Biographies

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

The first annual meeting of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA) held in 1789 was convened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, likewise the location of the second meeting. The third assembly, the one that John Woodhull would moderate, was also held in Philadelphia. From 1789 through the division of […]

Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes have often caused fear in the population just as is currently the case with respect to Zika. One of the most fearsome of the diseases, yellow fever, also called “Yellow Jack,” was often transmitted by the needle-bearing insects as they attacked the residents of several cities near the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf Coast, and […]

The state of South Carolina is rich with Presbyterian and Reformed history because of its early settlement by Presbyterian Ulster Scots, Highlanders, Hebrideans, and others from the land of tartans and the Emerald Isle, as well as the Huguenots who were Reformed immigrants from France via a number of routes as they fled persecution. The […]

On April 8, 1835, Bethel Presbytery organized its new church in Lancaster, South Carolina. The church needed a teaching shepherd, so elders who had seen James Thornwell examined for licensure encouraged the congregation to approve presenting him a call through presbytery. On June 12, 1835, after some soul-searching about his spiritual qualifications and calling to […]

William Buell, youngest child of Benjamin and Sybil (Buell) Sprague, was born in Andover, Tolland county, Connecticut, October 16, 1795. As a boy he showed a keen interest in learning, was a voracious reader, and worked long and hard to hone his speaking and writing skills. After attending the common school of Andover and the […]