Wu Ting
How would you interpret this phrase “the Second Presbyterian church”? Mrs. A. E. Eberhard, president of the Women’s Group, presided. State Senator William Hannig led the group singing. The invocation was delivered by the Rev. Philip Goertz, pastor of the Second Presbyterian church, and the benediction was pronounced by the Rev. W. Carroll Thorn, of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. How would you interpret this phrase “the Second Presbyterian church”? Does it mean the second church of the Presbyterian? Or does it mean the church of the Second Presbyterian? Is there a denomination named “the Second Presbyterian”? Thanks. And this excerpt is taken from The Lacuna by Kingsolver.
Jul 8, 2015 2:33 AM
Answers · 1
There is no "Second Presbyterian" denomination that I know of. This most likely means that this church was the second Presbyterian church founded in that particular town. Keep in mind that there may be even more of them; perhaps a Third Presbyterian or Fourth Presbyterian, depending on how large the Presbyterian population is in the town. Banks are notorious for names like this. Any town in the US with a population of 10,000 people probably has a First National Bank. Officially, it will probably be the "First National Bank of <Town Name>", but everyone will simply refer to it as First National Bank. However, since no one likes being #2, you rarely see a Second National Bank (or church, for that matter). Instead, they'll name it something more generic; for instance, perhaps using the name of the bank's founder.
July 9, 2015
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Wu Ting
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Chinese (Mandarin), English, French
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