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William Plumer Jacobs was born to Rev. Ferdinand and Mary Elizabeth Redbrook Jacobs in Yorkville, South Carolina, March 15, 1842. Ferdinand had been born in Alexandria, Virginia, and following his education at Hampden-Sydney College and Union Seminary he served churches in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. Ferdinand Jacob’s ministry over the years included the presidency of […]

Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield’s interests as a boy indicated that he would likely take a very different vocational direction than the study of theology. Following his birth on November 5, 1851 to William (pictured) and Mary Cabell Breckinridge Warfield, he grew up on the Warfield family farm named “Grasmere” near Lexington, Kentucky, where his father was […]

Travel in the nineteenth century could be dangerous whether it was by train, ship, bicycle, or horse. Trains sometimes ran off the rails and crashed or collided with other trains, ocean-going vessels ran aground or sank in storms, and the skittishness of some horses led to fallen riders and bolting teams pulling carriages of passengers […]

John M. Wells, in his book, Southern Presbyterian Worthies, describes the setting of scenic Strickler’s Springs— Near the center of Rockbridge County, Virginia, in the very heart of the Valley of Virginia, rises a massive peak known from its shape as House Mountain. Rugged, square, imposing, it may be seen from every part of the […]

They said that he looked like Napoleon Bonaparte, that his students entered the lecture hall in fear and trembling, that he read his sermons with his head bowed motionless over the pulpit, and that he found social situations very uncomfortable. He absorbed languages like a sponge; it is believed that he knew over thirty. However, […]

Robert Harden Reid was born July 17, 1821 near Moffattsville, Anderson County, South Carolina.  His father was Andrew Reid, an elder for nearly fifty years in the Good Hope Presbyterian Church. His mother’s family name is Hamilton, but the sources consulted did not provide her given name.  As Robert matured he received his education locally […]

James Isaac Vance was born September 25, 1862 in Arcadia, Tennessee, to Charles Robertson and Margaret (Newland) Vance. Charles and Margaret had been married in the fall of 1860 by Rev. Daniel Rogan of Kingsport. At the time of his birth, his father was in the Confederate Army. His mother lived in Arcadia with family […]

As were many of the early Presbyterians that built the denomination in America, John Ross was from Ireland. He was born July 23, 1783, into a Roman Catholic home in Dublin where he was orphaned at a young age. When he was in his late teens, John left Ireland headed for England in hope of […]

Zelotes Lee Holmes constructed his eight-sided home with small hand-mixed batches of concrete in Laurens, South Carolina, in 1859. The building is currently known as the Octagon House Apartments. The contribution of the house to the architectural history of the state was recognized in 1973 when it was listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. The building is architecturally significant not […]

When B. B. Warfield delivered his memorial message for W. M. Paxton in Miller Chapel at Princeton Seminary, he said of his friend and colleague that “Dr. Paxton’s power always lay more in what he was than in what he did, and the best of all sermons was the sermon he preached by his life” […]

Moses Drury Hoge was the minister of Second Presbyterian Church, Richmond, Virginia, for two months shy of fifty-four years. To continue as a minister in the same church for over half a century is a length of service that very few pastors of any denomination have experienced. He was born near Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, September […]

In a historical tour of Princeton, New Jersey, Nassau Hall on the university campus is on the must-see list.  It is a grand but simple building, surrounded by trees, and its lovely presence reminds visitors of the generations of students that have passed through its doors.  After viewing the façade of Nassau Hall, the curious […]