Presbyterians of the Past

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



One of Martin Luther’s works from his multitude of writings is titled Table Talk. It includes observations he made while at table with colleagues and friends. Luther did not write Table Talk, but it contains his words as they were copied down by some of those who heard his off-the-cuff comments while enjoying food from […]

D. X. Junkin, David X., was born January 8, 1808, to Joseph and Eleanor Cochran Junkin in Hope Mills near Mercer, Pennsylvania. He had considerable competition around the house because he and his minister brother George Junkin were two of fourteen children. David’s earliest education was provided by Rev. Thomas L. Anderson in his academy near […]

Scott M. Manetsch’s Calvin’s Company of Pastors: Pastoral Care and the Emerging Reformed Church, 1536-1609, Oxford, 2013, paper 2015, presents a lesser known aspect of John Calvin’s life and work. Calvin is not often described in a pastoral context by those who write about his life. For example, Robert Godfrey’s, John Calvin: Pilgrim and Pastor, […]

George was born November 1, 1790, to Joseph and Eleanor Cochran Junkin on the family farm near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The spiritual ancestors of the Junkins were Covenanters that had entered the American colonies among the Scots-Irish. Eleanor Junkin was surely a busy mother because her fourteen children would have required every second of every day. […]

Several years ago while wandering through what is increasingly becoming harder to find, a bookstore, I ran across a copy of Susan Brigden’s, London and the Reformation. I would have loved to have purchased it but the sticker price was too high for my budget. Over the years I have checked for used copies online […]

The year of Nash’s birth is not certain but is likely 1768. His great grandparents, Pierre and Judith Vril Le Grand, were Huguenots who settled in the Richmond area of colonial Virginia after fleeing France following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Nash’s parents, Peter and his second wife Lucy Nash, resided in Prince […]

Last week a biography of Dr. Abel McIver Fraser (1856-1933), who was for most of his ministry the pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Staunton, Virginia, was posted on Presbyterians of the Past.  This week a PDF copy of the book honoring him edited by William E. Hudson is available for download. At the time the book […]

Abel McIver Fraser was born in Sumter, South Carolina, June 14, 1856, to Thomas Boone and Sarah Margaret McIver Fraser. For many years Abel’s father was a Presbyterian ruling elder working in various judicatory committees and was a director of Columbia Theological Seminary, while professionally he was a lawyer, a judge for sixteen years, and he […]

In April 1917 the United States, after a prolonged attempt by the Wilson administration to maintain neutrality, declared war on Germany. The next month the general assemblies of the two largest American Presbyterian denominations convened for their annual proceedings. October 31, 1917 would be the four-hundredth anniversary (quadricentennial) of the posting of Luther’s theses. So, on […]