Presbyterian Church in the U.S.
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Time Period
1861
Description
The Presbyterian Church in the U.S. (PCUS) formed as a result of southern Presbyterians withdrawing from the main national body of Presbyterianism during the Civil War. After Confederates fired on Fort Sumter (April 12-14, 1861), the General Assembly of the northern Presbyterian Church met in Philadelphia and declared its loyalty to the United States. However, most of the southern delegates were not present. The decision to make such an important political decision without them was a proverbial "slap in the face." Southern presbyteries began to withdraw from the main national body and formed the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States (later named the Presbyterian Church in the United States) in December of 1861.

It would take more than a century (1983) for the denomination to finally reunite with the main national Presbyterian body.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Presbyterian-Reformed Family: Other ARDA Links

Movements
Abolitionism
Photographs

First Presbyterian Church, Augusta GA, where the first General Assembly PCUS was held- Library of Congress, HABS GA-2113

Joseph Wilson, a founder of the PCUS and its first permanent stated clerk- Hathi Trust- from Encyclopaedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States by Alfred Nevin

Benjamin Palmer, first moderator for the Southern General Assembly- Hathi Trust- from Encyclopaedia of the Presbyterian Church in the United States by Alfred Nevin

Chart of divisions and reunions in American Presbyterianism- Hathi Trust- from The Story of Southern Presbyterians by T. Watson Street
Book/Journal Source(s)
Melton, J. Gordon, 2009. Melton's Encyclopedia of American Religions, Eighth Edition. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale.
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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