Missionary Stories at Log College Press

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If the history of missions work by American Presbyterians interests you, there is a goldmine to be discovered among the writings available at Log College Press. As Robert Dabney Bedinger wrote, “The providences of God run through the American Presbyterian Congo Mission like the vein of gold through the stratum of rock.” The stories that are told in these volumes will enrich, educate and inspire. Readers can explore the world and learn how the gospel has gone forth to all four corners of the planet.

We have many volumes by and about missionaries on the Missions page. Today we wish to highlight some of the new additions that tell the story in particular of Southern Presbyterian foreign missions, as well as other volumes that have been available here for some time. Within the following memoirs and historical accounts are told the stories men and women who followed the call of Christ to foreign lands to testify of his goodness and the gospel of his free grace by their lives and labors. Additionally, some have served as educators, translators, diplomats, medical workers and more to help those in need and to advance cross-cultural understanding and appreciation. Take time to get to know these stories. Pray for these lands. And consider the promise of God that “all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Num. 14.21).

General

  • Samuel Hall Chester, LIghts and Shadows of Mission Work in the Far East: Being the Record of Observations Made During a Visit to the Southern Presbyterian Missions in Japan, China, and Korea in the year 1897 (1899)

  • Thomas Cary Johnson, A Brief Sketch of the Missions of the Southern Presbyterian Church (1895)

  • Henry Francis Williams, In Four Continents: A Sketch of the Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, U.S. (1910)

Africa

China

  • Hampden Coit DuBose, Preaching in Sinim (1893)

  • John Leighton Stuart, Fifty Years in China: The Memoirs of John Leighton Stuart, Missionary and Ambassador (1954)

  • Henry Francis Williams, Along the Grand Canal: The Mid-China Mission of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1911) and North of the Yangtze: The North Kiangsu Mission of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1911)

  • Samuel Isett Woodbridge, Sr., Fifty Years in China: Being Some Account of the History and Conditions in China and of the Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States there from 1867 to the present day (1919)

Japan

  • Lois Johnson Erickson, The White Fields of Japan: Being Some Account of the History and Conditions in Japan and of the Mission of the Presbyterian Church in the United States there from 1885 to the Present Day (1923)

  • Egbert Watson Smith, Present Day Japan (1920)

  • Henry Francis Williams, In the Mikado’s Empire: The Japan Mission of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1912)

Korea

  • Anabel Major Nisbet, Day In and Day Out in Korea: Being Some Account of the Mission Work that has been carried on in Korea since 1892 by the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1920)

  • Henry Francis Williams, In the Hermit Land: The Korea Mission of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1912)

Latin America

  • William Alfred Ross, Sunrise in Aztec Land: Being an Account of the Mission Work that has been carried on in Mexico since 1874 by the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1922)

  • Henry Francis Williams, In Mexico and Cuba: The Near-Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1912)

South America

  • Henry Francis Williams, In South America: The Brazil Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the United States (1910) and In Brazil: Our Missions in Brazil (1917)

A Visit to the South Carolina Lowcountry

Charleston, South Carolina is a city famous, among other things, for its historic churches. A walking tour of the city, especially along Meeting Street, offers the opportunity to travel through time as it were and explore places of worship and graveyards that continue to testify to the faith of our forefathers.

This writer had such an opportunity recently and was privileged to visit such churches in Charleston and the surrounding vicinity. A trip to Elmwood Cemetery, Columbia, SC, was part of the experience as well, where John Lafayette Girardeau, James Henley Thornwell and George Andrew Blackburn were laid to rest between 100 and 150 years ago.

Having consulted several resources beforehand — Erskine Clarke, Our Southern Zion: A History of Calvinism in the South Carolina Low Country, 1690-1990; Charles E. Raynal, Johns Island Presbyterian Church: Its People and Its Community From Colonial Beginnings to the Twenty-First Century; George Howe, History of the Presbyterian Church in South Carolina; and Joanne Calhoun, The Circular Church: Three Centuries of Charleston History — I made my way first to the Johns Island Presbyterian Church (founded in 1710, its building dates to 1719 — three hundred years ago now). As with many of the churches I toured, the graveyard is an ever-present Memento mori. Next on the tour was the James Island Presbyterian Church (founded in 1706). Both of these churches were established by Archibald Stobo, a Presbyterian pioneer who also founded the first presbytery in the Western Hemisphere, as well as in the southern United States. He established other churches in the area which I do hope to visit on a future tour.

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In Charleston proper, my walking tour began with a visit to the Unitarian Church, which began its existence in 1774 as the Archdale Street Meeting House, founded by Dissenters who branched off from what we know now as the Circular Congregational Church, originally a mixed Independent and Presbyterian Church, itself founded in 1685. William Tennent III (grandson of the founder of the original Log College) is buried on the grounds of the Unitarian Church, though he was no Unitarian. The fan vault ceiling is modeled after the one at King’s College Chapel, Cambridge.

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Next, was the First Scots Presbyterian Church on Meeting Street (founded in 1731). It was another breakaway from the Circular Congregational Church, by a decidedly Presbyterian group. George Buist is buried in the church graveyard.

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Further along Meeting Street is the Circular Congregational Church, a remarkable architectural and spiritual landmark, where I paid my respects at the graves of David Ramsay and Benjamin Morgan Palmer (1781-1847).

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After this, I visited the Second Presbyterian Church of Charleston (founded in 1811), where I was given a tour of the sanctuary and the graveyard (Thomas Smyth and John Bailey Adger are laid to rest there).

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Also on my tour I worshiped at the Independent Presbyterian Church of Savannah, Georgia (founded in 1755). At each stop along the way, I was reminded that the past is not dead, and American Presbyterians are not irrelevant. The old Presbyterian history of the South Carolina lowcountry is very much alive for those with eyes to see.