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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...

January 22, 2019

In March 2001, fifteen Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) representatives traveled to the Vatican on a return visit from the previous December's first-ever formal meeting between the PC(USA) and the Holy See. PHS has newly digitized video of the Presbyterian delegation's audience with Pope John Paul II--with original footage provided by the Centro Televisivo Vaticano.

The outcome of the meetings was a joint statement in which all parties resolved to find agreement on the...

July 12, 2016

Johnalee Nelson got the phone call at 1 AM on February 9, 1968; police had fired into a crowd of students on the campus of South Carolina State College. Some 200 students had gathered to protest the segregation of the local bowling alley. Her husband, the Presbyterian minister J. Herbert Nelson, left the house to be with the students, among them members of State's Westminster Fellowship. Three young men -- Samuel Ephesians Hammond Jr., Delano Herman Middleton, and Henry Ezekial Smith -- would die of their wounds. The incident would be remembered as the...

May 13, 2016

--by Richard Reifsnyder[1]

While the nation may focus on presidential politics in 2016, there is another contest on the same four-year cycle that captures the attention of many Presbyterians—the nomination and election of a Stated Clerk of the General Assembly to serve, in the words of the current job description, as chief ecclesiastical officer of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This June, the 222nd General Assembly in Portland, Oregon, will elect a Stated Clerk to...

May 18, 2012

Margaret Merrick, PHS Records Manager, provides training to new stated clerks as part of the biannual orientations offered by the PC(USA) Office of the General Assembly. Orientations are held in May and November in Louisville, and Margaret presents sessions on using retention schedules, the disposition of records, and the challenges of managing and preserving electronic records. The training is designed to introduce new stated clerks to records management in both paper and electronic formats, as well as provide information on the services that PHS offers to mid councils.

Margaret is...

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