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September 16, 2020

--By Richard W. Reifsnyder

From time to time after I was ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1972, colleagues would inquire whether I was related to Grace Reifsnyder, a retired long-time missionary in Latin America, and widow of T. Bancroft Reifsnyder, who had served the Board of Foreign Missions (BFM) from 1919 until his death in 1957. I did not know them (though surely they must be some distant relation) but was intrigued and wanted to learn more of...

May 2, 2019

In 1897 the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. sent its first mission workers, Theodore and Julia Pond, to Venezuela. The couple was well-accomplished at the time of their appointment; they had spent over 20 years serving in Syria and had been working in Colombia since 1890. In Venezuela the Ponds encountered resistance from a largely Catholic population, but by 1900 were able to establish The Church of the Redeemer (Iglesia Evangélica Presbiteriana El Redentor) in the capital, Caracas...

May 2, 2019

The period following World War II was particularly turbulent in Venezuela. Between 1945 and 1958, the nation experienced four coups d’état, its first democratic election, and the rise and fall of a dictator. Correspondence and reports in PHS’s Venezuela collections reveal the thoughts of Americans experiencing these events first- hand—thoughts as varied and contradictory as those of Americans regarding the current unrest in Venezuela.

By the mid-twentieth century, the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. mission to Venezuela was well-established; it employed...

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