Presbyterians of the Past

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



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 […]

Ezra Stiles was born in Lebanon, Connecticut, June 13, 1786, to Rev. Zebulon and Sarah Ely. Zebulon tutored his son to prepare him for college at Yale which was the haven of New England theology. Following graduation from Yale he returned home for a period of theological studies with his father. Ezra was licensed to […]

Cornelius Washington Grafton (1846-1934) pastored the Union Church Presbyterian Church in Jefferson County, Mississippi for sixty-one years. He has recounted his life as a minister through two-thirds of his tenure in A Forty-Three Year Pastorate in a Country Church, which was originally published in 1916. The pamphlet has been reprinted by Log College Press which […]

Those serving on presbytery committees examining candidates for licensure or ordination are required constitutionally to include in their list of questions a few inquiries regarding the individual’s Christian experience and practices. The intention is to discern his consistency of Christian living and growth in sanctification, and as Paul wrote to Timothy, whether he provides a […]

The Lord and the Heart, I Samuel

February 15th, 2018, at 1:00 pm

I have been reading the four-hundredth anniversary facsimile edition of the King James Bible, 1611, published by Oxford University Press. The original King James Bible included the Apocrypha, the Order of Psalms and Lessons to be said at Morning and Evening Prayers, diagrams, and other portions that have been removed from later printings. The 1611 […]