The Commission on Archives and History of the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church has established the Heritage Church Award as the highest distinction a United Methodist church can acquire regarding its historical work. Churches that receive the Heritage Church Award will be premier examples of churches that are using their history to inform and inspire their present ministries.

To be considered, a church must meet the following requirements:

  1. The local church must have a Church Historian on their Charge Conference report.
  2. The local church must have an active History Committee with its membership listed with the Indiana Conference Commission on Archives and History.
  3. The Church Historian must have received training through the Indiana Local Church Historian’s School, the DePauw University Archives, a Commission workshop, a program of mentoring by a local church with an active archives and history program, or an acceptable equivalent.
  4. The church must prove that they have consulted with the Indiana Methodist Archives and its Archivist or staff to learn about their local church’s heritage and to preserve local church artifacts. Church historians can do this my submitting documentation from the Archivist or the organization that provided training.
  5. The church must have their local church historical information, records and documents (such as meeting minutes or information about special events) filed in an organized manner and be available to the public for viewing and research.
  6. The church must have a permanent area within the building for presentation and display of photos and artifacts that are unique to the church.
  7. The church will have demonstrated a regular track record of learning from and celebrating their history, heritage and legacy.

Possible examples:

  • Historical articles included in newsletters, emails, and bulletin boards which bring the history of the local church into connection with current ministries of the church today.
  • The Church Historian (and/or the church History Committee) presents events or opportunities bringing local church history to the attention of the entire congregation.
  • Participation in Heritage Sunday during Sunday worship.
  • Holding an Anniversary Sunday recognizing the date of the local church’s founding (or other special days in the history of the local church).
  • In consultation with the pastor, the Church Historian gathers historical information that can help current leaders understand their past and make decisions about present and future ministries.

Any church may apply for the Heritage Church Award by submitting the award application accessible on the INUMC website.

Email the completed fillable .pdf form and digital copies of other relevant information/documentation to Rev. Paul Wagner at

Print the application form. Mail the completed application form along with all relevant information/documentation to:

The Commission on Archives and History 
C/O Assistant to the Director of Connectional Ministries
301 Pennsylvania Parkway, Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46280

The Commission on Archives and History will evaluate applications to determine if a church has adequately met the requirements.

The award will consist of an engraved plaque or a framed citation.