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PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN

PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN is descended from a number of Presbyterian organizations, including the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society of the Presbyterian Church of Cleveland organized on 12 June 1872 at Second Presbyterian Church. That group had grown out of the Parlor Missionary Society, organized in 1833 at FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH (OLD STONE). The Woman's Foreign Missionary Society originally met in members' homes and prepared boxes for Presbyterian foreign missionaries. At its first annual meeting, on 10 Sept. 1873, the group reorganized and became the Woman's Presbyterial Foreign Missionary Society, composed of representatives from women's auxiliaries of Presbyterian churches in and around Cleveland. In 1893 the name changed to the Women's Foreign Missionary Society of Cleveland Presbytery. Its purposes continued to be to provide information about missionary projects, to stimulate interest in foreign mission, to promote the formation of local Foreign Missionary Societies (auxiliaries), and to aid the Women's Foreign Missionary Society of the Pennsylvania Church, headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. The society merged with the Woman's Home Missionary Society in 1914 and became part of the United Society of Woman's Home & Foreign Mission Societies of Cleveland Presbytery.

The Woman's Presbyterial Home Missionary Society, composed of representatives from local Presbyterian church auxiliaries, was established on 10 Apr. 1881 at the Euclid Ave. Presbyterian Church to coordinate and support individual mission group activities. The society organized additional auxiliaries in local churches to support projects established by the Woman's Executive Committee of Home Missions (headquartered in New York City).

The first annual meeting of the new United Society of Woman's Home & Foreign Missionary Societies of Cleveland Presbytery was held on 3 Mar. 1915 at CALVARY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. The society served as a liaison between local auxiliaries and the National Mission Boards and supported local and international Presbyterian mission. In 1924 it became known as the Presbyterial Missionary Society of Cleveland Presbytery, and in 1942 as the Cleveland Presbyterial Society for Missions. In Aug. 1956, with the cooperation of the CUYAHOGA COUNTY JUVENILE COURT, the Presbyterial established Project Friendship, Inc., to help adolescent girls referred by the court; it became an independent ecumenical agency in 1972. In Apr. 1973 the name changed to the Western Reserve Presbyterial Assn. Its first annual meeting under the new name was held at FAIRMOUNT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. In July 1988 the organization again changed names, becoming Presbyterian Women.


See also RELIGION, PRESBYTERIANS, WOMEN.