This Week In History

January 3, 1816

On January 3, 1816, the first issue of The Boston Recorder was issued. One of the early religious news periodicals in America, the Boston Recorder was founded by Nathaniel Willis.

January 4, 1947Rev. Peter Marshall

On Jan. 4, 1947, the U.S. Senate appointed The Rev. Peter Marshall as chaplain. Reverend Marshall was the pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.

January 5, 1856Time Magazine

On January 5, 1877, Henry Sloan Coffin was born. The self-described "liberal evangelical," Reverend Coffin would lead those promoting the Auburn Affirmation. The Affirmation argued that presbyteries had latitude in licensing and ordaining ministers. It was a culmination of a 30-year battle between self-described Fundamentalists and Moderates. Eventually, the Presbyterian Church (USA) would affirm "the power of its faith to hold together diverse views and beliefs." Rev. Coffin served as pastor of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church and then president of Union Theological Seminary (New York City) from 1926 - 1945, as well as moderator in 1943 of the Presbyterian Church (USA). At right is the Time Magazine cover from Nov. 15, 1926.

January 6, 1883Lucy Craft Laney

On January 6, 1883, Lucy Craft Laney (shown right) opened the first school for black children in Augusta, Georgia. Supported by the Christ Presbyterian Church (USA), the school started with six students in the basement of the church then located at 10 and Telfair Street. In 1885, the first class was graduated. At that time, the school had grown to 234 students. Thye school was later expanded and renamed the Haines Normal School in honor of financial benefactor Mrs. Francine E. H. Haines, President of the Woman's Department of the Presbyterian Church (USA).