Woman's Society of Christian Service of the Philadelphia Conference of the Methodist Church records
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
The Woman's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church was formed in 1880 (11 years after the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society), although it was not until a decade later that the Society was recognized by the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. It ran industrial homes for people of various races, training schools for missionaries and deaconesses, orphanages, nursery schools, religious schools, retirement homes for missionaries, visiting nurse programs, and other projects.
The Woman's Home Missionary Society of the Philadelphia Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church was organized during the 1883 session of the Philadelphia Annual Conference and formally chartered in 1892. According to its charter, its purpose was "carrying on Missionary Work among the destitute and needy, and to establish and maintain one or more Deaconess Homes." The local Woman's Home Missionary Service opened its first immigrant home near Philadelphia's steamship landing in 1889. By 1922, the Philadelphia Deaconess Home was the largest in the United States, with an attendance of about 95,000, 1,800 enrollees in Daily Vacation Bible School, and 4,000 clinic visitors. One of the Philadelphia Home Missionary Society's longest-running programs was an Esther Hall, a boarding home for women coming to Philadelphia for study or employment. Located at 20th and Mount Vernon Streets, it opened in 1925 and remained in operation until 1973.
In 1939, when the Methodist Episcopal Church; the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; and the Methodist Protestant Church merged to form the Methodist Church, the various women's groups of the three uniting churches including home and foreign missionary societies were joined, becoming the Woman's Society of Christian Service of the Methodist Church. After the Methodist Church's 1968 union with the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the women's organizations in the new United Methodist Church merged in 1972 to become the United Methodist Women.
United Methodist Women. "Living the Legacy: The Continuing Journey of Women in Mission." 2002. Accessed August 26, 2014. http://prod.umwomen.org:88/about/history/timeline.
Woman's Home Missions, vol. XXXIX, no. 4 (April 1922). Accessed August 26, 2014. Woman's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church. http://books.google.com/books?id=dHbQAAAAMAAJ.
"Outline History of Esther Hall, Philadelphia" and Charter. Documents found in collection.
The collection includes: minutes (incomplete) 1919-1969; treasury ledgers and other financial documents, 1940-1970; Trust Fund ledgers, 1936-1955; annual reports of several foreign and domestic missionary groups, 1893-1940; scrapbook; newsletters; records of Esther Hall; and yearbooks, 1956-1973.
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.
- United Methodist Church (U.S.)
- Woman's Society of Christian Service of the Philadelphia Conference of the Methodist Church
- Methodist women
- Women in the Methodist Church
- Women volunteers in social service
- Women--Societies and clubs
- 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.