Biographies

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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

John was born in Lexington, Virginia, April 25, 1814, to John and Jane McDowell Leyburn. The infant’s paternal grandparents were George and Abigail Leyburn who were descended from English ancestors that had relocated to Ireland. He began his professional studies in Washington College in his hometown but completed his program in Princeton College with the […]

Cyrus H. McCormick, 1809-1884

September 10th, 2018, at 1:00 pm

This biography is not about a minister but instead tells the story of a Presbyterian layman who was an inventor and industrialist. His life began on the farm as did so many of the lives of antebellum entrepreneurs. Cyrus’s father, Robert, was born at Walnut Grove, Rockbridge County, Virginia, June 4, 1780, into the household of a […]

The surnames of Alexander, Miller, Hodge, and Warfield represent familiar  faculty from the history of Princeton Theological Seminary, but despite his having taught in the seminary for nearly thirty years, Alexander Taggart McGill is not very well known. He was born in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, February 24, 1807, to his Scots-Irish parents, John, who was a weaver, […]

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 serving in the Confederate Army. His mother lived in Arcadia with […]

The Second General Presbyterian Council of The Presbyterian Alliance convened representatives from all over the world in Philadelphia beginning September 23 and continuing to its adjournment on the Lord’s Day of October 3, 1880. Both the Pennsylvania governor and Philadelphia mayor heartily welcomed the convention when it first assembled in the Academy of Fine Arts. […]