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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.

April 7, 2019

“At a time where feminist values were disparaged, marginalized, and trivialized as ‘politically correct,’ Voices of Sophia called the PC(USA) to its historic commitments to women, to justice, and to reformation. It encouraged spiritual growth, renewal, and interpersonal connections around women’s theologies and justice issues.” –-Janet Lowery

In 1993, the feminist Re-Imagining Conference caused an uproar throughout the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The PC(USA) had...

March 1, 2019

The next U.S. presidential primary election will feature at least three viable women candidates—a development that would have no doubt thrilled Presbyterian minister and leader, Eunice Poethig. PHS recently completed the processing of Poethig’s papers, and they illuminate her advocacy work in expanding the numbers of women and people from other marginalized communities serving as leaders in ministry and civic life.

Eunice was born in 1930 to Pete and Juliet Blanchard, and they...

June 12, 2018

"Realizing that they had witnessed a miracle that could bring the church back together, the commissioners stood and applauded, held hands and sang."

The Presbytery of Wabash Valley reported out from General Assembly in its July 1994 newsletter that the June Assembly, in Wichita, Kansas, "experienced a great emotional swing -- from despair and concern to euphoria."

Despair and concern were occasioned by the feminist Re-Imagining Conference of November 1993 in Minneapolis. Wild reports of paganism and heresy...

March 16, 2018

Louisa M. Woosley is the first woman minister of record from an American Presbyterian denomination. Ordained in the late nineteenth century despite the prevailing social norms of that time, she serves today as an inspiration for anyone trying to break through a glass ceiling.

In 1874, at age 12, Louisa Mariah Layman first felt the calling to ministry during a Baptist revival meeting. “Not having so much as ever heard of a lady preacher,” she later wrote in ...

March 14, 2018

Micah 6:8 “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

The preceding verse of scripture provides an apt description of Margaret Purchase (1926-2009), a missionary, Christian educator, and activist. The Margaret Purchase Papers (RG 501) speak to the remarkable life of a woman over the span of seven decades. The papers document Ms. Purchase’s missionary service in Iraq...

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