Ernest R. Higginbotham is the new PHS Board chair. Photo by Fred Tangeman.

Ernest R. Higginbotham is the new PHS Board chair. Photo by Fred Tangeman.

A new face has taken the helm at the Presbyterian Historical Society Board. Ernest R. Higginbotham of Dallas is the new chair of the board, replacing the Rev. Dr. George Abdo, who completed his second term as chair in June.

Higginbotham — a career litigator who is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of Texas School of Law — is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, where he serves as a Sunday school teacher, food program volunteer and president of the First Presbyterian Church of Dallas Foundation. He also serves with the Synod of the Sun as assistant stated clerk.

Higginbotham’s new role comes within weeks of Nancy Taylor’s appointment as acting executive director of the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS).

“Times of transition can be challenging, but fortunately PHS is well positioned on a firm foundation to move forward,” Higginbotham said. “We are blessed to have Nancy at the helm as acting executive director. She is unsurpassed in knowledge of and commitment to PHS. I look forward to working closely with her.”

PHS also welcomed eight new board members in July — the Rev. Dr. Cornell Edmonds (of Princeton Junction, New Jersey), Marsha Heimann (of Allentown, Pennsylvania), Tim Hoogland (of Minnetonka, Minnesota), the Rev. Cindy Jarvis (of Glenside, Pennsylvania), Dr. Yushin Lee (of Elk Grove, California), Michael M. Meloy (of Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania), the Rev. Gradye Parsons (of Kodak, Tennessee), and the Rev. Dr. John Wilkinson (of Rochester, New York).

Higginbotham said he is looking forward to working with the incoming board.

“We have new members who bring great experience and expertise. We are focused on getting them up to speed and engaged in the work of the Board to complement our excellent continuing members.”

Higginbotham’s leadership will provide vital support to PHS’s mission, including its Pam Byers Memorial LGBTQIA+ Collecting Initiative and African American Leaders and Congregations Initiative.

“We’re thrilled to announce Ernie’s new position as board chair,” said Taylor. “His experience and enthusiasm for PHS, the Office of the General Assembly and the entire PC(USA) has assured our staff that they’ll be supported in all their work.”