Presbyterians of the Past

The lives, places, writings, and events of Reformed history



Presbyterians in the American Colonies and then the United States not only delivered God’s Word from pulpits to worshipping congregations but also operated schools for children where they taught from masters’ desks. Ministers often prepared young adults for college, or in lieu of college tutored them in college subjects, and long before there were seminaries […]

The cabin pictured is currently in Greenfield Village of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, where it was relocated from its original site. It is a typical small pioneer cabin with simple notched interlocking squared-log construction, an entrance door of simple boards, and a large fireplace for heating and cooking. In this cabin was […]

History Greenbrier Presbytery 1889

June 27th, 2018, at 1:00 pm

Greenbrier Presbytery was organized in 1839 primarily through the extensive missionary efforts of the father of the Presbyterian Church in West Virginian, John McElhenney. In the publication available for PDF download via the button at the end of this introduction, Historical Sketch of Greenbrier Presbytery by William L. Price, Rev. McElhenney’s ministry supplying pulpits and […]

James was born to James and Elizabeth Blythe in recently established Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, October 28, 1765. According to W. B. Sprague in Annals of the American Pulpit, young James was receiving a classical education in a local school at his father’s behest when he decided he did not care for some of the […]

If you have not read the previous articles of this series you may want to do so by visiting the first part,  “J. Gresham Machen, France 1918,” and then continuing through the succeeding parts using the links at their ends. After serving two-hundred-forty-nine cups of hot chocolate on Easter Sunday, the area around Machen’s hut was […]

Scottish Highlanders settled in Robeson and Scotland Counties in North Carolina having journeyed up the Cape Fear River from the coast. They established homes and farms along the upper tributaries and along the meandering river. To the west of the Highlanders were Scots Irish and to their east were English, Huguenot, Welsh, and German settlers. […]

Edward Payson Davis was born in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, July 12, 1851. His father, Thomas, was from South Carolina but had moved across the state line to complete his college program in Davidson, and then he travelled further north into Virginia to study for the ministry in Union Theological Seminary in Farmville. Thomas was ordained […]

Samuel James Pierce was born to Anne Walthall Spencer and Sterling C. Anderson in Mt. Hybla, Prince Edward County, Virginia, Dec. 25, 1814 (or Dec. 5). The early years of his life were spent in the country on the family farm where his preparation for college included attendance in a local school and instruction from […]

From 1830 to the beginning of the First World War almost ninety percent of all German and German speaking emigrants found their new homes in the United States and during the nineteenth century alone more than five-million emigrated to the United States. Nineteenth-century German immigrants settled all over the nation, but the area from New […]