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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.

September 19, 2018

Presbyterians celebrate the half-millenium of tradition that grounds their faith on Reformation Sunday. It is always the last Sunday in October, marking the occasion in 1517 when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany.

For this year's October 28th Reformation Sunday celebration we've prepared four images to download from ...

September 18, 2018
 
--by David Staniunas, Records Archivist
 
It was back in May that Fred Tangeman and I visited Puerto Rico as part of PHS's first collecting and outreach trip to the island, but I still remember the sights and warm conversations distinctly. As we landed in San Juan blue tarps spotted the surrounding hills eight months after the catastrophic landfall of Hurricane Maria--which we now know killed 2,...
September 11, 2018

--by Jennifer Graber

Founded in Indian Territory in 1889, the Anadarko Presbyterian Church's session minutes referred to the “problem” of Native American church membership on its very first page. Reverend Silas Fait, along with an elder, examined an “Indian named Emma.” Though she “accept[ed] Christ,” the leaders rejected Emma’s application as she maintained that Christ could not “interfere with her own gods.” In the follow-up notes, Rev. Fait worried that “great harm will come to the mission if care is not...

August 30, 2018

A story from the records of a missionary family in northwestern Iran serves as a reminder of the fraught dynamics of class and ethnicity in the nineteenth century mission encounter.

The daughter of Kasha and Shawa Oshana, Shushan Oshana Wright grew up in the mountains of Kurdistan. Her parents, Nestorians who converted to Evangelical Christianity in the 1840s, worked with Protestant missionaries among the Nestorian community. In her young adulthood, Oshana Wright spent time in the United States receiving training at Ferndale Seminary in Norwalk, Connecticut before returning to Iran....

August 24, 2018

A common conception of Protestant mission work is that it went hand in hand with colonial and imperial projects in the Global South. Indeed, some of the most frequently accessed collections at PHS reflect the extensive presence of Presbyterian missionaries in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Less known is how American Presbyterians responded to Europe's desolated social fabric and broken people in the wake of the Second World War by organizing the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Europe Mission, an effort headquartered in Geneva. Ninety-eight cubic feet of records of the...

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