United Methodist Church records, 1784-1984, bulk 1800-1940 48.8 Linear Feet
The United Methodist Church Records are comprised primarily of bound volumes of quarterly conference minutes that document the administrative life of smaller church units (circuits, charges, and churches) within the N.C. Conference (1784-1974, bulk 1841-1919) and the Western N.C. Conference (1884-1962, bulk 1893-1932) of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (MECS). Counties in N.C. represented in the collection include Alamance, Ashe, Bladen, Burke, Caswell, Catawba, Chatham, Cleveland, Dare, Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Gates (also Va.), New Hanover, Iredell, Lincoln, Perquimans (also Va.), Randolph, Rowan, Yadkin, and Wake. There are also bound volumes of N.C. Conference, MECS, district conference minutes (1866-1939); financial, administrative, and legal records for the Board of Missions and Church Extension of the Western N.C. Conference, MECS (1909-1952); bound journals of annual conference meetings of the N.C. Conference, MECS (1838-1913); as well as some district, conference, and national records for non-N.C. conferences and for the MECS and the Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC). The national records include correspondence--especially to and from J. H. Colpais Purdon--and financial records from the American Mission in North Africa, MEC (1909-1952); and correspondence, minutes, reports, and printed material documenting the planning for the reunification of the MEC and the MECS (1906-1916, 1932-1939), especially hymnal revision.
In addition to the quarterly conference and district conference minutes, the N.C. Conference and Non-N.C. Conference Series include membership, Sunday School, abstinence society, and susbscription and class lists (Buckhorn, Currituck, Forsyth, and Haw River Circuits); plans and maps of circuits (Currituck, Forsyth, and Holly Springs Circuits); notes, drawings, and inventories of church buildings and furniture (Iredell and Roanoke Circuits); and handwritten "responses" of the Eastern Shore of Virginia to the MEC split, some written by William Gwynn Coe. The Historical Sketches Series includes land deeds for churches and correspondence written by or pertaining to Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke; and some information about churches with mixed-race congregations. Although the entire collection dates from 1784-1984, the bulk of the material dates from 1800-1940.
This collection does not include complete runs of any set of bound minutes, correspondence, or other documentation for any N.C. county or district. Thus, it does not provide a full view of the activities of the Methodist Church in N.C. However, for both the N.C. and Western N.C. Conferences, some districts, circuits, and counties are well-represented. These include, in the N.C. Conference, MECS, the Durham District (1885-1927), Elizabeth City District (1911-1922), Raleigh District (1914-1915 and 1935-1939), and Wilmington District (1866-1898); and Bath Circuit (Beaufort Co., 1849-1894), Dare Circuit (Dare Co., 1859-1903), Fifth Street Charge/Church/Station (New Hanover Co., 1844-1905), Gates Circuit (Gates Co., 1784-1911), Iredell Circuit (Iredell Co., 1823-1873), Leasburg Circuit (Caswell Co., 1883-1930), North Gates Circuit (Gates Co., 1884-1937), Pasquotank Circuit (Pasquotank Co., 1852-1906), Pittsboro Circuit (Chatham Co., 1854-1943), and Yanceyville Circuit (Caswell Co., 1844-1902). In the Western N.C. Conference the Asheville District (1912-1916) and Winston-Salem District (1924-1935) are well-documented, along with Alamance Circuit (Alamance Co., 1893-1908), First Methodist Church/Station (Lincoln Co., 1902-1962), Jefferson Circuit (Ashe Co., 1893-1932), Morganton Circuit (Burke Co., 1889-1932), Polkville Circuit (Cleveland Co., 1911-1927), and Randolph Circuit/Charge (Randolph Co., 1893-1930).
Arranged in five series: National Records Series; Non-N.C. Conference Records Series; N.C. Conference Records Series; Western N.C. Conference Records Series; Historical Sketches Series.
The National Records Series comprises national-level records from the MEC (1820-1952) and the MECS (1857-1939), including correspondence and financial records from the American Mission in North Africa of the MEC (1909-1952), especially correspondence to and from Joseph Cooksey, Edwin Frease, and Joseph Purdon (1909-1925). The MECS national records comprise primarily correspondence, minutes, reports, and printed material documenting the planning for the reunification of the MEC and the MECS (1906-1916, 1932-1939), especially hymnal revision.
The Non-N.C. Conference Records Seriesconsists primarily of bound volumes of quarterly conference minutes for circuits, charges, and churches in the Baltimore, North Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and other Conferences, especially those in Lumpkin Co., Ga.; Marion Co., S.C.; and Gates and Loudoun Cos., Va. Circuit, charge, and church-level records include a classbook of the Pleasant Hill Society (1851-1879, Dallas Co., Ala.); a hand-drawn map from the 1800s of the Holly Springs Circuit (unknown Co., Miss.); and a history of the formation of the Methodist Protestant Church in Maryland, 1833. There are conference-level records only for the Virginia and Wisconsin Conferences and these include an 1815 list of ministers serving Virginia Conference districts and circuits, as well as a group of hand-written "responses" of the Eastern Shore of Virginia to the Methodist Episcopal Church split (1864-1866).
The N.C. Conference Records Seriescomprises primarily bound volumes of quarterly conference minutes that document the administrative life of circuits, charges, churches, missions, and stations of the N.C. Conference, MECS, in the eastern and central counties of North Carolina, particularly Bladen, Caswell, Chatham, Dare, Durham, Gates, New Hanover, Perquimans, and Wake, but also including other counties (1784-1974). In addition, the series includes bound journals of annual conference meetings for the N.C. Conference of the MECS (1838-1913), as well as bound volumes of district conference minutes and quarterly conference minutes for, among other districts, the Durham, Elizabeth City, Raleigh, and Wilmington Districts of the N.C. Conference of the MECS (1866-1939).
The Western N.C. Conference consists primarily of bound volumes of quarterly conference minutes and church registers that document the administrative life of MECS and Methodist Church (MC) circuits, charges, churches, missions, and stations in the western and west central counties of North Carolina (1893-1932). Counties include Alamance, Ashe, Burke, Catawba, Cleveland, Davidson, Forsyth, Iredell, Lincoln, Randolph, Rowan, and Yadkin, among others. The series also includes financial, administrative, and legal records for the Board of Missions and Church Extension of the Western N.C. Conference of the MECS (1909-1952), as well as quarterly conference and district conference minutes and trustees minutes for districts within the Western N.C. Conference including, among others, the Asheville and Winston-Salem districts (1912-1935).
The Historical Sketches Series comprises primarily historical and biographical information solicited from N.C. ministers about themselves, their churches, circuits, and counties in 1879 by H. T. Hudson and in 1895 by an unknown person. Also includes earlier and later sketches, especially typescript or handwritten articles, essays, or sermons on Methodism in N.C.