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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.

May 24, 2021
Congregation West Gate Church, Pyongyang, Korea, undated. [Pearl ID: 7844]

--By Rev. Kurt Esslinger

As the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) along with the nation reassesses the extent to which racism [1] and White Supremacy permeate our institutions, urged on by movements...

April 5, 2021
Letter written by Golden Baird to her mother, father, and Aunt Sophia from Kanggye, Korea, January 8, 1927. From Golden Baird's outgoing correspondence to her family, ca. 1920-1929.

The Presbyterian Historical Society has recently digitized the personal correspondence of twentieth century missionaries Golden and Dick Baird. The collection consists of almost 3,000 pages of the couple’s letters, primarily written from their mission station in...

December 4, 2020

On November 19, Dr. William Yoo discussed U.S. Presbyterian Missions in Korea and how race and colonial politics shaped that history.

The presentation connected first encounters between U.S. Presbyterians and Koreans to the years surrounding the Korean War. Dr. Yoo's overview and the question-and-answer phase to follow focused on the ways Presbyterian mission co-workers of the past engaged with questions about Korean independence and identity, and how history has remembered--and sometimes misremembered--that engagement.

Read the Presbyterian News Service coverage of the session...

April 7, 2020

Luke 9:2 instructs and inspires the work of the Medical Benevolence Foundation: “to preach the Kingdom of God and to heal.” MBF's approach to mission is a science-minded alternative to evangelical efforts that have disregarded public health as a primary concern. (In the mid-19th century, the Whitman party brought measles to the Cayuse people. Today, Ethnos360...

March 19, 2019

Mansei! The shouts rang out in support of Korean independence on March 1, 1919. After nine years of Japanese colonial rule, thirty-three activists—including pastors of Korean Presbyterian churches and other leading Christians—gathered in Seoul to read aloud the newly drawn up Korean Declaration of Independence. That same afternoon, crowds filled the streets in locations around the country, waving Korean flags and shouting their support for independence.

Marchers had called for peaceful, non-violent protests. But Japanese authorities did not respond in kind. Over...

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