Pearl ID:145689. All photos from the Presbyterian Historical Society collections.

Pearl ID:145689.  All photos from the Presbyterian Historical Society collections.

In February 1926, the Chungju Women’s Bible Institute saw its first class graduate from their studies. The eight-woman class is pictured above in white, with the institute’s faculty standing behind them.

The Chungju Women’s Bible Institute was established in Korea by missionaries sent by the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.’s Board of Foreign Missions in the early years of the 20th century. Presbyterian work in Korea began in 1884, when two missionaries from the Shanghai mission in China were transferred to Seoul. Eventually, nine mission stations were established, with the Chungju Mission opening in 1908.

On February 15, 1956, no space could be found in the pews of St. Andrew’s Church in Nairobi, Kenya. The sanctuary pictured above was filled with a crowd ready to celebrate the creation of an autonomous Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA).

The former native Presbyterian Church of East Africa joined with the Church of Scotland’s Overseas Presbytery of Kenya Colony to create a united church. In 1892, the “East African Scottish Mission” was established in Kibwezi by two independent missionaries, Sir William Mackinnon and Alexander Low Bruce.

Mackinnon’s and Bruce’s mission was handed over to the Church of Scotland near the end of the 20th century, after both founders had died. For many years the church depended on financial and personnel assistance from Scotland, until it established autonomy in 1956.

In February 1966, a ceremonial shovel was dug into icy ground to signify the growth of Norriton Presbyterian Church in Norristown, Pennsylvania. A chapel and education building would be built where the groundbreaking ceremony took place in the above photo.

Norriton Presbyterian Church was founded in 1678. The original church building was erected in 1698 and still stands tall today, one of the oldest Presbyterian Church buildings in the country.

While frozen ground was being broken in Pennsylvania, a new pastor was being welcomed at The Church of the Master in Atlanta, Georgia. Within the personal papers of the Rev. Dr. James Costen lives a program pictured above from his installation ceremony, held February 27, 1966.

In 1965, Costen received the call to serve as pastor at Church of the Master. He was integral in establishing the church, which was deliberately organized as the first interracial Presbyterian congregation in Atlanta. He served as pastor there until 1969, when he became dean of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary.

Costen (whose church leadership is featured in February by the Presbyterian Historical Society) visited Kenya for the first time in 1974, where he built relationships with the Presbyterian Church of East Africa mentioned above — almost 20 years after the church became autonomous. He would go on to work with the PCEA in various positions.

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