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 will be able to “go back to school” in the fall of 2020 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.

Click here for more information:  Local Church Historian School Flyer

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.

2019 Bicentennial Churches

2020 Bicentennial Churches

2021 Bicentennial Churches

2022 Bicentennial Churches

Here’s what to SAVE from your Local Church for Historical Preservation and a recommended Retention Schedule:

Local Church Retention Schedule — General Commission

Disaffiliating Congregations Instructions for Transfering Records & Documents to DePauw Archives

Indiana UM Historians of the Year

Info coming


Genealogy and Family Research

If you have a clergy person in your family tree search here for information.