Held at: Historical Society of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church [Contact Us]235 N. Fourth Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19106
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Historical Society of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Methodism is a protestant Christian faith based in the teachings of John Wesley (1703-1791), who preached "practical divinity," emphasis on Christian living, and putting faith and love into action. The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1784 in Baltimore, Maryland with Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke as its first bishops and held its first general conference in 1792. In May of 1939, the Methodist Episcopal Church; the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; and the Methodist Protestant Church united to form the Methodist Church (U.S.). In 1946 the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (New constitution) and the Evangelical Church united to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. In 1968 the Methodist Church (U.S.) and the Evangelical United Brethren Church united, forming the United Methodist Church (U.S.).
The territory of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church (U.S.) covers sixteen counties in the southeastern quarter of the state of Pennsylvania, roughly from Philadelphia to Harrisburg. The Historical Society of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, founded in the 1860s, is one of the oldest in the United Methodist Church. It works in partnership with the appointed members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference's Commission on Archives and History.
This collection consists of small amounts of records from various closed United Methodist churches (and predecessor denominations, Methodist churches and Methodist Episcopal churches) within the boundaries of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, roughly ranging from Philadelphia to Harrisburg. The amount of documentation varies by church, but there is less than one linear foot of material for each of the churches included in this collection. The materials consist largely of vital records (birth, marriage, baptism, and death), membership records, trustees' minutes, and Quarterly Conference minutes. Many other types of documents, such as Sunday School records, photographs, event programs, and newspaper clippings, can also be found. The collection is organized into three series: I. Files, II. Volumes, and III. Boxes.
Series I. Files includes materials not entered into the official records of the church, but that document its history and activities. There are only one or a few folders dedicated to each church. Included are anniversary publications, newsletters/bulletins, newspaper clippings, and a smattering of photographs, deeds, letters, and other unique documents. A detailed inventory of the contents of the closed church files is available through St. George's United Methodist Church's website: http://bot.historicstgeorges.vm-host.net/sites/default/files/Philadelphia%20Churches.pdf.
Series II. Volumes consists mainly of church registers with membership, birth, death, and baptismal records. Some minute books, Sunday School records, and other records are also included. A detailed inventory exists for this series, featuring basic historical information about each church (start date, end date, location, information about mergers), as well as years covered by each document type. It is available through St. George's United Methodist Church's website: http://bot.historicstgeorges.vm-host.net/sites/default/files/Church%20Records.pdf.
Series III. Boxes contains Quarterly Conference records, trustees' minutes, Charge Conference records, finance and property-related documents, and some membership, anniversary, and various other types of materials. Separate inventories of individual churches' records are available on-site. The following churches are represented: Bangor, Salem Beaver Meadows UMC Boyertown, Ebenezer Catasauqua, Emanuel EUB Cherry Valley Charge Cressona UMC (Schuylkill County) Drexel Hill, Church of the Covenant UMC Erdenheim, St. Mark UMC Feltonville UMC Havertown Korean Middle Smithfield, Brick Philadelphia, Abigail Vare Philadelphia, Asbury UMC Philadelphia, C. C. Hancock Philadelphia, Christ Philadelphia, Cookman Philadelphia, Elmwood UMC Philadelphia, Emmanuel EUB Philadelphia, Faith UMC Philadelphia, Green Street UMC Philadelphia, Hedding Philadelphia, Lawndale Philadelphia, Manship Philadelphia, Mantua Philadelphia, Memorial Philadelphia, Mt. Airy Philadelphia, Mt. Pisgah Philadelphia, New Market (Front Street) Philadelphia, Norwegian-Danish Mission Philadelphia, St. Paul's Philadelphia, Twelfth Street Philadelphia, West Park Avenue Philadelphia, Western Phoenixville, Bethesda Raubsville UMC Reading, Covenant Reading, Ebenezer Sharon Hill UMC Snydertown
The Historical Society of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church is the repository for records of member churches when they close.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Historical Society of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church directly for more information.
- Historical Society of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact Historical Society of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church for information about accessing this collection.