Presbyterians of the Past

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



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 […]

John Holt was born July 23, 1818 in Petersburg, Virginia, the first son of Martha Alexander and Benjamin Holt Rice. At the time his father was pastor of the recently established Tabb Street Presbyterian Church. His mother was the younger sister of founding professor of Princeton Seminary, Archibald Alexander. Newly born John was named for […]

A special service was held at five o’clock in the afternoon of Tuesday, May 5, 1885, on the campus of Union Theological Seminary to dedicate a memorial plaque honoring Rev. John Holt Rice, D.D. At the time, the seminary was located on the campus of Hampden-Sydney College, but it relocated in 1898 to Richmond where […]

God’s Timeline, by Linda Finlayson

April 11th, 2018, at 1:00 pm

It has been said that the trouble with studying history is its literature is written by historians for historians. There are some fine exceptions to this observation, but a considerable portion of historical writing for adults, particularly church history titles, is composed for academics. The average person hoping to learn about an individual or a […]

Samuel Rhea was born to Capt. John F. and Jane Rhea Preston in Abington, Virginia, September 4, 1849. He began his college education at Emory and Henry College in Emory but finished his Bachelor of Arts degree at King College in scenic Bristol. King College was named for Presbyterian minister James King and was established […]

If you have not read the first part of this series you may want to do so by visiting “J. Gresham Machen, France 1918.” After landing at the dock in France following a long and uneventful journey, Machen was escorted along with his travelling companions by a YMCA man on a night train to Paris. […]

It started in the Garden of Eden. The serpent was craftier than all the other creatures and he used his skills of deception and trickery as he asked Eve a brief question, “Yeah, hath God said?” That is, when God presented our first parents with the revelation of his will prohibiting their eating the fruit […]