This Day In History Oct. 27 - Nov. 2, 2014
(changes weekly; click on title above or on the month navigation link for previous entries on Presbyterian history)
On October 28, 1858, Rev. Elymas Payson Rogers (1815 - 1861) of the Plane Street Presbyterian Church of Newark, N.J., made a successful motion at the Second Presbyterian and Congregational Convention (of black clergy, elders and deacons), which met at Central Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. Concerning the recent Dred Scott decision (March 6, 1857), the motion read: "…it was Resolved, That the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Dred Scott, the evident design of which is, to degrade and rob the free people of color of civil and political rights, to perpetuate Slavery, and dishearten true philanthropy in the United States: is alike a sin against God, and a crime against humanity; and that Judges Curtis and McLean, who dissented from the infamous decision, are worthy of all praise."
On October 29, 1942, 268 German and Japanese diplomats and businessmen, wives and children were transported to Montreat to await repatriation to their countries, in exchange for American diplomats, families and missionaries trapped in enemy countries when World War II broke out. Click for more information.
On Oct. 31, 1517, Martin Luther posts his 95 Theses in Wittenberg triggering the Protestant Reformation.
On November 2, 1953, a "Letter to Presbyterians" was mailed to presbyteries and sessions. Simultaneously, a press release was issued and copies sent to President Dwight Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles both Presbyterians and Presbyterian members of Congress. Issued by the General Council of the Presbyterian Church (USA) by Moderator John A. Mackay (shown in painting below from Princeton Theological Seminary), the letter was the strongest refutation of McCarthyism to date. The letter read in part: "... treason and dissent are being confused. The shrine of conscience and private judgment, which God alone has a right to enter, is being invaded. Attacks are being made upon citizens of integrity and social passion which are utterly alien to the Protestant religious tradition which has been a main source of the freedoms which people of the United States enjoy." Reverend Mackay served as President of Princeton Theological Seminary for 23 years (1936 - 1959).
Four months later, CBS-TV and Edward R. Murrow broadcasted its famous show decrying Senate McCarthy's tactics, including those used at the Army hearings. In December 1954, the U.S. Senate committee approved censure.
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Temporary Exhibit on Montreat College was displayed at Anderson Auditorium for the inauguration of Montreat College's new President Paul Maurer. Shown below is a 1951 college class visiting the old Historical Foundation in Montreat, There will be a Centennial Exhibit of Advanced Education in Montreat that will open at the PHC in May 2015.
Hotel Montreat & Assembly Inn Exhibit Open
A new exhibit on tents, Big Piney Inn, Hotel Montreat and Assembly Inn is now open. Come see how the land went through a series of changes through rare artifacts and photographs. Below is a 1924 plan of Assembly Inn.
John Knox 500 a quincentennial exhibit
An exhibit at the Presbyterian Heriage Center features Presbyterian founder John Knox, the Scottish Reformation and Presbyterians in Colonial America. Among the items on display will be the 1644 printing of Knox's Historie of the Reformation of the Church of Scotland, 16th century folio Geneva Bible in English, 1564 Scottish Geneva Psalter and much more!
Missions to the Middle East
An exhibit on Presbyterian missions to the Middle East covers history from the early 1800s through today's destruction of Christian churches and communities in this volatile region. An expanded display opened in mid-April covering missionaries, successes and failures in the cradle of religions. Below, 1894 Jerusalem.
Presbyterian Missionaries and Ministers Databases
being uploaded to this site, under Bios tab above. You also can click here. These databases are starting with early ministers and missionaries (pre-1860)
and are being researched by teams of volunteers and staff at the Presbyterian Heritage Center. If you have biographical information on ministers and misionaries, and especially photos, please email us.
Latest News/Future Events
New postings every week!
PCUSA Moderator on Recent Middle East Trip - Nov 10th PCUSA Moderator Heath Rada and his wife, Peggy, will hold an informal conversation about their recent Middle East trip and issues in that region. The talk is scheduled for 3 - 4:30 PM, on Monday, Nov. 10th on the 3rd floor of Freeland Hall (the ramp off of Georgia Terrace road) in Montreat. A reception follows the talk at the Presbyterian Heritage Center in the same building.
Register & Save for 2015 Conference on Evangelists
Featuring national and international authors and researchers, this must-attend conference looks at the impact on America and the world of famous evangelists and singers from the Tennents in 1740 through Billy Graham today. Created by the PHC, the conference speakers will cover evangelists – both men and women – in America, as well as the driving evangelical forces that create the century of Christian missions throughout the world. Click for more info.
• Early Bird Cost – $75 if paid by December 31, 2014
• Scottish Thrifty Cost – $85 if paid between January 1 and March 31, 2015
• Regular Cost – $100 if paid after April 1, 2015 Billy Graham at Camp Montreat, c. 1950
Digital Processing We are computerizing our library collection of more than 35,000 volumes in a database catalog.
The PHC also is digitizing a wide range of materials - cassette tapes, records, photos and books for future use online. We appreciate your financial support and donations of artifacts, photos and documents.
Joyful, Joyful: Psalters & Hymnals, a 500 year Musical Journey Exhibit
An exhibit is open featuring 500 years of rare psalers, hymnals and shape note tune books. The exhibit
begins with psalters and hymnals from the 1500s through the 2013 Presbyterian Church (USA) hymnal Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal. A new shaped-note pamphlet has been produced by the PHC for the exhibit. You can see and print a PDF file here.