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Today in OPC History

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June 28

Louise Gilbert

Mrs. Louise J. Gilbert retired on this date in 1962 after more than twenty-five years as secretary of both the Committee on Foreign Missions and the Committee on Home Missions. She was hired in the fall of 1936, a few months after the denomination began. Mr. Thomas R. Birch, the managing editor of The Presbyterian Guardian, first interviewed her for the position. She started working when the OPC headquarters were located at the Commonwealth Building and later at the Schaff Building in downtown Philadelphia. She completed her years of service in the OPC Administrative Offices known as “7401” Old York Road.

Over the years, Mrs. Gilbert worked for J. Gresham Machen, Edwin Rian, Robert Marsden, Leroy Oliver, and John P. Galbraith, for whom she labored the longest. She was known as one who worked efficiently, faithfully, and cheerfully.

At a farewell banquet when she retired, Mrs. Gilbert was surprised with a gift box containing more than 500 silver dollars, all of which had been contributed by many churches and individuals. The Committee on Home Missions and the Committee on Foreign Missions both offered resolutions of thanks for her service. Mr. Galbraith expressed his deepest appreciation for the devoted and unstinting labors which she had performed for the Committee, for the foreign missionaries of OPC, and for the church as a whole.

Picture: Louise Gilbert

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