celebrate Reformation Sunday on October 28, I am pleased to share the following article by Anna Case-Winters with our readers: http://gamc.pcusa.org/ministries/today/reformed/.

Dr. Case-Winters suggests that the phrase Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda has been misused or misinterpreted by Reformed Christians on both ends of the theological spectrum. The Reformers understanding of the phrase was neither conservative nor liberal, but “radical, in the sense of...

August 21, 2012

The formative years of American Presbyterianism occurred between 1706 and 1789. During those 83 years, early Presbyterians founded the first presbytery in Philadelphia, organized the first synod in 1716 and the first General Assembly in 1789. In addition, American Presbyterians formed about 24 presbyteries.

Of the original presbyteries formed between 1706 and 1789, PHS holds records for 17 of them. The public services staff has created an early presbytery records guide that lists all the documents from these original presbyteries held at the Presbyterian Historical Society. From...

August 14, 2012

Do our heritage and our history offer the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) hope for the future? This is a question that I have had to respond to several times in the last few months. But the more significant question, I believe, is what our heritage and history afford us in a time of uncertainty--a time like we are experiencing now.

Presbyterians have lived through uncertain times, time and time again. For Reformed Christians, the Reformation and the Counter Reformation posed challenges with an outcome that was unknown and certainly not guaranteed. For the Scot-...

May 4, 2012

Flora MacDonald was born in 1722 to a prominent Presbyterian family of the MacDonald Clan in Scotland. She is known primarily for her support of both the Jacobite cause in Scotland, and the Loyalist cause in America during the Revolutionary War. Flora is credited with helping Bonnie Prince Charlie escape from Scotland in 1746 disguised as her maid.

While Flora was growing up, many Highland clans—both Catholic and Protestant—...

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