In March 1933, a group huddled together to watch the cornerstone laying of a new building for the American Junior College for Women in Lebanon.
The photographs that document this momentous occasion are housed in the personal papers of Frances Pryor Irwin. Irwin was appointed by the Board of Foreign Missions to the Syria Mission in 1921 and taught at the American School for Girls in Beirut. In 1924, she assumed the principalship for the newly formed American Junior College for Women and remained in that position until her resignation from missionary service in 1937.
Upon its founding in 1924, the school’s faculty and students lived in rented buildings that served as dormitories. It looks as though the cornerstone ceremony is for a permanent dormitory, which was completed by 1937 and can be seen in the photo below.
March 1950 marked the 50th anniversary of Inter American University of Puerto Rico. Located in San Germán, Puerto Rico, the university celebrated by watching another class of graduates receive their degrees.
The Rev. Donald Harris, son of the institution’s founder, delivered the address at the Founders Day Convocation. Harris (above) sat on the university’s board of trustees and headed all work in the Caribbean for the church.
At the ceremony, the Rev. Diego Rico-Soltero, Superintendent of the Presbytery of Puerto Rico, received an honorary degree. He is seen in the above photograph on the left shaking hands with Dr. James Beverley, President of the University’s Board of Trustees. Dr. Ronald C. Bauer, University President, looks on.
In March 1956, nine American Protestant leaders traveled to Moscow at the invitation of Patriarch Alexei of the Russian Orthodox Church. While on their trip, which was sponsored by the National Council of Churches, the group went sight-seeing in Red Square (above) and visited the Tretiakov Gallery (below).
Among the group of nine were Roswell P. Barnes, Associate General Secretary of the National Council of Churches; Franklin C. Fry, President of the United Lutheran Church in America; the Rev. Henry Knox Sherrill, Presiding Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church; Hubert Gezork, President of Andover Newtown Theological Seminary; Paul B. Anderson, Secretary of the YMCA International Committee; and the Rev. Eugene Carson Blake, President of the National Council of Churches and Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.
March 1970 saw the integration of the American Presbyterian Congo Mission and L’Église Presbytérienne au Congo, or The Presbyterian Church of the Congo. Pictured below is the signing of integration papers by Legal Representative Pastor Bakatushipa Pierre and Pastor Nsenda Joseph, Executive Secretary of the Church.
The first Presbyterian mission station in the Congo was established in Luebo in 1891. Other mission stations started popping up during Belgian rule, the first being founded at Mutoto in 1912. The American Presbyterian Congo Mission (APCM) grew rapidly in the early years of the 20th century — by 1919, it was the largest Protestant mission in the Congo with 48 missionaries and nearly 20,000 communicants. The mission continued to grow until 1959, when L'Église Presbytérienne au Congo organized as an independent ecclesiastical body.
In 1970, the APCM was officially dissolved and its programs integrated into the work of L’Église Presbytérienne au Congo. Dr. R. Matthew Lynn, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the United States in 1970, is seen below speaking at the celebration ceremony in Luebo.
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