The purpose of Presbyterians of the Past is to provide articles, biographies, snippets of information, digital publications, extended writings, and some curiosities from church history to facilitate study of those who have gone before and their contributions to the Presbyterian and Reformed churches. It is hoped that these resources will raise the interest of students in school, college, and graduate studies along with their professors, as well as history buffs and genealogists, to follow up on issues of interest with their own research and writing.


To be informed of newly posted articles click the “Subscribe” button in the upper right hand corner of the home page and fill in the form.

Each new article on Presbyterians of the Past will be posted in the left column, move to the right across the rows, down the page, and into the archive. A click of the gray “View Archive” button at the bottom of the page or of the “Archive” button in the toolbar at the top of the page will list all the articles previously posted. There is a “Search Site” window with a green “Go” button at the top of the homepage for full-text hunting via key words. The “Categories” button accesses a list of several topics any one of which provides its respective list of articles.

Please click the “Copyright and Use” button on the toolbar and read the brief text regarding the use of Presbyterians of the Past resources.


The photograph at the top of the homepage was edited and cropped by the author from one located on pixabay. The location depicted in the photograph is unknown to the author of this site.


PCA Historical Center, St. Louis, Missouri—is the source for the archival collection of the Presbyterian Church in America which was founded in 1973. The collection includes materials specifically related to the PCA including documents, images, newspapers, journals, articles, personal collections, audios, congregational histories, and judicatory records (church sessions, presbyteries, and general assembly). The Historical Center also houses the records of the following predecessor denominations—Reformed Presbyterian Church, Evangelical Synod, 1965-1982; Bible Presbyterian Church, Columbus Synod, 1955-1965; Bible Presbyterian Church, 1938-1955; and Reformed Presbyterian Church, General Synod, 1833-1965. Many resources are available in digital form online including the minutes and other records of the PCA General Assembly. The director of the center is Wayne Sparkman, Th.M., C.A. Two resources by the author of Presbyterians of the Past are available for PDF download on the PCA HC site—Guide to the Works of Thomas Smyth, D.D. (1808-1873), and Index to the Journal of Union Theological Seminary, Virginia, 1889-1922.


Barry Waugh has the PhD in Historical and Theological Studies from Westminster Seminary. The title of his dissertation is “The History of a Confessional Sentence.” He has written articles and reviews for the Westminster Theological Journal, The Confessional Presbyterian, periodicals, and online venues including over 190 pieces on this site. He has also contributed to Gary L. W. Johnson’s, B. B. Warfield: Essays on His Life and Thought, 2007, and edited Letters from the Front: J. Gresham Machen’s Correspondence from World War I, 2012. He can be emailed using the contact form on this page.