My husband's family has been attending Peace United Church of Christ in Hartsburg, Missouri for more than one hundred years. In fact, one of hubby's ACKMANN ancestors was among the "Seven Founding Fathers" of the church in 1894 (originally called Friedens Evangelische Gemeinde). So two years ago, when an announcement was made during the service that they were looking for volunteers to help form a "Historical Committee" -- my genealogical ears perked right up!
I learned that the church was looking for a group of people to help organize and create an archive of the church's documents, photos, and other items. Over the years, these items have just been packed away in boxes and kept in storage cabinets in a little used room of the church. Although the church council was almost apologetic about asking us to take on such a task, I couldn't wait to see what was in those boxes. I have to say, I was *not* disappointed. It was a treasure trove of church history!
The process of creating this archive has been long and rewarding. Since even writing about the process is lengthy, I’ll divide my posting about it into two parts. If you are thinking about embarking on a similar project, whether it’s for your church, your town, or even your own family’s historical papers and artifacts, stay tuned! I’m by no means a professional archivist, but there appears to be lots of good resources out there to help us amateurs, and I’ll be happy to share what I learn!
Coming soon: Creating our Church Archives, Part II: Sorting and Inventorying. Sounds riveting, doesn’t it? **grin**