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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.

March 4, 2021
“It is not always an easy task to affirm that even a murderer is a child of God, but we know that it is true. There is no act, no matter how vicious, that entirely blots out that identity.” –Murphy Davis to the Associated Press, 1986

We remember Murphy Davis, advocate for death row inmates and the homeless, who died last October. A Presbyterian minister, ordained in 1976, she and her husband Ed Loring took on as their life's work the practice of living in solidarity with the poor. In 1981 they founded...

February 12, 2021

--By Robert D. Stoddard, Jr.

How can a school celebrate a milestone anniversary without knowing its history?

That was my dilemma in 1999 when, as the Lebanese American University vice president responsible for commemorating our seventy-fifth anniversary as a college, I could uncover precious little of the Presbyterian-related school’s history. Upon my retirement in 2005, I sought to verify the belief that LAU could trace its origin to a school for girls founded by a

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January 20, 2021

Margaret Flory was a pioneer in mission work for the Presbyterian Church. Throughout her long career with the Board of Foreign Missions, she created several cross-cultural ecumenical programs for youth, believing that that “the American church has much to learn from the rest of the world.” One of these programs, Junior Year Abroad, was one of the first study abroad programs in the country and allowed students to serve in places such as China, Brazil, India, Ghana, and the Philippines.

I recently processed Flory’s collection of personal papers as Record Group...

January 19, 2021
Rev. Perla Belo, via diginitymemorial.com

Over the Christmas break we learned of the passing of Rev. Perla Dirige Belo, the first Asian American women ordained in the PC(USA). She was interviewed by Alice Brasfield in 1985 as part of a PHS series of interviews of ordained women. You can...

January 14, 2021

"As Christians, you expect women to serve the church. Women are the slaves of the church. Women raise money, serve as mistresses to some of you delegates at this convention--"

The speaker from the Chicago Women's Liberation Union was interrupted by noise among the delegates to the 182nd General Assembly. She went on, and was interrupted again.

"We arrange flowers, serve dinners, teach Sunday school, pour coffee, sing in the choir, and care for children while men attend conventions like this. If you will be quiet, I will continue. Your behavior is very...

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