wsparkman

About

My name is Wayne Sparkman, and I am the director of the PCA Historical Center–the denominational archives of the Presbyterian Church in America.  The archives is a ministry of the PCA Stated Clerk’s Office and is located in St. Louis, Missouri, on the campus of Covenant Theological Seminary.

Currently the PCA Historical Center holds the records of six conservative Presbyterian denominations and their agencies, as well as the manuscript collections of over 100 people connected with those denominations.  Additionally, the Center houses historical materials on about seven hundred different congregations.  A modest research library, with about five thousand volumes, serves to provide context and augment the Center’s holdings.  Finding aids for many of the Center’s collections can be found at the PCA Historical Center web site, at http://www.pcahistory.org

The purpose of this blog is primarily to provide a convenient place for the founding fathers of the PCA to share their stories.  Certainly others are welcome to join in, too.  And from time to time I will post an interesting historical tidbit.

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  1. Do you happen to know the gents in your header photo? I’m certain I grew up under the tutelage and preaching of the second from the left.

    Jason

    • Viewing the picture from the front as we do, the man on the left end of the photo is, I think, the Rev. Don Patterson. Next to him is ruling elder Kenneth S. Keyes, then Rev. G. Aiken Taylor and Rev. Paul Settle. For the moment, I am lacking the name of the man on the right side of the photo.
      So, Patterson, Keyes, Taylor, Settle, _____, in that order, left to right, from the viewer’s perspective.

  2. This may be a tough one…I’m looking for minutes/notes from pre-formation meetings, outlining in some detail the reasons for leaving/forming the new denomination. I was a member of the 1st Presby Church in Macon during that time. Our paster, Dr. Richardson, would attend General Assembly (we were still a PCUSA church), return to our church and tell us what happened and why the split was necessary. I was attending college and not a Christian at that time, so I don’t recall much about the specifics.

    This has come up recently in a local Presby church that is still in the “old” denomination. Every time the PCA is mentioned, some of the members always say, “Oh, that’s the denomination that doesn’t allow women to be ordained or serve as elders.” I know there were other reasons the PCA was formed. I’d like to see the notes from meetings where those reasons were set out, if such notes exist. I’m embarrassed to have to ask – I’m a RTS grad and worked in 2 PCA churches – I should know more about this; however, most of what I know is anecdotal, and I’d like to provide documented fact…

    I didn’t know this blog existed until I started looking for info; you’re doing a great service – thanks! I appreciate any info or guidance you can provide.

  3. Dorothy:

    Thanks for a great question. There are of course a number of good resources that I can put together to help answer your questions. One particularly interesting one that comes to mind is a tape recording from a congregational meeting where both sides sent representatives to make their case for leaving or staying. It may be some time before I can migrate that content to a CD, but there are certainly other materials available that provide good answers to those questions. Please send me an email, archivist AT pcahistory [dot] org, and we can discuss this further.

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