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New Board Chair Ernest Higginbotham

August 8, 2019
Ernest Higginbotham at PHS, Spring 2019

The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) is excited to announce Ernest R. Higginbotham (Dallas, TX) as its new Chair of the Board. The Reverend Dr. George Abdo completed his second term as Chair in June. 

Higginbotham—a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Texas School of Law, and a career litigator—is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, where he serves as a Sunday School teacher, food program volunteer, and President of the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas Foundation. His commitment to the PC(USA) is further exemplified by his work with the Synod of the Sun, where he is Assistant Stated Clerk.

Higginbotham’s new role coincides with another change at PHS—Nancy Taylor becoming Acting Executive Director after the departure of the Reverend Dr. Beth Hessel in June.

“Times of transition can be challenging, but fortunately PHS is well positioned on a firm foundation to move forward,” Higginbotham said. “We are blessed to have Nancy at the helm as Acting Executive Director. She is unsurpassed in knowledge of and commitment to PHS. I look forward to working closely with her.”

PHS also welcomed eight new board members in July—the Reverend Dr. Cornell Edmonds (Princeton Junction, NJ), Marsha Heimann (Allentown, PA), Tim Hoogland (Minnetonka, MN), The Reverend Cindy Jarvis (Glenside, PA), Dr. Yushin Lee (Elk Grove, CA), Michael M. Meloy (Bala Cynwyd, PA), the Reverend Gradye Parsons (Kodak, TN), and the Reverend Dr. John Wilkinson (Rochester, NY).

PHS Board Members, April 2019. Left to right: Perzavia Praylow, Ernest Higginbotham, Jane Carl. 

Higginbotham looks forward to working with the incoming board.

“We have new members who bring great experience and expertise. We are focused on getting them up to speed and engaged in the work of the Board to complement our excellent continuing members.”

Higginbotham’s leadership will provide vital support to the Society’s mission, including its Pam Byers Memorial LGBTQIA+ Collecting Initiative and African American Leaders and Congregations Initiative.

“We’re thrilled to announce Ernie’s new position as Board Chair,” said Nancy Taylor. “His experience and enthusiasm for PHS, the Office of the General Assembly, and the entire PC(USA) has assured our staff that they’ll be supported in all their work.”