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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.

February 11, 2021

On February 4, Dr. Kimberly D. Hill joined PHS Executive Director Nancy Taylor for a conversation about her new book, A Higher Mission: The Careers of Alonzo and Althea Brown Edmiston in Central Africa. 

The Edmistons joined the American Presbyterian Congo Mission in the early twentieth century and served into the 1930s. They were part of the Black Missionary Movement at the turn of the century that grew out of newly established Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in...

January 20, 2021

Margaret Flory was a pioneer in mission work for the Presbyterian Church. Throughout her long career with the Board of Foreign Missions, she created several cross-cultural ecumenical programs for youth, believing that that “the American church has much to learn from the rest of the world.” One of these programs, Junior Year Abroad, was one of the first study abroad programs in the country and allowed students to serve in places such as China, Brazil, India, Ghana, and the Philippines.

I recently processed Flory’s collection of personal papers as Record Group...

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...

October 9, 2020

--By Richard W. Reifsnyder

Grace and Bancroft Reifsnyder were not only accountable to the “Mission,” the semiautonomous organization of missionaries within a particular country or region in which they served. They also were under the appointment and authority of the larger church through the church’s Board of Foreign Mission (BFM), as we discussed in our previous post....

September 16, 2020

--By Richard W. Reifsnyder

From time to time after I was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1972, colleagues would inquire whether I was related to Grace Reifsnyder, a retired long-time missionary in Latin America, and widow of T. Bancroft Reifsnyder, who had served the Board of Foreign Missions (BFM) from 1919 until his death in 1957. I did not know them (though surely they must be some distant relation) but was intrigued and wanted to learn more of...

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