Church Courts

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The photograph was taken during the second General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) in 1974. It shows Stated Clerk Morton H. Smith at the podium as he presented a framed copy of the document “A Message to All the Churches of Jesus Christ” to the moderator of the first general assembly meeting, […]

Communion tokens became prominent in Reformed churches at least partially due to John Calvin advocating their use. In a letter to Guillaume Farel written from Strasbourg, March 29, 1540, Calvin commented regarding the Lord’s Supper that “On Easter-day, when I gave out the invitation that we were to celebrate the Supper on next Lord’s day, […]

James Woodrow was born in Carlisle, England, May 30, 1828, the son of Rev. Thomas Woodrow, D.D., a native of Scotland. In 1886 the family moved to Canada, then the next year settled in the United States in Chillicothe, Ohio, where Rev. Woodrow was installed pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. James’s preparatory education for […]

After the United States declared war on April 6, 1917, the military and organizations associated with supporting the troops overseas were trained and prepared for relocation to the front. Included among the collection of organizations interested in supporting the troops were denominational chaplains and interdenominational workers. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States […]

The year 2017 marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Ninety-Five Theses, which were posted on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg to provide points of debate regarding the papacy’s use of indulgences. Indulgences allowed a parishioner to reduce or eliminate time in purgatory for sins. The theses posting is considered the beginning of the Reformation. Even though there had […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Presbytery of Fayetteville of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA) was established a presbytery of the Synod of the Carolinas on October 2, 1812. The geographic bounds of its authority included, roughly, the land west of New Bern, South of Raleigh, and east of Greensboro. Its members at the time […]

Presbytery meetings of the past followed dockets that were built around a general framework or order of events and those events were recorded in the minutes. Minutes were not a transcription of all that was said during the meeting—like a court stenographer might do—but the clerk of presbytery instead recorded summaries of the actions taken […]

Not too long ago we pulled the car up to our home after a morning at church and went to the entrance as usual. On the porch was a brown package complete with the usual abundance of bar coded slick paper and Times New Roman font. We knew what it was. We had ordered a […]

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 […]