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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.

October 17, 2019

When the Reverend Henry Russell “Russ” Mabry decided to ignore the advice of an instructor to never work with “criminals,” he certainly anticipated a volatile workplace. What he couldn’t have imagined was that his workplace would take center stage while the nation watched as the interests of the United States and Cuba, of immigration and criminal policy, and of jailer and jailed violently collided in late 1987.

“They lined up 20 hostages on the wall opposite the chapel," Mabry would remember about the Marielitos prison riot he witnessed in an...

March 11, 2019

From 1905 to 1961, the Presbyterian churches of Cuba, heirs of the wave of Protestant evangelism which followed the war of 1898, were organized as the Presbytery of Cuba. In 1967, the churches were reorganized as the Iglesia Presbiteriana-Reformada en Cuba (IPRC), and all formal ties between the church in Cuba and the then-UPCUSA were cut in 1970. John Walter and John Potter, members of the...

July 6, 2018

Smoking Studebakers. Boxy Russian Ladas. Belle Époque architecture with the paint peeling off. Murals touting Che and Fidelismo and el 26 de julio.

The Cuba of worn surfaces and iconic profiles, of enduring machines and fading memories, was what I first noticed during a recent visit to the island. But what impressed me most by the end of the five-day trip was the rich interiority of the Cuban people—how those I spoke with valued friendships, families, and faiths (religious faiths but also historical ones) over surface identities. Cuba looks different...

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