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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 PHS staff members.

November 13, 2014

On September 20, 2014, friends of the Presbyterian Historical Society gathered at Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church for a special event, In the Midst of Them: Shaping Sacred Spaces. The event explored how churches and church leaders define and create sacred spaces within different communities.

The gathering featured a unique worship service with music by the Old Pine Sacred Jazz Ensemble, led by Warren Cooper. After a welcome message from Old Pine’s pastor...

November 13, 2014

Before we give thanks for our many blessings this Thanksgiving season, let us set the record straight[1] about one aspect of the Pilgrim story. The Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth in 1620 were not Puritans. Most were Anglicans (who had little desire to change the Church of England) or Separatists (who wanted to leave the Church entirely).

Another common misconception is that all early Presbyterians in the American Colonies were Scots-Irish. In fact, a vital branch of Presbyterian history was formed by those same English...

November 8, 2014

Mary Parke and her husband David Thompson served as missionaries to Japan for over five decades. In this sixth excerpt from her diary, Mary writes about significant developments in the native church as well as her teaching duties and continuing efforts to learn Japanese. [1]


[Tokyo] Sept. 16 [1873]: At dinner a talk with Mr. Carrothers[2] on the subject of the Union church Mr. Thompson is about to organize. Somewhat stirred up at his statements...

October 1, 2014

Mary Parke and her husband David Thompson served as missionaries to Japan for over five decades. In this fifth excerpt from her diaries, Mary describes her satisfaction with both learning Japanese and teaching Christianity while she and “Mr. Thompson” anxiously await a letter from the Board of Foreign Missions about their proposed marriage. [1]


Yedo [now Toyko]. August 19 [1873]: Returned from Yokohama yesterday morning.[2...

November 12, 2014

Visiting the Presbyterian Historical Society soon?

Please help with our 2014 Fall Food Drive!

PHS is accepting canned or boxed items, all of which will go to the Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission, an organization started with the assistance of John Wanamaker in 1878.

Donated items should be placed in a paper shopping bag if possible and come from one of the following shopping lists:

*Thanksgiving List...

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