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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.

March 13, 2015

Several American denominations ordained female ministers during the 19th century, including the United Church of Christ, the Universalists (who later merged with the Unitarians), and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. But it wasn’t until the decades following World War II that most Mainline Protestant faiths allowed women to serve as clergy. The Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., also known as the PCUSA or “Northern” church, ordained its first female minister, Margaret Towner, in...

March 4, 2015

The Reverend Beth Hessel has been named the new executive director of the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) and director for church records and history for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

“Beth Hessel brings a wonderful combination of a historian and a theologian,” said the Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA). “She has an engaging enthusiasm that helps people hear what God has done in our past and what God is calling us to in our future.”

Hessel will be responsible for all operations and programs of the...

March 4, 2015
Mary Parke and her husband David Thompson served as missionaries to Japan for over five decades. In this installment from her diary, Mary writes about her marriage to David, the interdenominational work of missionaries in Japan, and an offer to David to serve as the official translator for the U.S. legation.[1]
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June 21 [1874, Tokyo]: A long interval has elapsed since I wrote the last date in this book – the busy days of work and preparation – days full of
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February 13, 2015

As part of our commemoration of the Selma-to-Montgomery marches 50 years ago, we are sharing the reflections of two PHS friends who traveled to Alabama in 1965: J. Oscar McCloud and Louis Weeks. Each has told us in their own words about their experiences. 

Louis Weeks is a retired President and Professor of Historical Theology at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. A...

February 13, 2015

As part of our commemoration of the Selma-to-Montgomery marches 50 years ago, we are sharing the reflections of two PHS friends who traveled to Alabama in 1965: J. Oscar McCloud and Louis WeeksEach has told us in their own words about their experiences. 

J. Oscar McCloud is the Associate Pastor Emeritus at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York City, NY. The...

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