One of our former Special Collections librarians, Erma Jean Loveland, developed what has been viewed on our website as much as any other resource – it is the Writing Congregational Histories. Here is what Erma Jean has to say about it:
I want to explore with you the question: Why do a congregational history?
Churches as a whole provide sources of meaning and hope for more people than any other single type of volunteer organization. A congregation is a cherished home, a place full of memories, traditions and meaningful associations. The action of a congregation is the oldest and most enduring form of human activity. Throughout the Bible, the story of groups of people brought together to worship have been told. And we know about them because they have been written down and passed along with the generations. The faintest ink used tells a better story than the best memory.
By putting these deeds, people and numbers together in a meaningful way, the local church gets a better picture of its congregational identity, of what the goals of the church leaders are, and of the congregational accomplishments of the past. This provides the foundation for the present as well as for the future.
The entire resource is available here, as a downloadable PDF document.