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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.

June 15, 2021

"The Cuba boxes are here. That's Ghost Ranch. Where are you going to start?"

"Let's start with Cuba, and work backwards."

Dean Lewis, Presbyterian activist, advocate, and peacemaker died early in the morning of June 14, 2021, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife Marianne near at hand. In the winter of 2018 I spent a day and a half with Dean and Marianne preparing the contents of their garage in Rio Chama for the archives. It made the most sense for us to start...

June 8, 2021
Image via Pearl ID: 15971

PHS is happy to announce completion of the mass digitization of many of the original records of the First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York, an undertaking paid for by the congregation. We salute the labor of our archives technicians and digitization coordinator, Cecilia, Sharon, and Allison. We thank the archivist at First Church, David Pultz, for his labor...

May 26, 2021
Overhead view of Tulsa, 1928. Watch Tulsa General Assembly film here.

On June 1, 1921 the Black section of Tulsa, Oklahoma--Greenwood, known as Black Wall Street, where Black migrants from the South had prospered in the city’s oil boom--was burned down by white rioters. The governor called in the National Guard and evacuated Tulsa’s Black population, some 6,000 people, to the city convention center and fairgrounds. Three hundred people are estimated to have...

April 29, 2021

Over winter, your archivists sheltered at home once more, as new waves of the coronavirus pandemic crashed against our country's medical first responders and their intensive care wards. We beheld a transition of federal power, and watched white supremacists stage a recruitment drive on the steps of the Capitol. We held out hope for the renewal of a church whose building was burned down by a white supremacist, and we digitized and shared the...

April 13, 2021
Margaret Towner wearing Reverend Forster Freeman's pulpit robe with cross, October 24, 1956. View in Pearl.

"Don't be the pet lamb of the congregation."

On January 20, 1978, longtime friend of PHS Ed Wicklein sat down with Margaret Ellen Towner for a brief interview on her early experiences as the first woman ordained as a minister of word and sacrament in the Presbyterian Church. Reflecting on twenty years of her ministry and change inside the...

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