Presbyterians of the Past

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



One aspect of Presbyterian Church history is that many members of the denomination tended to be professionals such as accountants, doctors, academics, lawyers, and similar vocations. Obviously, there is nothing wrong with Christians working in these professions and they need to worship like anyone else, but Paul’s instruction regarding the variety and individual ministries of […]

Robert was born the second son of John and Isabella Cunningham McCachren at the Forks of Brandywine, Chester County, Pennsylvania, September 24, 1798. When he was ten years old his father died leaving his mother with little means to care for her family, but despite financial limitations Robert grew up a devoted student taking advantage […]

Thanksgiving, 2018

November 21st, 2018, at 1:00 pm

In celebration of Thanksgiving 2018 readers are referred to the posts for 2016, “Thanksgiving, William Bradford, 1590-1657,” and 2017, “The First Thanksgiving, Edward Winslow, 1621.”  Neither post has taken into account the CSPAN3 episode of History TV in which it is contended that the first English giving of thanks actually took place in Berkeley, Virginia […]

Thomas was born September 9, 1808, to Dr. John and Eleanor Dunbar Creigh the seventh child in a family that would have six sons and four daughters. His paternal ancestors were Protestant Germans who fled their home in the seventeenth century to live in Scotland and then several years later they emigrated to Ireland and […]

If you have not read the previous articles in this series you may want to do so by visiting the first post, “J. Gresham Machen, France 1918, Part 1″ and then continue through the sequence of articles using the link at the end of each article. At eleven in the morning of the eleventh day and eleventh […]

On this 501st anniversary of the Reformation, Presbyterians of the Past remembers the home of the Scottish Reformation through one of its sons, Robert “Scotty” Hastings. When we met I was told that everyone called him Scotty because of his homeland. He looked the part with his thick white hair, matching bushy moustache, glint in his […]

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 Paul’s instruction to Timothy should be familiar because it is a key text concerning the importance of education for ministers. It is likely that Presbyterian ministers […]

Joseph Ruggles Wilson opened his committee report about beneficiary education with the paragraph that follows. Note that beneficiary is used to describe what would currently be called scholarships or charitable stipends to help “poor and pious youth” obtain a divinity education. There never has been a time, in the history of the Presbyterian Church, when […]

In the summer of 1843, seminary professor Archibald Alexander made a lengthy trip by train from his residence on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary to his place of birth in Lexington, Virginia. Alexander was a son of the Shenandoah Valley who spent many years of his life in Philadelphia and Princeton, New Jersey. His journey was […]