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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.

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...

July 21, 2017

2017 marks the 300th anniversary of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. In honor of that major celebration, presbytery churches are writing brief, updated congregation histories. Susan Aggarwal, a member of the presbytery's History Team and of PHS's Delaware Valley Council, is collecting these histories and sharing them with PHS. All completed histories can be viewed on the PHS website using the Philadelphia Presbytery 300 blog tag.

Sixty-...

March 23, 2017

--by Kenneth J. Ross

Philadelphia’s importance as a center of African American history rests in part on its role as the birthplace of the nation’s first black churches. It was the churches which gave shape and protection to the emerging African American community in the urban North—educating their young, disciplining their members, and providing young and old with material support, moral guidance, and spiritual hope. Philadelphia saw both the...

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