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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.

January 26, 2019

In 1978, the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. approved a minority report from the Task Force to Study Homosexuality. The report prohibited presbyteries from ordaining...

October 18, 2018
Task force hearing in Philadelphia, June 1977. Image taken from the Presbyterian Charismatic Communion Newsletter, no. 47 (March-April 1978), pg. 1. [Pearl ID: 141050]

In the mid-1970s, the General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (UPCUSA) received a flurry of questions concerning homosexuality. Bill Silver, an openly...

June 20, 2018

As the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) gathers in St. Louis, Missouri for the 223rd General Assembly this June 16–23, we're taking a look at some of the significant reports, discussions, and decisions made at previous General Assemblies held in St. Louis. 

1818 (Philadelphia) & 1919 (St. Louis)

Two hundred years ago, the 1818 Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. General Assembly in Philadelphia passed a resolution printing 1,500 copies of a pastoral letter written by its moderator, Jacob Jones Janeway. The letter urged Presbyterian churches to guard against the “...

June 12, 2018

"Realizing that they had witnessed a miracle that could bring the church back together, the commissioners stood and applauded, held hands and sang."

The Presbytery of Wabash Valley reported out from General Assembly in its July 1994 newsletter that the June Assembly, in Wichita, Kansas, "experienced a great emotional swing -- from despair and concern to euphoria."

Despair and concern were occasioned by the feminist Re-Imagining Conference of November 1993 in Minneapolis. Wild reports of paganism and heresy...

June 7, 2018

On December 26th 1965, Duke Ellington took the stage at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City for a performance of what he would call the most important work he had ever done. That day he performed one of his three “Sacred Concerts.” These concerts were written in the later stages of his life as he found himself grappling with his own mortality and relationship to God. The Presbyterian Historical Society is fortunate to hold within our collections a program from that historic night....

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