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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 13, 2015

Several American denominations ordained female ministers during the 19th century, including the United Church of Christ, the Universalists (who later merged with the Unitarians), and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. But it wasn’t until the decades following World War II that most Mainline Protestant faiths allowed women to serve as clergy. The Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., also known as the PCUSA or “Northern” church, ordained its first female minister, Margaret Towner, in...

October 15, 2014

Note: In 2014 we're commemorating John Knox's 500th birthday for Reformation Sunday. Download our bulletin insert about Knox's interview with Queen Mary, explored at length in this blog post.

Before John Knox returned home from exile to become a hero of the Scottish Reformation, he penned a shocking polemic against women in roles of authority: ...

June 4, 2014

Mary Parke Thompson and her husband David Thompson served as missionaries to Japan for over five decades—from the 1860s into the 1920s. The Presbyterian Historical Society received their personal papers in 2011, a collection that contains a wealth of information about Presbyterian mission work in Japan, including Mary’s seven handwritten diaries. PHS volunteer Sue Althouse, herself a retired missionary to Japan, has been processing the Thompson Papers, and she has chosen excerpts from Mary’s diaries to share with our readers.

Mary Calhoun Parke was born...

March 11, 2014

“Leave safety behind. Put your body on the line. Stand before the people you fear and speak your mind--even if your voice shakes. When you least expect it, someone may actually listen to what you have to say. Well-aimed slingshots can topple giants.” --Maggie Kuhn

In 1981, Congress established National Women's History Week to be commemorated the second week of March. In 1987, Congress expanded the week to a month. Every year since, Congress has passed a resolution for Women's History Month, and the President has issued a...

July 13, 2012

Unita Blackwell (right) with Else Adjali, July 8, 1970. From Concern, October 1970, p.38-39.

Two PHS archivists will be joining the Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women from July 18 through 21 (visit us at booth #403, or at Lisa Jacobson's workshop "Documenting your PW heritage" on Saturday, July 21, at 2pm...

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