Presbyterians of the Past

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



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At Pearl Harbor 75 years ago on Sunday morning December 7, 1941, Capt. Thomas L. Kirkpatrick, Presbyterian, was the first chaplain of the United States military killed in World War II. Chaplain Kirkpatrick had been going about his Sunday duties while drinking coffee and chatting with the men in anticipation of the morning service he would […]

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Conway Phelps was born the eleventh of thirteen children on February 12, 1809 to Enoch and Mary Oliver Wing near Marietta, Ohio. The newborn boy was a seventh generation descendant of John Wing who had settled in Massachusetts Bay in 1632. Other Wing ancestors were among the original settlers and developers of Sandwich on Cape […]

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While strolling the mall just a few days before Reformation Day, I noticed that the theme-oriented temporary stores, glittering foil ice sickles, Santa’s centrally located seat, holiday food vendors, and the colors red and green were already making their annual appearance. Now keep in mind for those unfamiliar with the day of year of the […]

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Joseph Davis was born May 30, 1828 to David and Jane (Davis) Smith in Londonderry County, Ballykelly, Ireland. When he was nineteen years of age his mother and father moved him and his three siblings—William, David, and Martha—to America where they joined the multitude of immigrants seeking a new life in the United States. The […]

A Drop in the Bucket

November 7th, 2016, at 1:00 pm
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It is common to become distressed and fearful about problems whether they are family, work, or government related. The following passages are a few selections from the Bible specifically chosen because of their teaching regarding the nature and character of God. The passages mention the greatness of God, his power and wisdom, his sovereignty, his […]

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The following article is divided into two sections. The first section provides information about the invention of movable type printing by Johann Gutenberg and the operation of his innovative technology; the second section considers the importance of printing for the propagation and success of the Reformation by looking at how Martin Luther embraced the process […]

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One-hundred-forty-four years ago today pastor, teacher, apologist, and historian J. H. Merle D’Aubigné was found in his bed having passed from this world into the next. For anyone familiar with books published about the history of the Reformation the mention of D’Aubigné is likely to be associated with his historical studies of the era. The […]

John Calvin, Medallion Style, 10-22-2015

This year Reformation Day marks the 499th remembrance of Martin Luther’s presentation of his theses against Roman Catholicism’s use of indulgences and it anticipates the celebration of the quincentennial in 2017. Luther presented the theses–originally titled A Disputation of Doctor Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences–by nailing them to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg. […]

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When one thinks of the faculty and community of nineteenth-century Princeton Seminary the surnames that come to mind might include Alexander, Miller, Warfield, McGill, Green, and Hodge. The name Hodge would be associated with Charles due to his decades of teaching, writing, activity in the church courts, and publishing. Then the next person one might […]