Archives + History
Commission on Archives + History
Wondering about your beloved local church history or are you doing family genealogy? The Commission on Archives & History preserves the records and promotes the stories of existing and antecedent Conferences, denominations and local congregations of the United Methodist Church in Indiana. To this end we work alongside the Joint Archives Committee to provide archival services at DePauw University to preserve valuable documents and historical items. Any United Methodist Church member can do free genealogical research on such things as the historical involvement of their family in the church, baptisms, weddings, etc. The Commission also spearheads training for Local Church Historians and oversees UM historical sites around Indiana, among many other things.
INUMC/DePauw University Archives
General Commission on Archives & History
Should you have any questions or for more information, please contact Rev. Paul Wagner of the Connectional Ministries Team by clicking here.
United Methodism in the state of Indiana has an uncommonly rich heritage. In fact, Indiana may be one of the few states to have congregations from all of the major predecessor bodies that became part of what we now think of as the UMC. In addition to congregations from the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Protestant Church, we have a few congregations of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. We also have congregations of the former Evangelical Association, the United Brethren Church, and the Lexington Conference which until 1964 was a segregated conference of the Methodist Church.
U.M. HOOSIER HERITAGE SITE MAP
View the Heritage Map →
Remembering the Merger: 50 Years of the UMC — Articles by Rev. Riley Case
History of UMC — Many Roots, One Church — Article by John Riggs
LOCAL CHURCH HISTORIANS SCHOOL
Every local church needs someone to preserve its records and historic “treasures,” tell the story of its past and inspire its congregation.
Hoosier church historians interested in the story of their church can “go back to school” as the General Commission on Archives and History is offering the local Church Historian’s School. This program was created and originated right here in our Indiana Conference but now has been adopted by the General church nationwide.
This school will be a similar on-line format as used here in Indiana previously and will help people learn how to care for and improve their church’s history program. A wide range of skills and knowledge necessary to become a “complete” church historian will be taught. The only prerequisite is access to email and internet with some minimal computer skills.
The course is an intensive FREE 12-week school via email for local church historians. It does not involve travel, class meetings, exams or deadlines.
Participants learn about which local church documents and artifacts to preserve and how to go about doing it. They also learn how to inspire their local church to learn from their past to inform their present and future ministries. It consists of lessons emailed to students who participate by studying in their own homes (at their own pace) then applying what they learn to their own church settings. Many (as of 2020 more than forty) Indiana persons have graduated as trained local church historians in addition to numerous persons from around the nation and even international U.M. Conferences.
Once again — we in Indiana we are leading the way.
HERITAGE CHURCH AWARD RECOGNITION
The following 3 congregations have, through exemplary historical work in their local churches, achieved the high recognition of being named Indiana UM Heritage Churches:
Brownstown UMC, Brownstown, IN
Franklin Grace UMC, Franklin, IN
High Street UMC, Muncie, IN
You could work toward this recognition and join them! Here’s how:
Indiana U.M. Heritage Church Award — Description
Heritage Church Award Application Form – fillable PDF; please download and save before entering information
INDIANA BICENTENNIAL CHURCHES
Many of our United Methodist Churches have long and storied histories. Through these churches, countless lives have been empowered and changed for God. Annually, the Indiana Conference Commission on Archives and History seeks to identify these Indiana United Methodist churches who are celebrating the Bicentennial year of their founding, and provide them with recognition and visibility. Each of these churches will be provided the opportunity to present a display commemorating their congregation’s 200th anniversary through a display booth at the Indiana Annual Conference Session.
HERE’S WHAT TO SAVE FROM YOUR LOCAL CHURCH FOR HISTORICAL PRESERVATION AND A RECOMMENDED RETENTION SCHEDULE:
INDIANA UM HISTORIANS OF THE YEAR
Info coming soon.
GENEALOGY AND FAMILY RESEARCH
If you have a clergy person in your family tree search here for information.