The Presbyterian Historical Society welcomed eight new board members to Philadelphia during its September board meeting.
The incoming class—the Reverend Dr. Cornell Edmonds (Princeton Junction, N.J.), Marsha Heimann (Allentown, Pa.), Tim Hoogland (Minnetonka, Minn.), the Reverend Cindy Jarvis (Glenside, Pa.), Dr. Yushin Lee (Elk Grove, Calif.), Michael M. Meloy (Swarthmore, Pa.), the Reverend Gradye Parsons (Kodak, Tenn.), and the Reverend Dr. John Wilkinson (Philadelphia, Pa.) — is the largest at PHS in a decade.
During the meeting, Acting Executive Director Nancy J. Taylor led a tour of the Society’s holdings. The freshmen board members met staff and were treated to highlights from the collections, including a trip to the recently updated meeting room that features highlights from the Religious News Service Photograph collection.
The board supports the mission of the Presbyterian Historical Society — to collect, preserve, and share its history — through strategic direction, oversight, financial stability, and advocacy. Members are elected to four-year terms by the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly and confirmed by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
“I’ve been a PHS fan, advocate, researcher, and patron for a long time,” said John Wilkinson. “I believe in its mission.”
Marsha Heimann, former Stated Clerk of Lehigh Presbytery, is also a longtime proponent of PHS. “I’m impressed by the dedication of the staff and the board of directors who provide guidance and support to fulfill the mission of PHS.”
Gradye Parsons made repeated visits to Philadelphia during his tenure as Stated Clerk of the PC(USA). Now that he has joined the PHS Board, Parsons intends to “help keep this treasure a vital Presbyterian resource for years to come.”
Taylor said she is excited to begin working with the new group. “They brought a wealth of energy and ideas to our recent meeting, and I’m eager for PHS staff and supporters to get to know them better.”
The new board members are looking forward to engaging with Presbyterian history and figuring out ways to tell a more inclusive story of the denomination. Edmonds, pastor at Church of the Covenant in New York City, is interested in his congregation’s “missional outreach to the marginalized in the 1800s, which intersects with the evolution of Black Presbyterianism in New York City.”
Lee, of the National Caucus of Korean Presbyterian Churches, hopes he can help PHS “document the lives, work, and witness of Korean American Presbyterians in the PC(USA).”
Hoogland, who recently retired from the Minnesota Historical Society, can’t wait to get to work. “Just knowing the wealth of history collected by PHS and how its potential can be tapped to revitalize the understanding of how Presbyterians have been connected to social movements across the country — and the world — is inspiring.”