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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.

September 26, 2019
Gayraud S. Wilmore, Jr., 1960. [Pearl ID: 5065]

--by Douglas H. Brown Clark

A New Black Presbyterian Church

One spring day in 1937, a few white Presbyterians approached two black community leaders on a street corner in North Philadelphia. The white Presbyterians’ local church had been dwindling. African Americans had been moving into the community from the American South in droves as a part of the Great Migration, and...

April 17, 2019

Last week I visited Holy Trinity-Bethlehem Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia's Logan neighborhood, to help Elaine McCray and Bridget Jamison appraise a couple of room's worth of archival material. Elaine and Bridget drove the collection down here earlier this week, and its ten and a half cubic feet of records speak to the Logan congregation's enduring witness in its changing neighborhoods.

Holy Trinity-Bethlehem is a merged church -- its older ancestor, Bethlehem Presbyterian Church, was organized at Broad and Diamond Streets in Philadelphia in 1873. Bethlehem was an early adopter...

February 20, 2019

--by Kenneth J. Ross

Two hundred years ago, in 1819, the Presbytery of Philadelphia launched Samuel Eli Cornish (1795–1858) into a remarkable career as minister, evangelist, missionary, publisher, and social reformer.[i] Following a rigorous two-year program of intellectual, practical, and theological training, Cornish became the first African-American preacher to be licensed by the presbytery, making him one of the first African-American ministers in the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.

For a year, he preached among...

June 19, 2018

Philadelphia, PA—The Presbyterian Historical Society is a 2018 Pew Center for Arts & Heritage Project Grant recipient.

The grant award provides $285,000 of major support for Building Knowledge and Breaking Barriers: Archives-Based Learning for Philadelphia Students, a two-year project that will help Philadelphia-area community college students use archival materials...

January 8, 2018

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) has awarded a prestigious Digitizing Hidden Collections grant to an interdenominational consortium of institutions holding historic records of Philadelphia congregations.

The Presbyterian Historical Society is one of the consortium’s 11 collecting groups.

The $385,000 grant award enables the...

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