BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Of the views of United Methodist history offered at the 17th annual meeting of the Indiana United Methodist Historical Society, Saturday, April 21, one is so sweeping as to cross the Plains states all the way to California. The meeting will be held at First United Methodist Church, 219 East Fourth Street in Bloomington.

Laura Galloway, a staff member of Indiana University, will report on the research she has done relating to a missionary wagon train that traveled from First Methodist Episcopal Church (today First UMC) of Bloomington, Ind., to California in 1850, the time of the historic California Gold Rush.

A chief source for her presentation is a journal kept by a teenage girl whose father, after the family had settled in California, became the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court. A pastor on the same wagon train was the founding president of the University of the Redlands at Redlands, Calif.

More focused geographically will be the afternoon presentation. Gayle Williams, who wrote a dissertation on the secularization of Indiana University from 1820 to 1890 and who now teaches at IUPUI in Indianapolis, will look at the early history of Indiana University when William Daily, a Methodist clergyman, became the third president of IU and Cyrus Nutt, another Methodist clergyman, became the fifth president of IU. Nutt had taught at Indiana Asbury University at Greencastle, now named DePauw University, which continues to be a United Methodist-related university.

The meeting will begin at 9:30 a.m. and end following a 2:30 p.m. tour of First UMC’s building built in 1909. The congregation was organized in 1820.

Registration for the annual meeting including lunch is $15 for members and $17.50 for non-members.

Free parking is available directly across from the church on the south side of Fourth Street. Additional paid parking can be found in a parking garage west of Walnut Street on East Fourth Street, one block from the church.

The Historical Society and the Indiana Conference Commission on Archives and History will be offering a workshop Friday, April 20 for local church historian from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The workshop will highlight case studies of award-winning history programs in small, medium and large membership churches and will feature practical suggestions and resources for both beginning and experienced historians. The cost of the workshop including lunch is $20 for Historical Society members and $30 for non-members.

For more information or to register for one or both of these events, contact Richard Stowe at 765-759-9321. The deadline for both events is April 8.