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Egbert W. Smith, a Presbyterian minister and Executive Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. Executive Committee of Foreign Missions, was born in Greensboro, N.C. in 1862. He graduated from Davidson College in 1882, and Union Theological Seminary in 1886. He was ordained in 1886 by Orange Presbytery in North Carolina, and organized the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Greensboro in 1887. He served as an evangelist and later as superintendent of home missions for the North Carolina Synod before being called in 1893 to be pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Greensboro. He served there until 1905, when he was called to the Second Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Ky. He joined the Executive Committee of Foreign Missions in 1911, becoming Executive Secretary in 1912. He served in this post until 1932. From 1932 until his death in 1944, he served as the Executive Committee’s Field Secretary. During his tenure with the Executive Committee, Smith made visits to mission stations in Africa, the Middle East, South America, and Asia. He was the author of The Creed of Presbyterians, The Desire of All Nations, and Christ for Latin America.
This is a collection of the personal papers of Egbert W. Smith documenting his professional life as Executive Secretary of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. Executive Committee of Foreign Missions from 1912 to 1932, and Field Secretary for the Executive Committee from 1932 to 1944. The collection includes a scrapbook of clippings by and about Smith, 1912-1943; pocket calendar diaries, 1924, 1927-1930, and 1935; sermons and addresses, 1938-1944, including addresses on "The Madras Missionary Conference" and "The Missionary Imperative and What It Involves"; drafts of articles and books; a book containing letters of appreciation, 1942; several manuscripts and extracts of Smith’s diaries describing his trips to many of the mission fields of the church, including Korea, Japan, and China, 1918-1919 and 1934, and Africa and the Middle East, 1932; and a small number of letters from missionaries and other personal correspondence. The collection also includes poems written by Smith; photographs of missionary churches, missionaries, and individuals in Africa and Asia; photographs from Smith’s trip to Palestine in 1932; a photographic portrait of Smith; and correspondence and clippings pertaining to Smith's death in 1944.
Summary of Box ContentsBox 1: Typescripts of writings by Smith on foreign missions; sermons; speeches; personal correspondence; publications; poems; clippings; scrapbook of reviews, 1928-1944; typed extracts from diaries of trips to Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe; and personal letters from missionaries, 1919-1937
Box 2: Pocket calendars and passports, 1921-1935
Box 3: Scrapbook of clippings by and about Smith, 1912-1943; black and white photographic portrait of Smith
Box 4: Photographs of missionary churches, missionaries, and individuals in Africa and Asia, circa 1925-circa 1940; and an album of snapshots of Smith's trip to Palestine in 1932
Researchers should also consult the records of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. Executive Committee of Foreign Missions, Office of the Executive Secretary for Smith’s correspondence as Executive Secretary, 1912-1932, and for reports and minutes of Smith’s visit to mission stations in China, 1918-1919. These PCUS records were received as part of the Egbert W. Smith Papers but were separated in 2005 to form their own collection.
This collection is minimally processed: materials may not have been ordered beyond their original condition. Guide revised in 2009 by Jennifer Barr, Archives Intern.
Egbert W. Smith Papers, RG 460, Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.