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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.

December 28, 2017
 
--by Rev. Vartkes M. Kassouni
 
The story of Armenian Presbyterians in America is closely intertwined with the story of Armenians and their immigration to the United States. It is distinctly so in California, where the first Armenian immigrants began to settle in Fresno in the mid-1880s. 
 
The oldest Armenian church of any denomination in California was organized in 1897 as the First Armenian Presbyterian Church. Its first pastor was a former American missionary to Armenia, Rev. Lysander Burbank, who had...
February 16, 2017

--by Beth Hessel, Executive Director

The recent presidential executive order temporarily banning travel to the United States by residents of seven Muslim-majority countries and by all refugees arrives as many Americans are remembering the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the order empowering the Secretary of War and his commanders to exclude any persons from the West Coast of the United States...

October 12, 2016

While completing the processing of Record Group 424, our collection of missionary personnel files from 1924-2002, the stories of various African American missionaries stood out. Especially the story of missionary couple Howard and Verna Mwikuta, who were appointed Volunteers in Mission from 1983-1985 in the administrative capacity with Procure and the Christian Literature Program in Zaire.

Howard was born in 1941 in a village outside Ndola, in what was then Northern Rhodesia. His parents died when he was...

April 18, 2016

Three hundred years before the Protestant Reformation, and one hundred and fifty years before Jan Hus, there were the Waldensians, a group of European Believers whose radical theological tenets would later be adopted in many parts of Christendom.

This year, the American Waldensian Society (AWS) celebrates its 110th anniversary. Founded in 1906 in New York City as the American Waldensian Aid Society, the society...

March 16, 2016

In post-Gold Rush California, San Francisco’s Chinatown was ruled by tongs—secret associations of Chinese men who originally banded together to defend themselves against the xenophobia of the West but devolved into warring gangs in a violent underworld of human and drug trafficking. In this terrifying landscape, a young Scottish missionary from New Zealand managed to infiltrate the Chinese underworld to save more than 3,000 women and children from slavery. To the tongs she was known as Fahn Quai, the White Devil; to those she saved she was Lo Mo, Beloved...

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