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ARCHIVES OF THE SUSQUEHANNA CONFERENCE OF THE UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Preserving and Celebrating Our United Methodist Heritage in Central and Northeast Pennsylvania

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Online Databases

 

SUMMARY

1. Pastors
2. Churches
3. Memoirs
4. Conference Historical Society Publications
5. Archival Shelf Holdings List and Finding Aids
6. Vertical Files and Item Collections
7. Archival Boxed Collections
8. Other Items
9. Digital Version of Relevant Histories

 

1. Pastors

These files give basic information (birth, death, spouse, appointments, obituary reference, notes and other relevant references) as described below.

a. Central Pennsylvania Evangelical Pastors [in progress] includes every person known to have (1) been licensed or ordained by the Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Evangelical [and Evangelical Association and United Evangelical] Church or (2) served an appointment in that Conference 1839-1964.

b. Central Pennsylvania Methodist Pastors  includes every person known to have (1) been licensed or ordained in the East Baltimore (1856-1868) or Central Pennsylvania (1868-1970) Conferences of the Methodist Episcopal [and Methodist] Church or (2) served an appointment in those conferences 1856-1970.

c. Central Pennsylvania Methodist Protestant Pastors [in progress] includes every Central Pennsylvania person known to have (1) been licensed or ordained by the Baltimore, Eastern, New York, or Pennsylvania Conference of the Methodist Protestant [and 1878-1883 Methodist] Church or (2) served a Central Pennsylvania appointment in one of those Conferences.

d. Pennsylvania UB Pastors includes every person known to have (1) been licensed or ordained in Pennsylvania by the Pennsylvania, East Pennsylvania or Allegheny Conferences of the United Brethren [and EUB] Church or (2) served an appointment in one of those Conferences.

e. Wyoming Conference Pastors [in progress] includes every person known to have served a church or in or been given ministerial credentials by the Wyoming Conference (north-east Pennsylvania and south-central New York) from its creation in 1852 until its dissolution in 2010. The link to the current state of this file is at the very bottom of this page.

f. Susquehanna Conference Pastors [in progress] includes every person known to have been licensed or ordained in the Susquehanna (1964-70), Central Pennsylvania (1970-2010), or Susquehanna (2010 onward) Conferences within United Methodism. Persons who served an appointment in one of those Conferences but who were originally licensed or ordained in Conferences included in sections a-e above are listed with those Conferences in sections a-e and are not duplicated in the Susquehanna Conference list.

 

2. Churches

The following are works in progress. The goal is to have two links, one to closed churches and one to present churches, that will give information arranged by county about every United Methodist (and predecessor denomination) church building known to have existed within the boundaries of the present Susquehanna Conference.

a. Closed Churches

b. Open Churches

 

3. Memoirs

a. Allegheny Conference Memoirs gives an alphabetic list of all obituaries appearing in the journals of the Allegheny Conference  of the United Brethren and Evangelical United Brethren denominations from its creation in 1839 until its dissolution in 1951.

b.  Central Pennsylvania Conference United Methodist Memoirs  gives an alphabetic list of all obituaries appearing in the journals of the Central Pennsylvania Conference (1970-2010) for pastors, spouses of pastors, and missionaries.

c.  Wyoming Conference Memoirs gives a complete alphabetic list of all formal obituaries appearing in the Wyoming Conference of the Methodist Episcopal and Methodist and United Methodist denominations from its creation in 1852 until its dissolution in 2010.

d. Susquehanna Conference United Methodist Memoirs gives an alphabetic list of all obituaries appearing in the journals of the new Susquehanna Conference (2011 onward) for pastors, spouses of pastors, and missionaries.

e. Evangelial Messenger Obituary Index.  This link takes you to another site that gives information (subject, dates, other persons mentioned in the obituary, etc.) for evey obituary appearing in the Evangelical Messenger 1848-1935 of  the Evangelical Association  (1838-1922) and the Evangelical Church (1922-1935).  Information is given on purchasing  copies of the obituaries.

f. GCAH Obituary index.  This link takes you to another site that gives information (subject, dates, etc.) for every obituary appearing in the journals in collection of the General Commission on Archives and History for the various conferences of the United Methodist Chruch and its predecessor denominations.  Information is given on purchasing copies of the obituaries.  Be patient.  This link is sometimes slow to respond.

g. Obituary and Marriage index for The Evangelical (1887-1922) of the United Evangelical Church.  A complete index and complete microfilm collection of  The Evangelicall is available at the conference archives.  Copyright   arrangements  prevent placing  the index on line, but  information may be obtained by contacting the archives.

4. Conference Historical Society Publications:

a. The Chronicle: The Historical Society has produced a quality scholarly yet readable journal every year beginning in 1990.  Some back issues are available, and several libraries and other facilities have complete sets, but the volumes and the information they contain are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. All the back issues (some with minor corrections to the original printed versions) are now on line.

b. James M. Black and Friends, Contributions of Williamsport PA to American Gospel Music.

c. Autobiography of John Fohl

d. Early Evangelical Association Hymn Writers Associated with New Berlin PA

5. Archival Shelf Holdings List and Finding Aids: [in progress]

The shelved material in the main archives is arranged in three collections. Major sections within each collection are identified with a 3-letter code. Following are the explanations for each collection/section and a link to a complete listing for each. The spine label for each item contains 2 or 3 lines: the first line gives the 3-letter identifying code for the particular section, with the remaining line(s) as explained within each collection.

5.1. General Collection

ACP - Central Pennsylvania authors, in alphabetical order by author. The second line of the spine label gives the first three letters of the author's surname. This collection includes published general theological or historical material, by authors with a direct connection to Central Pennsylvania United Methodism.

ANM - non-Methodist authors, in alphabetical order by author. The second line of the spine label gives the first three letters of the author's surname. This collection includes published general theological material by prominent persons not in the United Methodist Church or its predecessor denominations.

AUM - United Methodist authors, in alphabetical order by author. The second line of the spine label gives the first three letters of the author's surname. This collection includes published general theological material by persons in the United Methodist Church or its predecessor denomination.

BIO - biographies, in alphabetical order by subject of the biography. The second line of the spine label gives the first three letters of the subject's surname. Group biographies are filed at the end, the second line of the spine label being ZZ followed by the first letter of the compiler. This link is an indexed list of the persons in the group biographies. 

COL - Educationsal institutions with ties to United Methodism and/or the Susquehanna Conference area. The second line of the spine label gives a 3-letter institional code, and the third line specifies the tpye and date of the material.

DEN – materials related to denominations not included in the United Methodist Church. The second line of the spine label is a three-letter code for the particular denomination. The materials is filed alphabetically by denomination, and organized appropriately within each denomination.

M – manuscript collection. The second line of the spine label gives the county of origin, and the third line gives the first letter of the city/church/circuit of origin. A comment line in the list tells the nature of the material and the years it covers.

MET - materials relating to the nature and organization of Methodism, in alphabetical order by author. The second line of the spine label gives the first three letters of the author's surname.

MUS - hymnals and gospel songs and related material, in alphabetical order by title. The second line of the spine label gives the first three letters of the title. This collection includes several hundred gospel songbooks from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Books about hymns and hymn-writers are filed at the end, the second line of the spine label being ZZ followed by the first letter of the title.

MIN – General Minutes of the Methodist Episcopal/Methodist/United Methodist Church, giving the yearly appointments for every conference in the denomination.

PAC - Pennsylvania counties, in alphabetical order by county. The second line of the spine label gives the first three letters of the Central Pennsylvania County. The collection includes secular county/community histories and published books on local churches.  Pennsylvania material for counties outside Central Pennsylvania and/or for the entire state are filed at the end, the second line of the spine label being ZZ followed by E (for Eastern PA), P (for Pennsylvania in general) or W (for Western Pennsylvania).

SPE - special collection of rare and/or fragile early publications, arranged in alphabetical order by author. The second line of the spine label gives the first three letters of the author's surname.

SSL – Sunday School library books of the 1800’s, arranged by source. The third letter on the first line of the spine label identifies the source, as explained in the list. The second line of the spine label gives the first three letters (or the number, in the case of a numbered series) of the title. SSM is the first line for all books printed from 200 Mulberry Street in NYC and attributed to the ME Sunday School Union. SSV is the first for all the various miscellaneous sources. SSX is the first line for adult reference books. SSY is the first line for lesson materials. SSZ is the first line for later materials, not in the style and format of the mid-1800’s.

TOP – Materials organized alphabetically by topic (e.g., Alcohol, Baptism). The second line of the spine label is a three-letter code for the particular topic.  Material within each topic is arranged alphabetically by author. This section is intended to preserve historical perspectives, especially perspectives within United Methodism, on the various topics.

USS - United States state material, in alphabetical order by state. The second line of the spine label gives the two-letter state postal abbreviation. This collection includes published United Methodist materials (mostly conference histories) from sates other than Pennsylvania.  Such materials from outside the United States are filed at the end, the second line of the spine label being ZZ followed by C (for Canada), E (for Europe). 

WES - Wesleyana, arranged in three separate sub-sections. The spine labels in this section have three lines, the second line identifying the sub-collection. BRI - materials about British Methodism. JOH - materials about John Wesley, in alphabetical order by author, with the third line of the spine label giving the first three letters of the author's surname. CHA - materials about Charles Wesley, in alphabetical order by author, with the third line of the spine label giving the first three letters of the author's surname. WOR - works of John Wesley, in alphabetical order by title, with the third line of the spine label giving the first three letters of the title.

 

5.2. Susquehanna Collection

Each denominational section listed below includes the following items: journals and other materials from the major local conference of that denomination, disciplines, histories, hymnals, general conference, materials, annual almanacs and handbooks, special collections.

EUB – the Evangelical United Brethren Church (1946-1968) and the Susquehanna Conference (1964-1969)

EVC – the Evangelical Church (1800-1946: including the Evangelical Association and the United Evangelical Church) and the Central Pennsylvania Conference (1800-1964)

MEC – the Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1968: including the Methodist Church) and the Central Pennsylvania Conference (1958-1969: including the East Baltimore Conference).

MES – the Methodist Episcopal Church South (1844-1939) and the Baltimore Conference (1844-1939)

MPC – the Methodist Protestant Church (1830-1939) and the Pennsylvania Conference (1830-1939: including the Eastern Conference)

UBC – the United Brethren Church (1800-1968) and the Pennsylvania Conference (1800-1964)

UMC – the United Methodist Church (1968 – present) and the Central Pennsylvania (1970-2010) and Susquehanna (2010 – present) Conferences.

UMX – journals from the adjacent conferences within United Methodism to which the Susquehanna Conference has contributed congregations and pastors: Baltimore-Washington (1970-), Eastern Pennsylvania (1970-), Upstate New York (2011-), Western Pennsylvania (1970-).

UMY – journals from the adjacent conferences within United Methodism that have contributed congregations and pastors to the Susquehanna Conference: 24 “feeder” conferences as listed in the link.

 

5.3. Periodical Collections

 

6. Vertical Files and Item Collections

a. Biographical File - a list of surnames for which there is a biographical file.

b. Postcard Collection – a list (with image) by county of the items in the United Methodist postcard collection.

c. Plate Collection - a list by county of the items in the United Methodist plate collection.

d. Videotape Collection - a list by topic of  videotapes in the audio-video collection

d. Methodist Publications (in progress)

 

7. Archival Boxed Collections

This includes materials from closed churches and from Conference boards and agencies. [In progress]

 

8. Other Items

a. Susquehanna Facts gives in Word format a brief article on some matter of current interest related to the history of the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church and its predecessors.

b. World’s Funniest Photograph is an amazing, unedited picture that appeared in the Harrisburg Patriot News. It shows the reactions of children sitting through adult presentations on watershed awareness. I wonder if it might as well be titled: “Listening to a Talk on Church History and Genealogy.”

c. Heritage Sunday 2014 gives information about this year's theme and a suggested bulletin insert.

 

9. Digital Versions of Relevant Histories

EVANGELICAL

a. Annals of the Evangelical Association of North America, 1900,  by Ammon Stapleton.

b. History of the Central Pennsylvania Conference of the Evangelical Church, 1939, by J.D. Shortess.

METHODIST

a. History of the Wyoming Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1904, by Amasa Franklin Chaffee.

UNITED BRETHREN

a. History of the Allegheny Conference of the United Brethren in Christ Church, 1931, by J.S. Fulton.

b. History of the East Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren in Christ Church, 1951, by Phares Gibble.

c. History of the Pennsylvania Conference of the United Brethren in Christ Church,  1939, by Paul E. Holdcraft.

d. History of the Virginia Conference of the United Brethren in Christ Church, 1921, by A.P. Funkhouser.
Note:  This book  repeats the names as they were spelled in the written minutes each year, and so the same person appears with different  names in different years.  There are also spelling errors and format inconsistencies in the original text.  Hence, this website has two versions of the text:
 History of the Virginia Conference PDF adapted from the Huntingdon UBOC archives, following the original text.
 History of the Virginia Conference WORD prepared by correcting errors in the original text, adding a limited number of  notes, and using the single best form (for people, usually the one appearing in the obituary) for each name.

e. Minutes of the United Brethren in Christ 1800-1846 (after 1830, "Harrisburg" conference only), translated and transcribed  in 1901, by I.H. Albright.  Note: Beginning  in 1830 there were two conferences - Harrisburg (later, Pennsylvania) and Hagerstown (later, Virginia).

f. Minutes of the United Brethren in Christ (Pennsylvania Conference)  1847-1868,  transcribed and condensed in 1958, by Charles R. Miller.  Note: Beginning in 1847 the former Harrisburg Conference split into two conferences -  Pennsylvania and East Pennsylvania.  Beginning in 1869 the minutes were published annually.