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Living History Project

"There is a history in all men's lives...." William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part II

Living History is a multimedia project sharing diverse experiences and stories told firsthand by American Presbyterians. Believing that every one of us shapes history in our everyday lives, we aim to educate and inspire through filmed interviews with Presbyterians, asking: how do we make history together?

Living History began as a series of conversations with former missionaries from the Philadelphia area. The program is ongoing, with new stories added regularly.

Participant Films

Richard Poethig grew up in Depression-era New York City. After becoming a minister, he dedicated his life to economic justice.

Vernon Broyles wrestled with leadership choices in a congregation fractured over racial tension in the mid-20th century.

Rick Ufford-Chase and Bruce Reyes-Chow were two of the youngest General Assembly moderators in history. Here, they discuss what drives them and what new generations will mean to the church.

As a pastor and, later, Moderator of the 215th General Assembly, Susan Andrews grappled with traditional gender expectations in church leadership.

Sue Althouse taught English as a Presbyterian missionary in Japan for 38 years, witnessing great change in both the country and in herself.

Don Black spent his career overseeing Presbyterian missions programs around the world as they grew more independent in changing cultural climates.

Connie Thurber taught youth and college-aged students in Japan immediately after World War II and was surprised by the reception she received.

As church and seminary leaders in Taiwan during a turbulent political moment, David Gelzer and his wife were evicted from the country. Here, he discusses the inevitable link between faith and politics.