June In History

June 2, 1886

Byron SunderlandOn June 2, 1886, Presbyterian minister Byron Sunderland married President Grover Cleveland and Frances Folsom in the White House (see drawing below). It was the only marriage of a President in the mansion. Rev. Sunderland (shown left) was pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC, and had also served as Chaplain to the U.S. Senate. Cleveland was the son of a Presbyterian minister.
President Cleveland's WH wedding

June 2, 1930

Sarah E. DicksonOn June 2, 1930, Sarah E. Dickson became the first ordained woman Presbyterian elder in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (PCUSA). She was a member of the Wauwautosa (WI) Presbyterian Church (USA). The PCUSA General Assembly meeting in Cincinnati approved the ordination of women as elders, but defeated a measure to allow ordination as ministers.

June 11, 1936

On June 11, 1936, the Presbyterian Church of America is founded at Philadelphia in a split from the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. A lawsuit by the PC(USA) caused the separated new denomination to rename itself the Orthodox Presbyerian Church in 1939. OPC is a separate denomination from the founding in 1973 of another Presbyterian Church in America..

June 13, 1857

On June 13, 1857, Rev. John Edgar Freeman and his wife were killed, as well as six other Presbyterian missionaries, in the Indian Mutiny (Revolution) of 1857. Freeman was selected in 1838 as a Presbyterian missionary to India in various towns (Allahabad, Mainpuri, Fategarh or Futtehgurh). Killed along with Freeman and his wife (Elizabeth Vredenburgh Freeman) were Rev. David E. Campbell and his wife, Mary J. Campbell; Rev. Albert O. Johnson and his wife, Amand Joanna Gill Johnson; Rev. Robert E. McMullin and his wife, Sarah Colt McMullin.

June 17, 1859

Rev. John Wilbur Chapman and othersOn June 17, 1859, John Wilbur Chapman was born in Richmond, Indiana. Graduating from Lane Seminary, Chapman was ordained as a Presbyterian minister and served in a couple of churches, including Bethany Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, before beginning his evangelism tours. Helping Billy Sunday get started in evangelism, Rev. Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman was perhaps the leading evangelist at the turn of the 20th century. Former moderator in 1917 - 1918 for the Presbyterian Church (US) and author, Chapman was a summer resident of Montreat. Among his revival associates was the singer Charles M. Alexander. Taken in Montreat during their 1915 conference, the photo right shows (left to right back row): Charles M. Alexander and his wife (and hymn writer) Helen Cadbury Alexander; Mrs. J. W. (Mabel Moulton). In the front row (l to r) is pianist Henry Barraclough and J. W. Chapman. During the conference, Barraclough wrote the hymn "Ivory Palaces."

June 19, 1859

Ashbel Green SimontonOn June 19, 1859, Ashbel Green Simonton sailed from Baltimore to serve as the first missionary to Brazil with the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions. He arrived in Rio de Janeiro on August 12..

June 19, 1910

Sonora Smart DoddOn June 19, 1910, the congregation of Centenary Presbyterian Church in Spokane, Washington, celebrated "Father's Day," at the suggestion of member Sonora Smart Dodd. The celebration would spread into a national observance..

June 21, 1851

Dr. Lillias Horton On June 21, 1851, Lillias Horton was born. Educated as a physician, she went to Korea in 1888 as a Prebyterian medical missionary. In 1889, Dr. Horton married the Reverend Horace G. Underwood, who was the first U. S. Presbyterian minister in Korea. In 1908, she wrote an account of her first 15 years in Korea: "Fifteen Years Among the Top-Knots or Life in Korea."

June 23, 1780

On June 23, 1780, the Battle of Springfield (NJ) occurred. Two weeks earlier on June 7, the wife (Hannah Ogden Caldwell) of Rev. James Caldwell was shot and killed in a house apparently by a British soldier while she was with some of her children. This murder infuriated and aroused the rebellion in New Jersey and the other colonies. On June 23 at the Battle of Springfield, when his company ran out of paper wadding to load bullets for their rifles, Chaplain Caldwell reportedly dashed into the Springfield Presbyterian Church (established in 1745), scooped up as many Isaac Watts hymnals as he could carry, and distributed them to the troops, shouting "put Watts into them, boys."

June 24, 1908

President Grover ClevelandOn June 24, 1908, former President Grover Cleveland died in Princeton, NJ. A Presbyterian, Cleveland (shown in 1903) served as a trustee of Princeton University after his presidency.

June 26, 1846

John S. HuylerOn June 26, 1846, John S. Huyler was born. America's Candy King at the turn of the 20th century, Huyler helped fund the founding of Montreat and served as president of the Mountain Retreat Association from November 1899 to August 21, 1906. He turned Montreat over to the Presbyterian Church, forgiving half of the debt in 1910.

June 26, 1892

Pearl BuckOn June 26, 1892, Pearl Comfort Sydenstricker was born in West Virginia to Presbyterian missionary parents. Raised in China from age 3 months, Pearl married another China missionary, John L. Buck, and served as a Presbyterian missionary to China (1914 to 1933). In 1931, Pearl S. Buck published The Good Earth and won the Pulitzer Prize the following year. She was the first American woman to receive the Nobel Prize for literature in 1938.

June 27, 1857

Elisha MitchellOn June 27, 1857, Presbyterian minister Elisha Mitchell (August 19, 1793 - June 27, 1857) died in a fall surveying the highest mountain peak in the East, just a few miles from what would become Montreat. In 1882 the U.S. Geological Survey confirmed the height and named the peak, Mt. Mitchell.
Ordained by the Presbytery of Orange (Hillsborough, NC) in 1821, the Rev. Dr. Mitchell taught mathematics, natural philosophy, geography and other subjects at the University of North Carolina, as well as preaching at the college's chapel.

June 29, 1936

Whitman monumentOn June 29, 1936, Congress approved a bill creating the Whitman National Monument — to honor the Presbyterian mission of Dr. Marcus and Narcissa Whitman to the Cayuse Indians in 1836 in what became the Oregon territory. The Whitmans were killed by the Native Americans in 1847 after an outbreak of measles was blamed on the missionaries. (Photo courtesy of National Parks Service).

June 30, 1960

1960 Congo IndependenceOn June 30, 1960, the Congo became an independent nation. The American Presbyterian Congo Mission (APCM) had prepared by appointment of a Church-Mission Committee composed of 25 Congolese Church leaders and ten missionaries, to work out the division of responsibilities to be carried by the Church (the Eglise Presbyterienne du Kasai), those to be handled by the Mission and those to be handled jointly by both bodies.
At this time, the APCM had 161 missionaries, the largest staff that it would ever have, with eleven stations scattered across the Kasai region providing the centers for evangelistic, educational and medical work. Within the situation of political instability that followed independence, the Church suffered serious disruption of its life and work. As one observer wrote: “Christians have been and are being subjected for the first time to large-scale persecution and testing, arising out of the necessity to make a choice between tribal loyalties and the atrocities often associated with them, and loyalty to Jesus Christ.” (Photo: signing of Congo independence, Library of Congress.).