Reunification of New School and Old School Presbyterians
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Time Period
1869
Description
Several factors played into the decision of both New School and Old School Presbyterians to reunite after the division of 1837. The Old School wing had grown at a significantly faster rate than the New School had. In part, this was because New School Presbyterians lost many New England churches to Congregationalism after New School congregations opted out of their union with Congregationalists. The reunion also was fueled by the spirit of wartime unity, with southern representatives from both the New School and Old School decided to form a new denomination in support of slavery.

Despite vehement objections from prominent Old School leader Charles Hodge, the two sides overwhelmingly voted to join their churches in 1869.

Meanwhile, Presbyterians remained divided into northern and southern branches, which took more than a hundred years for those groups to reunite.

Visit the ARDA's Presbyterian Family Tree for a visual depiction of Presbyterian schisms and mergers over time.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Presbyterian Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Groups
Presbyterian-Reformed Family: Other ARDA Links

Biographies
Hodge, Charles
Photographs

Certificate of Reunion- Hathi Trust- from Presbyterian Reunion, A Memorial Volume

Third Presbyterian Church, Pittsburg PA, where the Reunion Convention was held- Hathi Trust- from Presbyterian Reunion, A Memorial Volume

J Trumbull Backus, moderator of the 1870 Reunified General Assembly- Hathi Trust- from Presbyterian Reunion, A Memorial Volume

Chairmen of the Reunion Committee- Hathi Trust- from Presbyterian Reunion, A Memorial Volume

Chart of divisions and reunions in American Presbyterianism- Hathi Trust- from The Story of Southern Presbyterians by T. Watson Street
Book/Journal Source(s)
Ahlstrom, Sydney, 2004. A Religious History of the American People. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Web Page Contributor
Paul Matzko
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in History

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