Presbyterians of the Past

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



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The first annual meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA) held in 1789 was convened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, likewise the location of the second meeting. The third assembly, the one that John Woodhull would moderate, was also held in Philadelphia. From 1789 through the division of […]

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The Presbytery of Fayetteville of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA) was established a presbytery of the Synod of the Carolinas on October 2, 1812. The geographic bounds of its authority included, roughly, the land west of New Bern, South of Raleigh, and east of Greensboro. Its members at the time […]

Derry Church from Vol. 1, Presbytery of Carlisle, Date 1756, 7-16-2015

Presbytery meetings of the past followed dockets that were built around a general framework or order of events and those events were recorded in the minutes. Minutes were not a transcription of all that was said during the meeting—like a court stenographer might do—but the clerk of presbytery instead recorded summaries of the actions taken […]

Thumbnail, George D. Armstrong, 9-7-2016 (2)

Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes have often caused fear in the population just as is currently the case with respect to Zika. One of the most fearsome of the diseases, yellow fever, also called “Yellow Jack,” was often transmitted by the needle-bearing insects as they attacked the residents of several cities near the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf Coast, and […]

Thumbnail, US Stamp, Ben Franklin, 1st Postmaster, 8-30-2016

Not too long ago we pulled the car up to our home after a morning at church and went to the entrance as usual. On the porch was a brown package complete with the usual abundance of bar coded slick paper and Times New Roman font. We knew what it was. We had ordered a […]

Colin McIver, Thumbnail, 8-24-2016 (2)

The state of South Carolina is rich with Presbyterian and Reformed history because of its early settlement by Presbyterian Ulster Scots, Highlanders, Hebrideans, and others from the land of tartans and the Emerald Isle, as well as the Huguenots who were Reformed immigrants from France via a number of routes as they fled persecution. The […]

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When I have occasion to visit churches while traveling, there are three churches I particularly enjoy worshipping in and wandering their properties because of their great histories, faithful preaching, and the historic appeal of their facilities.  One place of worship is the Independent Presbyterian Church, Savannah, Georgia, where the Word has been preached for over […]

Thumbnail, J H Thornwell, 5-24-2016

On April 8, 1835, Bethel Presbytery organized its new church in Lancaster, South Carolina. The church needed a teaching shepherd, so elders who had seen James Thornwell examined for licensure encouraged the congregation to approve presenting him a call through presbytery. On June 12, 1835, after some soul-searching about his spiritual qualifications and calling to […]

Was George Gallup Right?

August 5th, 2016, at 1:00 pm
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Recently, while taking on the daunting task of cleaning out my many files, paper ones not digital, I ran across a tanned and deteriorating clipping that I had glued right in the middle of a bright white sheet of typing paper and inserted in a folder titled, “Church Statistics.” The title of the brief piece […]