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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.

September 16, 2019
William Phelps Thompson clippings and photographs, 1966. Pearl ID: 1947

--by Dean H. Lewis

William Phelps Thompson, the Kansas lawyer who was elected Moderator and then Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, was not noted for admitting error. However, in an October 15, 1991 letter, he publicly acknowledged having changed his mind on a contentious issue on which his earlier position had been critical.

The 1978 United Presbyterian General...

July 16, 2019

The Presbyterian Historical Society documents the experiences of Presbyterians from across the country. As part of our series on regional history, here are five stories about the Baltimore area collected by PHS.

Baltimore's first Presbyterian church

Mt. Paran Presbyterian Church is the oldest church in the Presbytery of...

January 26, 2019

In 1978, the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. approved a minority report from the Task Force to Study Homosexuality. The report prohibited presbyteries from ordaining...

October 18, 2018
Task force hearing in Philadelphia, June 1977. Image taken from the Presbyterian Charismatic Communion Newsletter, no. 47 (March-April 1978), pg. 1. [Pearl ID: 141050]

In the mid-1970s, the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (UPCUSA) received a flurry of questions concerning homosexuality. Bill Silver, an openly...

June 20, 2018

As the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gathers in St. Louis, Missouri for the 223rd General Assembly this June 16–23, we're taking a look at some of the significant reports, discussions, and decisions made at previous General Assemblies held in St. Louis. 

1818 (Philadelphia) & 1919 (St. Louis)

Two hundred years ago, the 1818 Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. General Assembly in Philadelphia passed a resolution printing 1,500 copies of a pastoral letter written by its moderator, Jacob Jones Janeway. The letter urged Presbyterian churches to guard against the “...

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