Presbyterians of the Past

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

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 […]

In the history of Presbyterianism in the United States the surname Rice is a common one. For example, influential in Kentucky were David Rice (1733-1816) known as “Father Rice” for founding the Presbyterian Church in the state, and there was also the polemicist, minister, and educator Nathan Lewis Rice (1807-1877). In Virginia, key figures included […]

Presbyterian polity is shepherding. It is care of the sheep of Christ’s flock using a connectional relationship with graduated levels of oversight. The fundamental unit for all aspects of shepherding is the elder. The Greek New Testament word presbuteros means elder, thus Presbyterians are those Christians who are shepherded by elders. Presbyterian polity is connectional […]

Michael Demetrius Kalopothakes was born in Aeropolis, Laconia, Greece, December 17, 1825. At the time of his birth the Greeks were involved in a revolution for independence from the Ottomans who had ruled them since the middle of the fifteenth century. The Greeks’ desire for freedom was encouraged by the successful revolutions in America and […]

At seven in the morning of the sixteenth of January one-hundred years ago today, J. Gresham Machen set sail from New York for the purpose of providing United States troops with spiritual counsel and gospel witness while working in support services with the Young Men’s Christian Association in France. The interdenominational YMCA was not his […]