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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 29, 2018

In an isolated part of Brazil, on the evening of Friday, October 4 1957, John Stout looked at the skies and took the first photographs of the earth-orbiting Sputnik I. In fact, he took 400 photographs with equipment that cost only $10.

The Soviet Union's launch of the satellite brought the Cold War to a fever pitch, with more than just national pride at stake. The Soviets were poised to...

March 14, 2018

Micah 6:8 “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

The preceding verse of scripture provides an apt description of Margaret Purchase (1926-2009), a missionary, Christian educator, and activist. The Margaret Purchase Papers (RG 501) speak to the remarkable life of a woman over the span of seven decades. The papers document Ms. Purchase’s missionary service in Iraq...

February 13, 2018

The 2018 Winter Olympics kicked off last week in Pyeongchang, South Korea. PHS is celebrating the Games by sharing some of our Korea-related resources.

In 2017, the Presbyterian Church of Korea celebrated the 110th Anniversary of their first Presbytery meeting. Missionaries from the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., including several physicians, were welcomed to Korea in the 1880s. These PCUSA missionaries remained under the auspices of the...

February 9, 2018

--By Richard Poethig

A recent Wall Street Journal article caught my attention, its title, “Christian Missionaries Against Colonialism,” setting my mind in motion back through time. In the article the historian David A. Hollinger makes the case that missionary work stopped being a carrier of colonial imperialism in the 20th century. Hollinger’s recent book, Protestants...

January 2, 2018

Mary Parke Thompson and her husband David Thompson served as missionaries to Japan for over five decades. In the last installment of this continuing series, Mary recorded how the tensions with fellow missionaries over the direction of Japanese Christianity weighed on her—even as their vision of a Union Church (Protestant rather than just Presbyterian) run by its Japanese congregants with its own building was close to fruition. In this selection, she...

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