This Day In History August 23- 29, 2015
(changes weekly; click on title above or on the month navigation link for previous entries on Presbyterian history)
On August 26, 1808, the Raleigh (N.C.) Register ran an ad from Presbyterian educator, minister and free black John Chavis announcing the separation of his classical education school into a Day School for whites and an Evening School for black children. Since its start in 1805, the school had been integrated up to this point.
Sometime between 1792 and 1795, John Chavis (click name for fuller bio) from Virginia apparently resided in New Jersey, where he reportedly had taken private classes under the Rev. John Witherspoon in preparation for entering the Presbyterian ministry. In the recorded September 25, 1792, minutes of the trustees of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University), there is a recommendation by Reverend John Blair that "Mr. Todd Henry, a Virginian, and John Chavis, a free black man of that state, ... be received" on the school's Leslie Fund. After Witherspoon's death in 1794, Chavis enrolled in Liberty Hall Academy in Lexington, Virginia, in 1795. The school was renamed Washington Academy in 1798, later becoming known as Washington College and then Washington & Lee in the late 1800s.
The Presbytery of Lexington (Virginia) licensed John Chavis as Preacher on November 19, 1800 — making him the first black ordained Presbyterian minister in America.
The Rev. Dr. Gideon Blackburn was born in Augusta County, Va., on August 27, 1772. Reverend Backburn preached extensively in the Appalachian region and was instrumental in organizing several new churches. On May 31, 1803, the Presbyterian General Assembly approved the Rev. Gideon Blackburn's proposal to establish a school for Cherokee children. He operated his schools for the Cherokees until 1810. Blackburn also is known for freeing and getting ordained Rev. John Gloucester. He also established many churches in Tennessee and Kentucky. He was president of Centre College, Danville, Ky., from 1827 until 1830. In October 1833, he moved to Illinois.He died on August 23, 1838.
A Member of the American Alliance of Museums
(formerly American Association of Museums)
American Association of
State and Local History
North Carolina Museums Council
Presbyterian Heritage Center Independent. Innovative. Interactive. Montreat Map
Japan Mission Exhibit Open
This exhibit covers missionsto Japan from 1859 through today, especially leaders such as Presbyterian trained Toyohiko Kagawa, a Christian evangelist, social reformer, labor activist, author and pre-World War II peace activist. He was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Literature Prize.
Great Awakenings Exhibit Open (above)
For more than 275 years of Great Religious Awakenings in America, a new PHC exhibit traces the legacies of Billy Graham, Billy Sunday, Peter Marshall, J. Wilbur Chapman, Charles Finney, Gilbert & William Tennent, George Whitefield and more!
From the 1640s through today, the role of evangelists in America is much more complex than you think. It includes Native American evangelists, black slave and free black evangelists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists and others through the 19th centuries, women, minorities, international missionaries and the great 20th century evangelists. Learn about the sawdust trail of 19th century revivals through mass urban crusades of the late 19th and 20th centuries. Montreat has played an important setting through its history. Most major evangelists of various denominations have preached, sang, visited or lived in the town. Photo: Billy Graham at Camp Montreat, c. 1950
Ukiyo-e: The Art of Japanese Prints
Japanese art exhibit features woodcut prints from 19th Century masters Hokusai, Kunisada, Kuniyoshi, Hiroshige and more through modern Christian Artists.
Exhibit Opens in October 2015 - Montreat College There will be a Centennial Exhibit of Advanced Education in Montreat that will open at the PHC in early October 2015. If you have artifacts to lend for this exhibit, please contact us.
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.
We are independent and rely on donations from people like you to operate. You can contribute via check mailed to Presbyterian Heritage Center, PO Box 207, Montreat, NC 28757 or online by credit card, PayPal or bank account by clicking here.
Latest News/Future Events
Civil Rights & Presbyterians Exhibit Open
Honoring the 50th anniversary of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech in Montreat, the PHC opened an exhibit on August 21st looking at the 300-year history of Presbyterians and Civil Rights.
Call for Montreat College Artifacts & Photos
We will be openig an exhibit in late September celebrating 100 years of advanced education in Montreat. We need your artifacts, paper documents and photos to borroow for the exhibit. From the Miss Jordan's Wildwood School
to Montreat Normal Girls School and Montreat College (below).