Presbyterian Historical Society to Hold Public Consultation

The PHS will explore aspects of its operations, technology, growth and effectiveness, during a forum open to the public
( [email protected] ) Aug 16, 2004 09:20 PM EDT

A task force assigned with determining the future role and direction of the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) will begin its public meeting tomorrow at the PHS building in Philadelphia, PA. Throughout the three-day conference, the Warner Yakel Task Force will consider “significant changes in the historical society’s funds development structure, realignment of staff responsibilities and the development of a new governance model.”

The PHS, as the national archives and research center of the Presbyterian Church (USA), has collected the history of the American Presbyterian and Reformed tradition long before the PC(USA) came into existence in 1983.

Three years ago, the Warner Yakel Task Force was formed to look specifically at the “technology needs for PHS” and to explore “consolidation of PHS operations.” The upcoming conference is the latest in the series of meetings on the issue.

According to Sharon K. Youngs, Communications Coordinator of the PC(USA) Office of the General Assembly, the task force’s deliberations will begin with a public consultation on the future of PHS.

“All interested groups and individuals are invited to attend the consultation from 4-6 p.m.,” Youngs wrote. “Sign up for speaking times will begin at 3:45 that afternoon.

Following what is gathered from this meeting, the task force will make a report to the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA) and the new governing board of the PHS this fall.

Members of the task force include: elder Steve Grace (Midland, Mich.), moderator of COGA; the Rev. Catherine Ulrich (Fort Smith, Ark.), also a COGA representative; Burnett Kelly (Midland, Mich.), who represents the Committee on the Presbyterian Historical Society, and elder Walter Baker (Mound, Minn.), the General Assembly Council representative. Members-at-large include elder Jim Henderson (Montreat, N.C.), the Rev. Richard Ray (Bristol, Tenn.), and the Rev. Cliff Kirkpatrick, stated clerk of the General Assembly. Fred Heuser, director of the historical society, and Margery Sly, deputy director, serve as staff to the task force.

The PHS, has its headquarters is in Philadelphia, a regional office in Montreat and a records management program in Louisville, Ky. Following the main role of the society – to collect and to share historical information about the American reformed family – allows scholars, genealogists and the general public access to the historical collections.

For more information on the PHS, please visit online at: