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Archives & History . . . . . . . . Louisiana Conference
Commission on Archives and History

Welcome to the Louisiana Annual Conference's Commission on Archives & History. This web site will present information on the Commission's members, activities, and reports.


  • The Commission usually meets at the Archives on the first day of Annual Conference.
  • It is composed of 7 members ... clergy and laity from around the Conference.
  • Each year, the Commission submits a report for the Journal. All of those reports can be found below, at the bottom of this web page.
  • Commission Resources [GCAH]
  • Applications for Historic Site designation should be submitted to the Commission for consideration and presentation to Annual Conference.  For more information and an application, go to the Historic Site page.
2008-2012 Membership
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

Chairperson: Tim Hebert
Vice Chairperson: Russell S. Clulnan
Secretary & Finance Officer: Sue Crise
Membership :    Clergy: Russell S. Clunan (BR) Class of 2008
Darlene A. Moore (BR) Class of 2012
Steven J. Porter (NO) Class of 2012
Laity:   Sue Crise (LC) Class of 2008
Tim Hebert (AC) Class of 2008
Joyce Henson (AC) Class of 2012
Nola Mae Ross (LC) Class of 2012
Honorary Members:   Wadsworth Davis

2008 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

No report was filed due to illness.  

2007 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

Accomplishments and Celebrations:
We celebrate and give thanks for the museum-type display and the video of our Annual Conference History, prepared for viewing at the 2006 session of the Annual Conference due to the labors of Mr. Timothy Hebert.  These two landmark works helped some to remember and to learn about our rich heritage as we celebrated 200 years of Methodism in Louisiana.

We celebrate and give thanks to Chris Brown in the Centenary College Archives Office for making significant contributions to the above projects as he provided us with leadership in locating much of the resources needed to complete these projects.  Also, a word of appreciation goes to interested individuals who made contributions of items as well.

Goals and Objectives for 2007:
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, a number of our churches sustained massive physical damage.  As the custodians of our rich past, we ask, respecfullly, that you please consider donating to the Archives, whether they be early photos, certificates, or other items unique to your churches that represent tangible evidence of your faithfulness.  As we rebuild and move forward these items can be preserved for generations to come and be both a source of reflection as well as inspiration. (Submitted by Rev. Russell Clunan, Baton Rouge).

The Commission will seek the advice of the Conference to assist us in producing a vehicle that will identify the specific needs of the Districts and the local churches before Archives and History Workshops can be designed.  However, the General Commission is standing by to render assistance to our Conference Commission in planning and sponsoring whatever training that we might need.

Dreams and Visions for the Future:
In this the 300th anniversary of the Reverend Charles Wesley’s birth, the Conference Office has graciously made available display cabinets to house a changing exhibit of Wesleyan history and artifacts from around the world.  This exhibit, to be housed initially at our Conference facility in Baton Rouge, will include such items as early hymnals, disciplines, class tickets, wooden collection boxes, lithograph and medals.  Featured will me metallic portraits of George Whitefield, John Wesley, John Fletcher, and Matthew Simpson.  Of interest in this tricentennial of Charles Wesley will be several medals struck for the 1839 Centennial, a rare large format lithograph portrait and an early 1800’s reprint of Rev. Wesley’s sermons.  Preliminary plans call for this exhibit to be later located at the Conference Wesley Center. (Submitted by Rev. Russell Clunan, Baton Rouge).

Kenneth M. Fisher, Chair

2006 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

Accomplishments And Celebrations
    - We  celebrate  and  give  thanks  for  two  specific  training  sessions:   (1)  Healthy Churches  Transforming  the  World:    A  Conference  for  the  training  of  Conference Chairpersons held in Houston,  Texas January 27-30,  2005 and (2) Attendance (by invitation)  to  the  Annual  Meeting  of  the  General  Commission  on  Archives  and History (GCAH) held at the GCAH headquarters on the Drew University Campus in Madison, New Jersey, September 11, 2005.  At this meeting, both the new manual for  Annual  Conference  Commission  2005  -  2008  and  “Guidelines  for  Managing Records  for  the  Annual  Conference  and  the  Local  Church”  were  distributed,  and reports were received from General Commissions across our denomination.
   - We celebrate and give thanks for the office of Director of Connectional Ministries for  their  assistance  in  providing  financial  resources  for  making  the  attendance  of these events possible and also for assuming temporary management responsibilities for this Commission's financial resources.
   - We celebrate those former members of our Conference Commission (CAH) who are no  longer  physically  able  to serve  on  the Commission,  but  who,  because  of  their knowledge,  resourcefulness,  and  love  for  this  work  will  remain  friends  of  the commission.

Goals And Objectives For The 2006 Annual Conference
   - Plans  are  being  made  to  celebrate  the  200th  anniversary  of  Methodism  at  the Louisiana  Conference.    A  video  of  our  Conference  history  and  a  museum-type display are being prepared for viewing at the Annual conference.  The display, when completed, will be put up at the Conference Center in Woodworth, La.
   - As a reminder to local churches of the importance of sending the Archives a copy of church records and photos, etc. especially in case an emergency befalls a church or a church is closed, one way to be prepared is to begin making backup copies of these items. ·
   - We  appreciate  the  tireless  efforts  of  Mr.  Tim  Hebert,  who,  on  a  volunteer  basis, continues  to maintain  and rework  our  Conferences  Website  while  working on the above named projects for the 200th Anniversary Celebration.

Concerns And Challenges
    Due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and Rita, the work for the commission has been temporarily placed on hold in the Southern part of Louisiana.  We look forward to the time when we can gather up artifacts and items of historic value that survived.

Kenneth Fisher, Chair

2005 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

Accomplishments

The   accomplishments,   visions   and   goals,   as   set   forth   in   the   2004 Conference Report (pages 373 - 374, Conference Journal), are ongoing.  I pledge  to  honor  the  great  work  of  my  predecessor,  Tim  Hebert,  by continuing  the  unfinished  work  of  the  Conference  Church  Directory relative to  working with local churches to establish  church  histories and proper archive storage.  Several churches in each district were not able to send historic  information to  Tim  in time  by the  2004 deadline.   As you browse  through  the  Directory,  you  notice  that  there  are  pages  with  a picture of the church and only one or two lines of information about it.  As far as  my clergy  responsibilities will allow,  I  plan  to  be  available  upon request  to  assist  local  churches  with  ways  to  research  and  produce adequate histories.  These, as received, will be added to the online version, which may be downloaded for updating your directory.

Concerns

· Often,   congregations   have   elderly   members   who   are   'walking encyclopedias' on  that  local  church.    Much of that  history  dies  with those members.  There are exciting ways to capture and preserve that information while they are alive.  Contact: Kingfish796@aol.com .
· There are still churches that have great historical  significance in our Conference  that  have  not  applied  for  the  Conference  Historical  Site Markers.    You  may  apply  online  at   <www.iscuo.org/histsite.htm>. These markers will be awarded to the Pastor and Delegate of churches that qualify in each Annual Conference.

Vision

· The Vision continues as set forth in the paragraph labeled 'Vision' on p. 374, 2004 Conference Journal.  In addition, we plan to encourage the donations of archival and historic artifacts from retired clergy and lay  personnel  of  the  conference,  as  well  as  families  of  deceased members,  to  be  deposited  in  the  Conference  Archives  at  Centenary College  in  Shreveport,  Dillard  University  in  New  Orleans,  and  on display at the Conference Center in Woodworth, Louisiana.

Long Term Goals

· We   plan   to   research   the   possibility   of   consolidating   available information   on   the   former   Conference   'A'   presently   housed   at Centenary  College,  and  Conference  'B'  presently  housed  at  Dillard University.    Hopefully,  by  placing  this  information  on  the  website, people who are engaged in research on these former Conferences will have access to both in one place.

Kenneth McLaurin Fisher, Chair  

2004 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

Accomplishments

•  The Historical Register has been completed. Begun in the mid 1990s, it contains a photo, statistics, a brief history, driving directions, and a map for each church in the Conference. A limited number of printed and CD copies will be made available at Annual Conference 2004. An online version appears at < www.historicalregister.org >. This will allow all United Methodists to learn about our Louisiana Conference churches, strengthening the understanding of our connectionalism and our shared heritage.
•  Over 1200 Memoirs (from the last 150+ years of Conference Journals) have been placed online in a searchable database at our Archives & History website < www.iscuo.org/memoirsproject.htm >.
•  Besides the Historical Register and Memoirs, additional material continues to be added at the Archives & History website < www.iscuo.org >.
•  The historical display was set up in the front room and foyer display cabinet at the Conference Center in mid 2003.

Vision

•  We continue to add materials to the United Methodist room at the Conference Center , to display historical items reflecting our heritage.
•  We pray for more active involvement of individuals and churches of the Conference in preserving and understanding their records and heritage in the hopes that this will help provide a foundation for ministry in the future.
•  The next web project will be to post the Louisiana Conference appointments … beginning in the early nineteenth century …. online at our website < www.iscuo.org/appoint.htm >. This will help churches in researching the pastors that have served over the years.
•  We will be preparing to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of United Methodism in Louisiana in 2006.

Concerns

•  As time goes by, some churches are letting their histories slip away. Records and artifacts need to be better preserved.
•  We sometimes make decisions without reflecting upon the history of our Conference and The United Methodist Church. We need to remember our past to better prepare for ministry in the 21st century.

Items For Action

•  Churches with historical significance in the Conference are encouraged to apply for Historical Site Markers < www.iscuo.org/histsite.htm >.
•  Churches that did not responded to requests for historical information are urged to send in their information when possible. New information will be posted at the online version and those with printed copies will be able to update their versions.
•  Churches are encouraged to submit copies (or originals) of older church records to the Archives for safekeeping.
•  We will continue to add to the permanent historical display at the Conference Center and will feature revolving exhibits. Churches are asked to respond when asked to contribute items for the display.
•  Congregations approaching anniversaries are encouraged to celebrate their heritage and to remember the people and events that have brought them to this point in time.

Timothy Hebert, Chair

2003 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

Accomplishments

•  Over 600 Memoirs have been placed online in a searchable database at our website <www.iscuo.org/memoirsproject.htm>. We hope to have all extant Memoirs online by the end of 2003.
•  The Historical Register continues to be uploaded online at <www.historicalregister.org>. This will allow all United Methodists to learn about our Louisiana Conference churches, strengthening the understanding of our connectionalism and our shared heritage.
•  Histories were collected from some of those churches that had not submitted material previously.
•  Historical resource material and display material continue to be collected a display at the Conference Center.

Vision

•  We continue to add materials to the United Methodist room at the Conference Center, which will have a display of historical items reflecting our heritage. A display cabinet is located in the foyer. The first display will be for the celebration of the 300 th Anniversary of John Wesley's birth (June, 2003).
•  We pray for more active involvement of individuals and churches of the Conference in preserving and understanding their records and heritage in the hopes that this will help provide a foundation for ministry in the future.
•  The next web project will be to list the Louisiana Conference appointments beginning in the early 19 th century …. online at our website. This will help churches in researching the pastors that have served over the years.

Concerns

As time goes by, some churches are letting their histories slip away. Records and artifacts need to be better preserved.
•  We sometimes make decisions without reflecting upon the history of our Conference and The United Methodist Church. We need to remember our past to better prepare for ministry in the 21st century.

Items For Action

•  Churches with historical significance in the Conference are encouraged to apply for Historical Site Markers <www.iscuo.org/histsite.htm>.
•  We still have over 15% of our churches that have not responded to requests for historical information. Local churches are encouraged to check the website to verify their information and to see if information needs to be added. The Register will be produced in printed form in the spring of 2004 and those churches that have not responded will not have their information included.
•  Churches are encouraged to submit copies (or originals) of older church records to the Archives for safekeeping.
•  We will continue to add to the permanent historical display at the Conference Center and will feature revolving exhibits. Churches are asked to respond when asked to contribute items for the display.
•  Congregations approaching anniversaries are encouraged to celebrate their heritage and to remember the people and events that have brought them to this point in time.

Timothy Hebert, Chair  

2002 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
     · The Historical Register is being placed online at www.historicalregister.org.  This will allow all United Methodists to learn about our Louisiana Conference churches, strengthening the understanding of our connectionalism and our shared heritage.
     · Histories were collected from some of those churches that had not submitted material previously.
     · Historical resource material and display material have been acquired for a display at the Conference Center.

VISION: 
     · We will be establishing a United Methodist room at the Conference Center, which will have a display of historical items reflecting our heritage.  A display cabinet will also be located in the foyer.
     · We hope to expand the United Methodist holdings at our repository at Dillard University. 
     · We pray for more active involvement of individuals and churches of the Conference in preserving and understanding their records and heritage in the hopes that this will help provide a foundation for ministry in the future. 

CONCERNS:
     · As time goes by, some churches are letting their histories slip away.  Records and artifacts need to be better preserved. 
     · We sometimes make decisions without reflecting upon the history of our Conference and The United Methodist Church.  We need to remember our past to better prepare for ministry in the 21st century. 

ITEMS FOR ACTION:
     · We still have 20% of our churches that have not responded to requests for historical information.  Local churches are encouraged to check the website to verify their information and to see if information needs to be added.  The Register will be produced in printed form when 95% of the churches have submitted histories.
     · Churches with historical significance in the Conference are encouraged to apply for Historical Site Markers. 
     · Churches are encouraged to submit copies (or originals) of older church records to the Archives for safekeeping. 
     · We will be setting up the displays for the United Methodist Room at the Conference Center.  Churches are asked to respond when asked to contribute items for the display. 
     · Congregations approaching anniversaries are encouraged to celebrate their heritage and to remember the people and events that have brought them to this point in time.

Timothy Hebert, Chair 
2001 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
     · We have completed visitation and photography of every church in the Louisiana Conference.
     · The Historical Register is being placed online at www.historicalregister.org.  This will allow the information to be made available in 2001, and will allow the Conference membership to check its accuracy and submit missing material before the printed version is made. 
     · We have accumulated histories for 75% of our churches.  As soon as we obtain 95%, we will be producing a printed version of the Historical Register.
     · The CMT approved the reinstatement of District Historians.  This will give us a contact and resource person for historical information in each District.

VISION:
     · We hope to be able to adequately staff and maintain the Archives at Centenary College.
     · We hope to expand the United Methodist holdings at our repository at Dillard University.
    · We are working towards the establishment of a United Methodist room at the Conference Center, which will have a display of historical items reflecting our heritage.
    · We plan to have the Historical Register online in 2001 and in print soon thereafter.  This will allow all United Methodists to learn about our Louisiana Conference churches, strengthening the understanding of our connectionalism and our shared heritage.
     · We pray for more active involvement of individuals and churches of the Conference in preserving and   understanding their records and heritage in the hopes that this will help provide a foundation for ministry in the future.

CONCERNS:
     · As time goes by, some churches are letting their histories slip away.  Records and artifacts need to be better preserved. 
     · We sometimes make decisions without reflecting upon the history of our Conference and The United Methodist Church.  We need to remember our past to better prepare for ministry in the 21st century.

ITEMS FOR ACTION:
     · We still have 25% of our churches that have not responded to requests for historical information.  We trust that those churches will be able to submit something to include in the Historical Register by July 2001.
     · Churches with historical significance in the Conference are encouraged to apply for Historical Site Markers.
     · Churches are encouraged to submit copies (or originals) of older church records to the Archives for safekeeping.
     · We need to raise funds for a display cabinet at the Conference Center.  Churches are asked to respond when asked to contribute items for the display.
     · Congregations approaching anniversaries are encouraged to celebrate their heritage and to remember the people and events that have brought them to this point in time.

Timothy Hebert, Chair
2000 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

The Commission on Archives and History had three major projects this year.
   1. The Commission unanimously approved the application of two churches to receive designation as nationally recognized Historic Sites of the United Methodist Church.  The two New Orleans churches are Mount Zion United Methodist Church and Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church.  Both churches date back to the 1870s or before.  Mount Zion’s congregation goes back to the beginning of Methodist Episcopal Church (North) work in New Orleans.  Rayne’s congregation, through its three constituent congregations, goes back to the beginning of Methodist Episcopal (later Methodist Episcopal, South) work in New Orleans before the Civil War.  These two churches are also notable for their Partnership Relationship through which they share activities throughout the year.  The Commission asks Annual Conference approval of its recommendation that these two churches receive Historical Site markers to be presented to the churches at ceremonies later this year and early next year.
   2. Tim Hebert is in the last stages of finishing his Historical Register of the United Methodist Churches of the Louisiana Annual Conference.  By next year, we should have definite news of its completion date and information about its publication.
   3. Members of the Commission are also establishing a Historical Society for the Louisiana Annual Conference.  The first meeting is the Sunday night of Annual Conference.  You will be hearing more about this organization in the future.  For further information, you may contact either Tim Hebert in Houma or Fern Christensen in Natchitoches.
 

 Dr. Robert Sherer, Chair
1999 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

PURPOSE:
     To enable more effective Christian ministry in Louisiana by encouraging the preservation of records of God's past actions and assisting in t
heir interpretation and proclamation as a foundation for present and future activities.

WE CONFESS:
     That we have not adequately convinced Louisiana's United Methodists of the importance of preserving their records to know, understand, and proclaim in various media-from published histories to programs and celebrations-those of our past responses to God's Love and Grace which have been most, and least, successful.

WE CELEBRATE:
   •  The progress Timothy Hebert has made on researching and publishing historical sketches of United Methodist churches in Louisiana.
   •  The work of Timothy Hebert and Ms. Fern Christensen in seeking to establish a Louisiana United Methodist Historical Society.
   •  The work of Ms. Ella C. Edwards and her helpers at Centenary College to administer the Archives of the Louisiana Annual Conference.

WE ANTICIPATE:
   •  More churches' successful applications for historical markers.
   •  Timothy Hebert's completion of the Historical Church Sketches Project.
   •  Further development of the Conference Archives at Centenary College and the development of an archive at Dil lard University.
   •  More active involvement of individuals and churches of the Conference in preserving and understanding their records and their better proclaiming What God Hath Wrought as an inspiration and guide for more effective ministry.
 

                                              Robert G. Sherer, Chair
1998 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

PURPOSE:
   To enable more effective Christian ministry in Louisiana by encouraging the preservation of records of God's past actions in and through the churches of Louisiana and their interpretation and proclamation as the foundation for future activities.

WE CONFESS:
   That we have not adequately convinced Louisiana's United Methodists of the importance of preserving their records to know, understand, and proclaim in various media - from published histories to programs and celebrations - which of our past responses to God's Love and Grace have been more and less, successful.

WE CELEBRATE:
   ·   The progress Timothy Hebert has made on researching and publishing historical sketches of all United Methodist Churches in Louisiana.

   ·   Timothy Hebert and Fern Christensen's work to establish a United Methodist Historical Society in Louisiana.

   ·   Ella C. Edwards and her helpers at Centenary College's work administering the Archives of the Louisiana Annual Conference.

WE ANTICIPATE:
   ·   More churches' successful applications for historical markers.

   ·   The completion of Timothy Hebert's Historical Sketches of churches project.

   ·   Further development of the Conference Archives at Centenary College and the development of similar archival work at Dillard University.

   ·   More active involvement of individuals and churches of the Conference in preserving and understanding their records and their better proclaiming "What God Hath Wrought" as an inspiration and guide for more effective ministry in the future.

                                              Robert G. Sherer, Chair
1997 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

PURPOSE:
     To enable more effective Christian ministry in Louisiana by encouraging the preservation of records of God's past actions and their interpretation and proclamation as the foundation for future activities.

WE CONFESS:
     That we have not adequately convinced Louisiana's United Methodists ofthe importance of preserving their records to know, understand, and proclaim in various media--from published histories to programs and celebrations--which of our past responses to God's Love and Grace have been more, and less, successful.

WE CELEBRATE:
   ·   The First United Methodist Church of Bastrop's application for a historical marker, which the Commission unanimously approved.

   ·   The progress Timothy Hebert has made on researching and publishing historical sketches of all United Methodist Churches in Louisiana.

   ·   The work of Ella C. Edwards and her helpers at Centenary College's administering the Archives of the Louisiana Annual Conference.

WE ANTICIPATE:
   ·   More churches' successful applications for historical markers.

   ·   The completion of Timothy Hebert's Historical Sketches of Churches project.

   ·   Further development of the Conference Archives at Centenary College and the development of similar archival work at Dillard University.

   ·   More active involvement of individuals and churches of the Conference in preserving and understanding their records and their better proclaiming What God Hath Wrought as an inspiration and guide for more effective ministry in the future.

ITEMS FOR ACTION:
     The Commission on Archives and History unanimously recommends to the Louisiana Annual Conference that it approve the First United Methodist Church of Bastrop's application for a historical marker.

Robert G. Sherer, Chair

1996 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

PURPOSE:
        The Commision supports the conference repositories at Centenary College and Dillard University and recognizes churches with significant histories.
    

WE CONFESS:
        We confess that we failed to realize one of our quadrennium goals - that of organizing the Methodist Historical Society in our conference.

WE CELEBRATE: 
        • The continuing work of the staff at our churches.

        • The faithfulness of First United Methodist Church in Eunice, Roanoke United Methodist Church, Calvary United Methodist Church in Thibodaux, and Peoples United Methodist Church of New Orleans who were presented historical markers.

        • The marker placed at the grave of The Reverend Robert James Harp, an early minister in the Caddo Parish area and his biography newly written by Dr. Bentley Sloan.
    

WE ANTICIPATE:
        • The celebration of Heritage Sunday on April 27, 1997.

        • The utilization of resources available from the General Commission by churches of the Conference.

        • The completion of a pictorial directory of all the conference churches.

James Walter Jones, Chair
1995 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Commission on Archives and History is an agency of the Conference whose mission is twofold: to encourage the preservation of the historical records of the Conference and to exhort local church historians to document and thereby preserve the stories of their congregations.  There are several ways the Commission attempts to fulfill its mission.
    1) We support and help make policy for our Conference records repositories at Centenary College and Dillard University.

   2) We encourage local church historians to write the history of their congregations and send a copy for preservation to the Centenary archives.  (These histories should be updated at least every ten years.)  The General Commission is currently preparing a videotape to be used as a guide for all local historians.  Notification will be made when the videotape is published.

   3) We urge every local congregation to observe Heritage Sunday and avail themselves of the resource materials available from the General Commission on Archives and History whose address is Post Office Box 127, Madison, NJ 07940.

   4) We present historical markers to churches of significant history.  Applications for markers are available from the chairperson of the Commission.

   5) We ask all district superintendents and agencies of the Conference to deliver their inactive records to the Conference archives at Centenary to be catalogued and made available for research by scholars.
During this Conference year the Commission presented historical markers to First United Methodist Church in Eunice and Calvary United Methodist Church in Thibodaux.  Also, the Commission assisted in placing a marker at the grave of Rev. Robert James Harp, an early minister in the Caddo Parish area.

James Walter Jones, Chair
1994 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Louisiana Annual Conference Commission on Archives and History labors within two major areas of concern -- preserving and remembering the former experiences of the bodies and constituents of The United Methodist Church in Louisiana and its antecedents.  Directives for fulfilling these responsibilities are delineated in Par. 738 of the Discipline.  In response to its mandates, the Commission:
     1. Maintains repostitories for local church, district and conference records on the campuses of Centenary College and Dillard University.

     2. Offers the services of Ms. Ella Edwards, the Conference Archivist in the Peters Research Center at Centenary College.

     3. Encourages local churches to write and send their histories to each archive for preservation and research.

     4. Urges District Superintendents and other conference agents to send their records to the archives for use by scholars.

     5. Takes note of churches with long and distinguished histories by presenting them with historical markers to memorialize their adventures.

     6. Fosters historical research and scholarship by encouraging the use of our conference archives at Dillard and Centenary.

     7. Suggests that every local congregation observe Heritage Sunday and avail themselves of the resource materials available from the General Commission.

     8. Stands ready to assist local churches with tasks relating to the chronicling a preserving of their histories. 
     In the interim since last Annual Conference, the Commission presented historical markers to three congregations--the Wesley-Booneville United Methodist Church of Bunkie, which has the distinction of being the oldest African-American church in Rapides Parish; the Glenmora United Methodist Church on the occasion of its centennial, and the First United Methodist Church of Lecompte on Heritage Sunday, which was also its 110th anniversary.
     While it has its ongoing responsibilities to fulfill, we of the Commission stand ready ft> resource any church or agency in our conference that requires information or assistance in our area of concern.

James W. Jones, Chair
1993 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     While the work or the Conference Commission on Archive. and History Is usually considered to be largely administrative in nature, it is in fact, a vital form of ministry. We seek to challenge district superintendents, local and district historians, archivists and any others who are custodians of the living records of the church to be good stewards of the past   We encourage the leaders of the church to be celebrants of its history. We exhort those who make history to learn history before they seek to make it anew. In the simplest of terms, we witness to God's work in the spirit of the question, 'what does God teach us since the Bible was canonized?" With the acceptance of the above perceptions, we consider ourselves to be under the same spiritual mandate as ally other servants of the church.
     The Commission has a history of its own.  The Conference has greatly benefited by three earlier achievements: the completion of our Conference repository in the Sam Peters Research Center on the campus of Centenary College; the publication of a major history of Louisiana Methodism entitled Becoming One People by Walter Vernon; and the guidelines for the Conference in the area of Archives and History, prepared in collaboration with the commission by its then chairperson, Lewis Morris, Jr., and adopted at the 1991 session of Annual Conference (Pp.321-323, 1992 Journal).

     With these achievements strengthening the present work on the Commission, and with the awareness that there are significant needs remaining, we adopted the following goals hr this quadrennium:
    During the 1993 Conference year:
          The Commission on Archives and History will help to establish the following procedures and policies for our Conference Archives at Centenary College to be finalized at the Annual Conference meeting in June, 1993:

          1. A records retention policy.

          2. A list of Conference records generating from agencies.

          3. A transfer schedule from these agencies.
    During the remainder of the quadrennium, we will:
          1. Organize a Conference historical society.

          2. In consultation with the Conference Board of Pensions:

               A Solicit a sermon manuscript from each retiring minister to be retained in the archives.

               B. Develop a program of oral history, routinely solicited from each class of retiring ministers.

               C. Seek such histories from those already retired."
     In reorganizing the Conference Commission for the new quadrennium, persons with considerable expertise in the area of its work were newly appointed or were retained from its earlier membership, including four professional archivists and a librarian. With their facility and contribution to the work of the Commission, we are hopeful of establishing sound policies which will more effectively conserve both our historical records and the vitality of our earlier witness.

James W. Jones, Chair
1992 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     Proper records management has long been a concern as well as a priority for the Commission on Archives and History. These records, generated on both the conference and local church levels, are essential for our understanding of the unique history of our faith. The loss or neglect of these records denies the scholar and layperson alike the 'window" through which the parade of United Methodism can be viewed. It was with this thought in mind that the Commission on Archives and History spearheaded an effort to structure guidelines to assure the church's vital records were properly archived for posterity. This quest culminated last year with approval of a records management program to govern the collection and preservation of those records essential for the understanding and reconstruction of our Church's history and heritage.
     The Commission on Archives and History also recognizes the importance of having a central depository for the conference's vital records. It has thus been an active supporter or the conference's main archival depository at Centenary College, as well as the Dillard University Archives. The Commission has pledged its support, both spiritual and financial, to the conference archives and its new archivist in hopes that the Louisiana Annual Conference Archives can be a model for other conference archives throughout the United States and abroad.

     The Commission likewise reemphasizes its intentions to work closely with the local church in the latter's efforts to collect and to preserve its records. The Commission feels the local church is the single most important generator of records vital to the understanding of our faith.

Lewis Morris, Sr., Chair
1991 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Commission on Archives and History recommends the following report to be adopted as guidelines for the Annual Conference in the area of Archives and History: The Local Church
     
1. Each district Council on Ministries in The Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church shall inaugurate a program to train local church historians to identify and preserve those records vital to understanding and recreating the history of the local church.
     This program can be accomplished through "in service" workshops and district seminars. The

Conference Commission on Archives and History and the conference archivist at Centenary

College can help district Councils on Ministries secure leadership for the training sessions.

     2. The Annual Conference shall require each local church to maintain a continuous series of charge conference records, the most valuable source of information on the local church. Maintenance of these records is essential, not only for administrative purposes but also as the source of "raw data" which provide the researcher insight into the personality of the local church. Every four years, these records shall be sent to the conference archives at Centenary College to be microfilmed and returned for filing in the local church, or miaofilm copies may be purchased for the nominal cost of film.
      3. Local church historians shall institute a comprehensive program of records retention.  This should include the collection and maintenance of items such as worship bulletins, newsletters, audio and video records of worship services, certificates, minutes of board meetings, and other such records.

      4. Local churches shall, as a minimum, maintain the official Methodist membership record book. Ideally, however, each church should maintain separate books for membership, baptisms, deaths, marriages, and confirmations. Maintaining separate books allows all entries to be made alphabetically and chronologically for easier reference. This method, likewise, allows the inclusion of more detailed information, such as occupations, professions, and family connections, which is essential for historical research.

     5. Each local church should house its membership books and records in a special place (preferably fireproof) in the church. These membership records are an irreplaceable link to the church's past and can easily be misplaced or lost if not almost ceremonially kept in a special place in the
      6. Each local church owning a cemetery shall compile an inventory of its interments which also indicates locations. This inventory shall be stored with the membership records and updated every four years with names and locations of new interments. A copy of this inventory and subsequent supplements shall be forwardel to the conference archives at Centenary College.  Such an inventory is administratively helpful to the local church and is an important archival resource.

     7. Each local church shall prepare a church history and send two copies to the conference archives at Centenary College. This history should be updated every two years and copies sent to the conference archives.  Writing and updating the church's history will encourage the local church in its records management. An important supplement to the usual records are oral histories from the oldest members of the congregation.  A wealth of information beyond the scope of offidal records is harbored in the memories of elders and should be recorded in a timely fashion.
     8. It is highly desirable for each local church to designate a room to serve as that church's archives to house records, photographs, letters, audio and video cassettes, computer diskettes, and other items which add to the church's understanding of its history. The most important items (such as original membership books and deeds) should be stored in a fire proof safe or in a safety deposit box. Such items could be sent to the conference archives at Centenary College for safe keeping or for microrilming and duplication. The archives will keep the originals and send copies back to the church, or return the originals and keep the copies, whichever seems more desirable.

The District Level
1. A records retention program shall be established at the district level to serve as a link between the local church and the conference. It is suggested that the scaetary to the district superintendent be designated as records management officer for the district office. At the completion of their tenure in office, district superintendents are to have their records microfilmed - primarily the charge conference records) and send the film to the conference archives, or send the records to the archives for microfilming there.

2. Deeds, records, and other official and legal papers, including the contcnts of the cornerstone of any church that is declared to be abandoned or otherwise discontinued, shall be collected by the district superintendent in whose district said church was located and shalt be depesked for permanent safekeeping in the conference archives. (Discipline: 2548.3)

The Conference Level
Each conference board, commission, committee, and organization shall designate someone (probably the secretary) to place all records on a records retention schedule. Every four years these records shall be turned over to the conference archives either in original or microfilm form. The conference archives should become a permanent part of each conference group's mailing list. The security and restriction of sensitive information can be determined in advance by consulting with the conference archivist at Centenary College.

The Conference Archives
1. The Annual Conference should establish and fund the position of one half of a full time professional archivist.

2. The Conference Commission on Archives nad history will serve as official conference liaison and advisory body for the conferenee archives at Centenary College.
3. The conference archivist is to be designated as the agent supervising the records retention activities of those entities within the annual conference responsibie for the generation of records detailing conference related matters.  It would be the responsibility of the conference archivist to enforce retention deadlines and to supervise the orderly transfer of these records to the conference archives at their designated time.

Lewis Morris, Sr., Chair
1990 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The United Methodist Church approaches the twenty-first century with a sense of accomplishment as she looks back upon a century of growth, reconciliation and reorgani-zation. The church has always prided herself in her ability to adapt to an ever-changing, complex world. She has never rested upon her laurels, and her spiritual fervency has prepared her well for the uncertainties facing her in particular, and Christianity in general, as we embark upon the final chapter of the twentieth century.
     We, the People Called Methodists, stand as one of the more unique religious bodies ever called into God's service Our history is rich in drama. We trace our heritage to a small coterie of men and women who sought to bring a new spirit of personalism and excitement to what they perceived to be a staid, exclusive-minded church which they opined had abdicated its desire to serve These Methodists were chided, but they persevered. "The world is my parish," John Wesley exclaimed when rebuked by the Church of England, and this new religious movement did indeed move beyond the fields and quarries of England to the larger world which awaited it with a mixture of hesitation and eagerness.

     The Commission on Archives and History is normally looked upon as being one of the "minor" commissions and boards comprising The United Methodist Church. We realize most people live by the adage "live for today and plan for tomorrow," but we envision our task as being one of educating all United Methodists as to the importance of preserving our history via the maintenance of those records which enable us to reconstruct the heritage of our denomination.

     At the January Convocation of Boards, the Commission on Archives and History engaged in a self-evaluation of its responsibilities and how to best carry out its mandate. Do we exist simply to handout historical markers at conference each year? The commission rejected this n6tion and immediately embarked upon an appraisal of what it envisions its duties to be We decided it is incumbent upon us to be directly involved with the archival program of the Annual Conference This is to be accomplished with our working closely with the Conference Archives at Centenary College, especially with the development and realization of the new facility planned for the college Secondly, we see our responsibilities as being one of educating the local church on the importance of proper records management. The Commission on Archives and History is thereby convinced it will he a visible and vibrant force in the Louisiana Annual Conference in the years to come.

     "The Past is Prologue," is inscribed on the facade of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This is likewise the credo of the Commission on Archives and History. We are excited about the future of the The United Methodist Church in Louisiana but we are likewise mindful the success of our efforts in the future depends greatly upon our appreciation and appropriation of the lessons we learned from our past.

Lewis Morris, Jr, Chair
1989 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     "The Past is Prologue" inscribed on the facade of the National Archives in Washington, D.C. We are a people concerned foremost with the happenings of the present while at the same time keeping a wary eye towards the uncertainties of tomorrow. Yet, how can we fully appreciate today and hope to plan for tomorrow without a knowledge of those events and personalities which have shaped us as a society?
     The "People Called Methodists" enjoy one of the richest heritages of any faith. We are witnessing today the marrying of that faith with the technology of the times, a union which will undoubtedly enhance United Methodism's endeavors to inform the world of God's boundless grace. However, we as a faith must never lose sight of that journey that has taken us from a saddlebag ministry to the advanced technology of a satellite ministry.

     The Commission on Archives and History recognizes the importance of keeping alive the history and heritage of our faith. In order for this task to be accomplished, those records from which this heritage can be reconstructed must be preserved for succeeding generations of United Methodists. This will be our credo for 1989-90: "Keep alive our past so that the spirit of the faith may live in the future."

     The Commission was presented a detailed report at the Convocation of Boards in January outlining the critical records management needs of the Louisiana Annual Conference It is imperative that those records which serve as a link to our past be preserved as written, oral and visual testimonies to the uniqueness of our faith. Furthermore, the Commission feels it is necessary for its members to educate our churches on the importance of records keeping, a task which can be accomplished via workshops and seminars within each district.

     Finally the Commission on Archives and History recognizes the need for a first class archival facility at Centenary College. We are delighted to have received from Centenary College a pledge of assistance on this important project. Without such a facility, adequately funded and staffed, our task of preserving one of the richest heritages of any faith will be hardpressed.

Lewis M. Morris, Jr, Chair
1988 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     Last year's report anticipated completion of Walter W. Vernon's Becoming One People, A History of Louisiana Methodism in time for presentation at Annual Conference.  With that accomplished, the Commission accepted responsibility for directing efforts to publicize and distribute the book.  More than one thousand copies have been distributed, mainly through availability at conference and the sustained efforts of district superintendents.  The history of Methodist accomplishment in Louisiana over almost two centuries is impressive and inspiriational, and one which every Methodist in Louisiana should know and enjoy.  Enthusiasm and high praise characterize the response of those who have read Dr. Vernon's book.  Copies can be obtained through district superintendents, directly from the conference office in Baton Rouge, or at Annual Conference.
     With an expression of deep appreciation to Dr. Vernon for outstanding work in preparing this history and a feeling of satisfaction over the commission's part in this major accomplishment.  Archives and History turns to its most fundamental task, that of directing and participating in a program of good record-keeping at every level of conference activity and of collecting documents which contain and preserve the story of Louisiana Methodism for future generations. 

     The Louisiana Conference needs an archival program of record-keeping and historical collection in every Methodist church of the conference.  This means every church needs an officially designated church historian and suitable storage space.  District historians will work closely with local church historians and church committees in this on-going project.  The commission and conference archivist, will work with both district and local historians.

     Among the resource persons inspiring and guiding the Commission on Archives and History are Dr. Donald J. Lemieux, Director of the Louisiana State Archives, and Mr. Lewis Morris, Associate Director of the Louisiana State Archives.  Mr. Morris is also a pastor in the conference and a district historian.  The state archivists' enthusiasm for our work helps the commission understand that Methodist history and records are important not just for our denomination but for the state, region, and nation as well.

     The Commission on Archives and History needs the help of everyone in the conference for this ministry of preserving the history of Louisiana Methodism and passing it on to posterity.

Alton D. Hancock, Chair
1987 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     For about two thousand years, the church, inspired by the Holy Spirit, has born witness to and has witnessed in its midst the atoning and reconciling work of Christ.  The history of the church preserves the record of that witness.  Preserving the church's history is itself, then, a most important ministry of witnessing to Christ's continued work in the world.
     The Conference Commission on Archives and History has the special responsibility of preserving the history of the church in order for that history to be a witness to future generations.  The most basic part of this task is the creation, collection, and preservation of the written and oral records which can assure that the historical heritage of Louisiana Methodism will not be lost.

     The commission is trying to set up and put in motion a complete and efficient conference-wide program of records collection.  This program will require the active and coordinated work of commission, district historians, local church historians, and the conference archivist.  District historians will be a major factor in this program's success.  They will oversee the training and work of local church archival efforts.  This work in two districts is already off to a running start with some others not far behind.  The commisssion will include district historians in its June and January meetings beginning in June, 1987, and will routinely offer workshops to train them and encourage their work in the districts.

     At the convocation of boards and commissions in January, the commission had a special and very high quality workshop.  Dr. Donald J. Lemieux, Archivist and Director of the Louisiana State Archives, and Rev. Lewis Morris, Associate Director of the State Archives, discussed the importance of collecting and saving records and the types of records that should be collected.  Rev. Morris is also the district historian for the Baton Rouge/Hammond District.  He and Mrs. Sarah Kreutziger, district historian for the New Orleans/Slidell District, shared with the commission the many successful projects they had under way in their districts.

     The Conference Archives at Centenary College has received some new material on the Methodist Protestant Church in Louisiana and a number of Methodist Episcopal journals.  There have also been a few additions to the Archives' collection of local church histories, some of which were updates of histories already in the collection.

     Boeuf Prairie Methodist Church in the Monroe District applied for a historical marker, and the commission certified that it qualified.  The marker will be presented at Conference.

     The commission has sent one district historian and one commission member to a Jurisdictional workshop on women's history at Perkins.  The knowledge and experiences they gain there will be of value for future workshops in the Louisiana Conference.

     The main project of the commission has been the preparation of Becoming One People, A History of Louisiana Methodism by the History Task Group.  Both the chairperson and the secretary of the Commission on Archives and History have been deeply involved in reading, editing, finding and selecting pictures, and the numerous other arrangements for printing.  Dr. Walter Vernon is the author.  Mrs. Norma Winegeart is officially the chairperson of the task group and in addition has done the many tasks usually handled by a publisher.  The chairperson of Archives and History has served as editor.  Although the book is not ready at the writing of this report, it is generally on schedule and presentation at Annual Conference is fully expected.  The printer has estimated that the book will contain some 450 pages.  The History Task Group has set the price at $15 if the book is picked up at Conference or at the Council on Ministries office in Baton Rouge.  For an additional $5 for postage and handling, one can secure a copy by mail from the Council on Ministries office.

Alton O. Hancock, Chairperson
1986 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

    The 1985 Annual Conference authorized the appointment of district historians and accepted the guidelines for that office which the Commission on Archives and History had submitted.  The following district historians have been appointed:
     Alexandria - Mrs. Marion Taylor

     Baton Rouge / Hammond - Lews M. Morris, Jr.

     Baton Rouge / Lafayette - Allen F. Martin

     Monroe - Mrs. Lester Higgens

     New Orleans / Houma - Parker Schneidau

     New Orleans / Slidell - Sarah Kreutziger

     Ruston - Bill Stokes

     Shreveport - Bentley Sloan

     The duties of district historians are given in the guidelines, which are printed in last year's Conference Journal.  In order to aid these officers in beginning their work, the Commission on Archives and History held a workshop for district historians in Alexandria on November 23, 1985.  Mr. William Beal, archivist for Methodism's national archives in New Jersey, was an exceptionally fine leader of the workshop.  The purpose was to help train district historians to aid local church historians in establishing local record-archival programs.
     The first big project of the district historians is now underway.  First, they will supply the Commission with the names and addresses of each local church historian in their districts.  They will then target a local church and aid the local historian in establishing a church archive.  When this project is completed, the Conference will have some exemplar local archives and experienced district historians who can train local historians in their districts to develop an archive in each church.      The Commission plans to hold a series of workshops for districts and local historians and to aid in setting up records-archival programs in local churches.      The Conference Archives at Centenary College received applications for historical markers from two churches: Bartholemew (Monroe District) and First United Methodist Church, Crowley (Lake Charles District).  The Commission approved both applications.  The markers will be presented during Annual Conference.      Mrs. Norma Winegeart, Chairperson of the History Writing Task Group, reports that the History of Louisiana Methodism project is progressing and on schedule.  The author, Dr. Walter Vernon, is about half way through writing the chapters and well beyond that in his research.  This project remains top priority with our Commission.

Alton O. Hancock, Chairperson
1985 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     This Conference Commission has two fundamental responsibilities: (a) to promote, gather, and preverve records on every aspect of United Methodism in Louisiana,  and  (b)  to  preserve for future generations accounts of  the persons behind Conference statistics.
     Records of programs, projects, and plans of Conference agencies provide current  leaders with the collective wisdom and experience of as many  years of  human  effort as the records allow.   If records are gathered and used properly, agencies will not have to ''reinvent the wheel'' every generation or every quadrennium but can “stand on the shoulders'' of those who  have gone  before.   By learning from such records, we can avoid repeating  past mistakes and can build further on good foundations left by our predecessors. We urge all agencies to aid us in this part of our task by  following  the direction  of  the  Discipline and sending copies of their minutes to the Conference Archives at Centenary College.

     Louisiana  Methodism is far more than boards, commissions, and other agencies.   Louisiana Methodists are Louisiana Methodism,  The real witness and inspiration of Louisiana Methodism come through persons and are conveyed to  the future through persons.   Preserving the accounts of individuals is more difficult than preserving the records of agencies.   The necessary documents are often in the form of personal letters, notes, diaries, journals, and the like.   Understandably,  families are often reluctant to give  these up and sometimes through unintentional neglect let them deteriorate and become unusable.   This loss makes it increasingly difficult as the years go by to reconstruct the life, accomplishments, and witness of individuals.   The  Commission urges anyone who has such material to contact the Conference Archives and make arrangements for copying or depositing  the material and determining any restrictions on its use by researchers.

     The Commission on Archives and History, with the help of the Conference Archives  at  Centenary College and at Dillard university (for  material  on members  and agencies of former Conference B),  is always ready to  help  in gathering  and preserving the documents on any and all aspects of  Methodist heritage.

     The  most  significant accomplishment of the Commission and the ad hoc Committee to Write the History of Louisiana Methodism was  getting  the Conference history underway.   Dr. Walter Vernon has done a large amount of research already and has produced a working outline and the first chapter of the book.  The target date for release is Annual Conference, 1987.  Members of the Committee are:   Mrs.  Norma S.  Winegeart,  chairperson.  Mr. Welton Brumfield, Mrs. Inez Chrisentery. Dr. Clyde Frazier, Jr., Dr. Alton Hancock, Dr. Charles B. Simmons, Dr, Kirby A. Vining, and Dr. Harvey C. Williamson.

     Finally, the Commission has submitted to the Conference a resolution for approval  and  selection  of  district historians  in  accordance  with  the following guidelines:

Guidelines For District Historians -Louisiana Annual Conference

I. Selection of the District Historian
     The district historian should be nominated by the District

     Committee on Nominations in consultation with the District

     Chapter of the Historical Society, if there be such, and elected in the same manner as other members of the District  Council on Ministries

(Initially, the district historian may be named by the district superintendent, until the procedure above can be effected.)

II. Relation to the District Council on Ministries
    The district historian should be a member of the District Council on Ministries.

III. Relation to the Historical Society
     The district historian shall be an ex-officio member of the Annual Conference Historical Society and an ex-officio officer of the District Chapter of the Society.

IV. Relation to the Commission on Archives and History
     The district historians of the several districts shall be related to the Annual Conference Commission on Archives and History in an advisory capacity to be defined by the Commission.

V. Function and Responsibilities of the District Historians
   1. In cooperation with the District Superintendent, to see that all district records are properly kept and preserved.

   2. To encourage and assist local churches in writing and revising their histories.

   3. To secure copies of local church histories and other valuable historical materials; to preserve these records within the district; and to transmit copies of these records to the Annual Conference Archives  (former Conference B materials to Dillard University and other materials to Centenary College).

   4. To prepare a list of churches and pastoral charges within the district showing the arrangement of churches and charges throughout the years.

   5. To prepare a record of ministers who have served charges within the district.

   6. To assist in the organization and work of the District Chapter of the Historical Society.

   7. To serve as a “'resource historian” to aid local churches and individuals in historical research.

   8. To participate in such training workshops as may be planned by the Commission on Archives and History for district historians.

Alton 0. Hancock, Chairperson
1984 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Commission on Archives and History has the continuing task of maintaining records of the conference, its agencies and institutions by collecting, preserving, classifying and cataloguing varied archival materials: including minutes, journals, reports, manuscripts, diaries, photographs, maps, etc. These records and archival materials are available in the Cline Room of the Magale Library of centenary College. A second depository is located in the Will W. Alexander Library of Dillard University in New Orleans.
     Many local churches are now in the process of revising their local history as a part of the celebration of the bicentennial. The Commission would appreciate a copy of the revised history as well as copies of anniversary programs, dedication of buildings, historical sites, or other documents.

     Archival materials are valuable in research and in planning programs, activities, projects, in the celebration of the Bicentennial of American Methodism in Louisiana The Archivist is prepared to assist the Bicentennial of American Methodism in Louisiana. The Archivist is prepared to assist the Bicentennial Committee in this effort.

Wadsworth A Davis, Chairman
1983 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Commission on Archives and History is continually engaged in collecting, cataloging, and preserving official documents, journals, minutes, programs and other historical items of The United Methodist Church in Louisiana.
These records are stored in the Cline room of the Magale Library of Centenary College in Shreveport and in the Will W. Alexander Library of Dillard University in New Orleans.

     Local churches have the continuing task of revising and bringing up-to-date their local history and sending a copy to the Commission. These churches may also request information concerning historical items pertaining to individuals and churches. The Archivist is prepared to render such service.

     There is a committee in each local church preparing for the celebration of the Bicentennial of American Methodism, 1784-1984. Dr Clyde Frazier is the Interpreter for this celebration and is prepared to offer suggestions and guidelines to the church for its celebration. A History Task Force has been appointed to supervise the writing of The History of Louisiana Methodism as a part of the Bicentennial celebration.

     Mr. Ernest Arnold, a member of this commission and also a member of the National Commission is the official representative for the collection of funds for the new building of Archives and History at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. Each local church is being asked to collect a special offering in 1984 on Heritage Sunday and send it to the Archival Center at Drew University, Madison, New Jersey as Louisiana's contribution to our Central Archival Building.

Wadsworth A. Davis, Chairman
1982 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Commission on Archives and History has the responsibility of establishing a complete record of the conference, its agencies and institutions, by collecting, preserving, and cataloging the official documents, minutes, and historical items of The United Methodist Church in Louisiana.  The Commission maintains two depositories where these records are stored: the Cline Room of the Magale Library at Centenary College in Shreveport, and The WIll W. Alexander Library at Dillard University in New Orleans.
     We are pleased to acknowledge the support of local churches in the continuing task of writing church histories and forwarding copies of anniversary programs, dedications of buildings, historical sites, and other important documents which help to complete our records. The Archivist reports greater use of the archival materials which are presently available.

     A History Workshop was conducted by Dr. John Ness at the Trinity United Methodist Church in Ruston, Louisiana. Those in attendance received valuable information concern-ing the work of the history committee in the local church.

     The Bicentennial Committee is coordinafing the Bicentennial Celebration of American Methodism 1784-1984 which will be observed by the conference and local churches. Various types of activities, projects, and programs and other planning information for this celebration may be found in the May 1982 issue of the Interpreter.

Wadsworth A. Davis Chairman
1981 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Commission on Archives and History continues to interpret the scope of its work to the Annual Conference, District Conference, Boards, Agencies, and local churches. Through the use of workshops, displays, correspondence and inquiries there is developed a greater awareness of the importance of preserving official records, minutes, documents, photographs, and other archival materials for present and future use.
     Centenary College in Shreveport and Dillard University in New Orleans serve as official depositories for all archival materials. Cataloguing, storing, and preserving these invaluable resources is a continuous process so that these resources are readily available to the clergy, laymen, researchers, and other interested workers.

     Your participation is twofold: Greater use of the archival materials which are presen fly available and adding to the collection by sending to the library copies of programs, anniversaries, local church histories, and other documents so as to keep our records current.

     Two representatives from the Commission attended The South Cenfral Jurisdictional Conference on Archives and History in Dallas, October 34 and brought back new creative approaches for developing workshops on Oral Church Histories.      Additional materials including guidelines, pamphlets, bibliographies were also made available for writing church histories and discovering the wide range of projects used to stimulate interest in archival materials.

1980 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Louisiana Conference Commission on Archives and History continues to establish a record of the ongoing history of our conference with the preservation and cataloging of conference and local church records. The main depository for these records and historical items is the Cline Room of the Magale Library at Centenary College. Other materials of former Conference B are in safe keeping at Alexander Library at Dillard University in New Orleans.
     A Church History Workshop was held on October 9, 1979, at the First United Methodist Church of Baton Rouge with Dr. John Ness, Archivist of the National Archives of the United Methodist Church, as instructor.

     The Commission is in the process of establishing a permanent record of the founding date of all past and present United Methodist Churches in Louisiana. Companion to this will be a record of all men and women who have served in the ministry of the Louisiana Annual Conference. The Commission requests the help and cooperation of all churches and interested parties in this difficult task.

     We continue to encourage churches of historical significance to register with the Commission and to apply for a "LOUISIANA METHODISM HISTORICAL SITE" marker. The cost is $30 for the marker and application can be obtained by writing the Commission at 1502 West St., Winnsboro, La., 71295.

     In this day of tape recording of sermons and special events, we urge pastors to send us tapes of their best sermon and of special programs in their church. Especially helpful are tapes of longtime members of a church who can relate stories of events and experiences in the history of a church. The "History Project" for the writing of a new history of Louisiana Methodism is still being planned. A second Church Workshop for North Louisiana will be held in the Fall of 1980 at a place and time to be determined.

     Reverend James Christie, Chairman of the Commission, resigned on January 25 because of his coming move from the Conference to a position with the Office of Finance and Field Service of the Department of Church Extension of the National Division of the Board of Global Ministries. Reverend W. M. McCutcheon, Vice-Chairman, assumed the chair of the Commission and Mr. Wadsworth Davis of New Orleans was elected new Vice-Chairman.

W. M. McCutcheon Chairman
1979 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Louisiana Conference Commission on Archives and History is charged by the Discipline of the United Methodist Church with cultivation of appreciation on the part of our people of our Methodist heritage, and with the preservation of the various historical records of Louisiana Methodism, its conferences, agencies and institutions.
     The Commission maintains two depositories: (1) the "Louisiana Methodist Archives", housed in the Cline Room at Magale Library at Centenary College, Shreveport, and (2) a depository housed at Alexander Library, Dillard Universty, New Orleans.

     We are pleased to report that significant progress has been made in the continuing task of secunng, evaluating, cataloging and preserving the important archival materials which over the years have been entrusted to our care.

     We remind the various agencies of the Annual Conference that their important records, which are no longer needed for current operations, should be delivered to the Louisiana Methodist Archives for preservation.

     We are grateful for the concern for our Church's history which has led ministers and laypersons to preserve, in their personal care, important records of the Conference, its agencies, institutions, and local churches which otherwise might have been lost to us. We encourage any who have such official records to deposit them for permanent care in the Archives. We invite all who share this concern to assist in the discovery of, request for, and deposit of such Church records.

     The Commission plans the publication of an "Historical Register" of local churches in the Louisiana Conference. Toward that end, each church will be asked to complete a simple form which will provide the Commission with needed data for its church listing.

     We encourage qualified local churches to become registered with the Commission as "Historic Sites." Forms are available from the Louisiana Methodist Archives, Magale Library, Centenary College, Shreveport, Louisiana 71104.

The Commission plans a bi-district church history workshop in the autumn of 1979 at a date and location to be announced.

James Christie, Chairman
1978 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Commission is pleased to report that there is an increasing concern for the preservation of the records - the story - of the work of the Church in Louisiana.
     The Commission, as directed by the Discipline of our Church, maintains two archival depositories. Our principal depository is located here at Centenary College, in the Cline Room at Magale Library, where we are fortunate to have the benefit of professional archivist's services. Our other depository is at the Alexander Library at Dillard University, where are housed our collection of materials related to the history and heritage of former Conference B and the black churches of Louisiana. The Annual Conference has provided a special grant of $1000 to provide for the cataloging and display of these materials.

     Among the acquisitions added to the Archives this year are the papers of R. H. Harper, and (as of this week) the copies of the LOUISIANA METHODIST for the years 1949-52, presented by Virgil D. Morris and Jolly B. Harper in memory of their co-editor, Ralph Cain.

     We want to encourage every member of this Conference, indeed, every United Methodist, to be alert to identify and secure for the Conference any historical materials thought to be of value in the preservation of the record of our heritage.

     We remind all boards, commissions and committees of the Conference that their official records should be deposited in the Archives when they are no longer in active use.

     We remind all officers of these agencies of the Conference that these records, although generated by their dedicated service, are the property of the Conference, and should not be considered by them as their personal papers. Such materials should be deposited in the Archives when no longer needed for the continuing business of the board, commission or committee.

     The Commission and the Archivist will assist local churches in the preparation of their histories. The Archives at Centenary offers inexpensive microfilming services for the duplication of records of local churches and Conference agencies.

     Additional Historic Sites have been registered and marked during the year, a list of which is attached to this report. We are pleased today to present Historic Site markers to the representatives of the Holly Grove (Vernon Parish) and the Gibson churches. We urge other churches and individuals to assist in the registration of other worthy historic sites, forms for which may be secured from the Archivist at Centenary or from the Commission.

     During the coming year, we hope to establish at least one District or Bi-District chapter of the Historical Society. Persons interested in this project are asked to contact the Commission or their District Superintendent.

     Wesley Chapel, City Road, London, has been undergoing restoration for several years, and will be reopened on November 1, 1978, the 200th anniversary of its opening by John Wesley. We urge contributions from every local church in the Conference toward the balance needed on our Conference goal, thus helping to assure the Chapel being free of debt. We invite interested persons to participate in the Reopening Celebration.

1977 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Commission on Archives and History is pleased to report its activities in discharge of the duties outlined in Par. 735 of the 1976 Discipline.
     The Conference Archives at Centenary College has benefited from a major expansion of the Cline Room of Magale Library which was completed during the past year.  The Archives are open during regular library hours, and members of the Annual Conference are invited to inspect our depository during the coming session.  We have a part-time archivist there, and limited research and microfilming services are available, requests for which should be directed to: Louisiana Conference Archives, Centenary College, Shreveport, LA 71104.

     Records related to former “Conference B” are housed at the Alexander Library at Dillard University, New Orleans.  Special funding from the Annual Conference this year will permit the Commission to secure the integrity and provide for proper cataloging and display of this valuable historical material.

     We request that any persons having historical records which may be of value in helping to provide a complete chronicle of the story of Methodism in Louisiana deposit these with our Conference Archives.  Such materials will be gratefully received, acknowledged and preserved, in keeping with the “Archival Policy” printed in the 1975 Journal.

     We remind the various boards and agencies of our Annual Conference that copies of their minutes and other records of possible historic value are – by direction of the Discipline – to be deposited with the Archives.

     We wish to thank those persons and committees who have been responsible for preparing and publishing local church histories, more than a hundred of which have been deposited in the Conference Archives.  We urge those churches which have not yet prepared their histories to do so during the coming year.

     Certification by the General Commission on Archives and History of the grave of Richmond Nolley at Jena as a Methodist Historic Site was completed, and on March 20, 1977, Bishop J. Kenneth Shamblin led a special service at Jena in which this official marker – the first accredited to Louisiana – was presented and dedicated.

     The Commission has developed a plan for the accreditation and marking of sites of historic significance to Louisiana Methodism.  A special site marker is available from the Commission.  Details and applications forms may be secured from the Archives at Centenary.

     The major project of the Commission during this quadrennium – the publication of a History of Louisiana Methodism – is moving forward under the leadership of Dr. Walter Lowrey, historian, and the Commission’s Editorial Committee.  Projected date for publication is 1979.  The Commission will be grateful for any historical data, suggestions and financial support for this important project.

     We invite all interested persons to become members of the Historical Society, which will hold an open meeting during the 1977 Session of the Annual Conference at a time and place to be announced.

James E. Christie, Chairman
W. Spiller Milton, Secretary
1976 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Commission is pleased to report significant developments at both of our Conference archival depositories.  At the Centenary College archives, the Commission's new microfilming equipment has been installed and is now in use.  As a result of a grant from the Shreveport-Bossier Foundation, a major expansion of the Cline Room, which houses the archives, is to be undertaken during the summer of 1976, and the completion of this project will provide badly needed additional space.  In cooperation with the Centenary Library, the Commission has secured the Services of a part-time archivist who is rendering valuable research, filing and cataloging services. Valuable additions to the archival collection housed at the Alexander Library at Dillard University have been secured this year, and a dedication service was held in April for these materials.
     We request that any persons having historical records which may be of value in helping to provide a complete chronicle of the story of Methodism in Louisiana deposit these in one of our Conference Archives. Especially needed are materials relating to former Conference - its agencies and local churches, and the work of the Methodist Episcopal Church and the Methodist Protestant Church in Louisiana. Such materials will be gratefully received, acknowledged and preserved, in keeping with the "Archival Policy" printed in the 1975 Journal

     Limited research services are available through the archivist at the Conference Archives at Centenary. Requests for information should be directed to: Louisiana Conference Archives, Centenary College, Shreveport, Louisiana 71104.

     We remind the various agencies of our Annual Conference that copies of their minutes and other records of possible historic value are -- by direction of the Discipline -- to be deposited with the Archives.

     The Commission has requested that a District Historian be named in each District, and has established Guidelines for their work.

     During the coming year, the Commission plans to conduct a History Workshop for the District Historians and other persons with similar' responsibilities in local churches who may wish to attend.

     Certification of the grave of Richmond Nolley as a Methodist Historical Site will he com-pleted soon, and a special service will he held as soon as possible thereafter.

     The Commission has developed a plan for the identification, accreditation and marking of sites of historic significance to Louisiana Methodism. Materials for this purpose will be available at Annual Conference, Presentation of the first site markers for accredited sites will be made at Annual Conference, 1977.

    We urge the appropriate observance of May 23, 1976 as Heritage Sunday, and of July 4, 1976 as Bicentennial Sunday.

The major project of the Commission is the publication - hopefully during the 1979-80 conference year - of a new and definitive History or Louisiana Methodism. To this end, the Commission has secured Dr. Walter M. Lowrey as author, and has established an Editorial Committee to guide this important project.

     Inasmuch as we - with all those who have gone before us - have helped to make this history, we now call upon all United Methodists in Louisiana to share in this task. Before the writing begins, there is much research to be done, which can he greatly enriched by ad-ditional historical material not now available to us. We call upon our people to help us find this material. Some will wish to contribute to the pre-publication costs of the project, and the Commission will welcome such gifts. And upon publication, every local church, every minister, and many Methodists grateful for their heritage will want to have a copy in their libraries.

      We therefore request that - with the adoption of this report - the Annual Conference for-mally endorse the Commission's proposed publication of a new History of Louisiana Methodism, and urge every local church to deposit with the Archives a copy of its history or a completed historical questionnaire by May 1,1977.

RESOLUTION Resolved: That the Louisiana Annual Conference endorse the proposal of the Commission on Archives and History for the publication of a new History of Louisiana Methodism, and authorize the Commission, by and for itself and without any financial obligation upon the Louisiana Annual Conference, to solicit gifts, enter into contracts with the author and printer/publisher, arrange for sale and distribution, and engage in other appropriate and necessary activities related to the project.

James F. Christie, Chairman W. Spiller Milton, Secretary
1975 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     Paragraph 1274, 1972 Discipline or the United Methodist Church states:
     1. Definition   Archives, as dlstinguished from libraries, house not primarily books. but documentary materials such as records, minutes, journals, diaries, fl reports, pamphlets, letters, papers, manuscripts, maps, photographs, audio visuals, recordings, and any other items, regardless of physical form or charac-teristic, which pertain to the current activities and the history of the United Methodist Church.

     To comply with requirements of paragraph 1277 of the 1972 Discipline of the United Methodist Church this Archival Policy is submitted to the Louisiana Annual Conference.
ARCHIVAL POLICY 
1. The Commission on Archives and History of the Louisiana Annual Conference shall be the official custodian of the archives of the Conference which shall be located at and administered by the Centenary College Library and the Dillard University Library                            I

2. Archivists shall be appointed by the Commission in consultation with the head librarians of the depositories.

3. The Annual Conference and each of its Boards, Commissions, Committees, or Agencies, and the like shall make sure that its activities are adequately recorded. These records should document the policies, programs, and actions of each organizational unit through initiating, planning, adoption, and the implementation phases.

4. Each Board, Commission, Committee, Agency, and the like shall designate a person or persons to act as liaison with the Chairperson of the Commission on Archives and History.

5. Each records liaison officer, in conjunction with the Chairperson of the Comrnission on Archives and History shall develop a schedule for  the disposal of inactive records of each organization. 

6. Where records on contain information of a confidential nature, restrictions may be placed on their use at the time they are deposited with the Commission.

7. All materials in the Archives subject to restrictions which may have been placed upon them, shall he available for research use in accord with the rules of the archival depository.

8. No records shall he taken from the place of deposit except by written consent of the board or agency which originated the records 

9. Ministers and lay-persons possessing personal or official papers books or other materials of value for church history are encouraged to depositor bequeath such materials to the Conference Commission on Archives and History

10. In connection with the program for maintaining a depository for and thc servicing of inactive records of the Conference, as outlined above, the Commission on Archives and History will provide for thc fumigation and restoration of records the arrangement of records in archival containers according to provenance the creating of finding aids, and the conducting of record inventories of the conference boards and agencies and local church levels.

II. The conference has available a machine for microfilming legal size and smaller materials. For protection of conference records the Commission proposes to microfilm its most important documents, minimizing storage and lessening damage from handling original documents. This machine may also be used to microfilm local church materials, the original of which the local church wishes to retain, thus centralizing all Conference records.

Respectfully submitted, Mrs. W. M. Nolan, Chairman W. Spiller Milton, Secretary
1974 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     Members of the Louisiana Conference Commission on Archives and History were guided by Dr. John Ness, Jr., Executive Secretary of the Commission on Archives and History, United Methodist Church, in a Workshop at their semi-annual business meeting October 1973.  Disciplinary duties were discussed in detail.  Foremost among them is the responsibility to obtain inventory, care for, and regulate the use of records, artifacts, and pertinent materials.  All Boards and Agencies of the Conference need information on what to save, when, and where.  All churches need similar instructions.  A statement of Archival Policy is being developed.  There is the realization that more storage space will be necessary.
     The Jurisdictional Workshop to be held at Oklahoma City University, October 18-19, will be open to 'interested parties" from local churches who want to learn more about the functions and methods of the Commission.

     The Conference Historical Society is particularly emphasizing local ob-servance of Heritage Sunday, May 26.  They suggest flowers for graves of deceased ministers. This is also the date for the offering for the restoration of Wesley's Chapel in London. Tourists in our Third Annual Methodist Her-itage Tour (November 18-26) will visit this site.

     The death in December of Mrs. Kathleen Owens saddened our heart. She was the guiding spirit of Cline Memorial Room which houses our archives.

    Finally, let me suggest to you that during 1976, the year of the Bicentennial of our nation, July 4th is on Sunday.

Respectfully submitted,
Mrs. W. M. Nolan, Chairman
1973 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Commission on Archives and History sponsored a United Methodist Heritage Tour of England in November.  The Second Annual Tour is scheduled for November 19-27, 1973, under the leadership of James E. Christie.
     The Historical Society of the Louisiana Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church was organized at Epworth England during the tour. The purpose of this society is to assist and support the Annual Conference Commission on Archives and History in carrying out its Disciplinary duties, and to promote interest in the study and preservation of the history of the Conference, its antecedents, its agencies, and its institutions.  This society solicits your membership.  A luncheon meeting is to be held May '80 at Centenary College Cafeteria with Dr. John Ness, Jr., Executive Secretary of the Commission on Archives and History, The United Methodist Church, in attendance.

     Names of Local Church Historians have come in slowly. We have sent to each minister for the use of the Historian a copy of "How to Write And Publish The History of a United Methodist Church." We have provided the District Superintendents with copies of the leaflet, "The Craft of Composing a Memoir"

     To aid people who use the microfilms for research we have purchased seven reels with index for births, marriages; and deaths recorded. in the New Orleans Christian Advocate.  Research assistance may be obtained for a fee, in an authorized church search, by writing Mrs. Kathleen Owens at Centenary Library

     We recommend the grave of Richmond Nolley at Jena for a marker and national classification as a "United Methodist Site."  We are asking the approval of this Conference.  'Designation at a later date as a United Methodist "Shrine" or "Landmark" will require the approval of General Conference.

     Sincere appreciation goes to Bishop Crutchfield, to The Louisiana Methodist, and to the many people in local churches who have advanced our cause during the year.

Resolution
     The Commission on Archives and History asks the Louisiana Annual Conference to authorized as a "Methodist Historical Site" the grave of Rich-mond Nolley at Nolley Memorial United Methodist Church at Jena, Louisiana.
Mrs. W. M. Nolan, Chairman
1972 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The Commission on Archives and History reports a busy year.  Mrs. Kathleen Owens, supervisor of the Cline Room, home of our Conference Archives, Centenary College Library, reports an increasing number of researchers.  Five interesting rolls of microfilm containing the Journals of former Conference B have been purchased by the Commission.
     Vice-Chairman J. W. Wilson attended the South Central Jurisdiction Workshop at Mount Sequoyah in November.

     To encourage every local church to prepare and appreciate its own history, we are asking each congregation to observe an Anniversary Day, reporting it to the Historical Commission.  This may or may not be associated with a Homecoming Day. Let us recall one important anniversary now. In January of 1847, one hundred-twenty-five years ago, a Louisiana Conference was organized at Opelousas Church.  Many churches inherit this anniversary. During the past year brochures on writing the history of a local church have been distributed as requested.

     We are asking that Heritage Day this year be observed with an Asbury emphasis on October 29th. A booklet, BISHOP FRANCIS ASBURY IN THE MAKING OF AMERICAN METHODISM by W. C. Smeltzer, D.D. has been endorsed by our Bishops and District Superintendents for distribution in congregations to promote Methodist Spiritual Renewal.  Order blanks for sample copies are available from Commission members.

     This is a repeat call.  Little response has come from past appeals to Conference members for data needed in the Death Roll printed periodically m the Conference Journal.  Look in the 1971 Journal between pages 204 and 212. We need to complete records for more than seventy-five deceased brethren! Certainly, many conference members will know a friend or relative who can furnish some facts needed.

    The Commission on Archives and History offers valuable interest fields for the minister and history-minded laymen. Check your libraries for church history materials an different reading levels.  The National Commission at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, has much to offer.  They also publish a superior quarterly magazine, METHODIST HISTORY.

     Some Louisiana sites of importance in the history of Methodism need to be added to the official register.  Send in your nominations and fact sheets for consideration.  Present research centers around old Camp Meeting areas.

     We commend those who have contributed to Archives this year. Special thanks go to those Boards, Commissions, and Agencies of our Conference who are organizing histories of their units.

Mrs. W. M. Nolan, Chairman
1971 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     During the past year the Conference Commission on Archives and History, in association with the staff of the Centenary College Library, has continued to seek out, acquire, and preserve historical records of Louisiana Methodism.  Numerous persons doing research on particular phases of church history have used these records and the Library staff members have been extremely helpful in making them available.  Among the most widely used materials are the complete set of the official journals of the conference, and a microfilm copy of the complete files of the New Orleans Christian Advocate.
     The Commission has begun attempts to gather materials concerning phases of Methodism in Louisiana which are presently unrepresented in our archival collection.  These include material on the Methodist Protestant Church, the Evangelical United Brethren, and the churches now in Louisiana Conference B, and other churches connected with the history of Methodism.  This work will be aided by the Archivist of the United Methodist Church of Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, who visited and surveyed our own holdings early this year.

     We continue to receive histories of individual churches in this conference and have catalogued those received in the Centenary Library.  We urge each church which has not yet done so to prepare a comprehensive record of its origins and development.

     All funds allocated to the commission for the past two years have been set aside for the purpose of purchasing a microfilm camera and equipment when sufficient money for the purchase is accumulated.  The equipment will be used not only to record the thousands of items now in the Archives at Centenary College, but can also be used to microfilm records of individual churches and agencies for deposit in the Archives.  This will provide a central depository for church records in Louisiana and will make research in church history easier and more rewarding.  It will also provide duplicate records of important documents, making them safe from the destruction of time and natural hazards.

     The Commission requests that each Church make an inventory of its records and report on its holdings to the Commission.  We are especially interested in adding to the Archives pictures of historic interest to Louisiana Methodism, as well as letters, diaries, and other materials relating to the Church, its agencies, its pastors, and its work.  If you have such materials, please write describing them to: The Methodist Archives, Centenary College Library, Shreveport, LA 71104.

     The Commission plans an exhibit for the Annual Conference of material selected from the Archives, to be displayed in the cases in the foyer of the meeting hall for the Uniting Conference.

Walter M. Lowrey, Chairman
1970 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     During the past year the Conference Historical Commission, in association with the staff of the Centenary College Library, has continued to seek out acquire, and preserve historical records of Louisiana Methodism. Numerous persons doing research on particular phases of church history, have used these records, and the Library staff members have been extremely helpful in making them available. Among the most widely used materials are the complete set of the official journals of the Conference, and a microfilm copy of the complete files of the New Orleans Christian Advocate.
      Dr. H. L. Johns of Monroe during the past year has compiled valuable study of the Methodist Circuit Riders in Mississippi and Louisiana, covertng the period 1792-1847, which is available in the Cline Room of the Library.

     The Louisiana State Archivist has agreed to microfilm many of the invaluable records of the Conference during the next fiseal year. This project will serve both to assure preservation of unique materials and to make them available on microfilm in various areas of the state and nation.

     The Commission has begun attempts to gather materials concerning phases of Methodist in Louisiana which are presently unrepresented in our archival collection. These include material on the Methodist Protestant Church, the Evangelical United Bretheren, the churches now in Louisiana Conference B, and other churches connected with the history of Methodism. This work will be aided by the Archivist of the United Methodist Church of Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, who visited and surveyed our own holdings early this year.

     We continue to receive histories of individual churches in this Conference and have catalogued those received in the Centenary Library. We uurge each church which has not yet done so to prepare a comprehensive record of its origins and development.

Walter M. Lowrey, Chairman
1969 Report to Annual Conference
COMMISSION ON ARCHIVES & HISTORY

     The purpose of the Commission on Archives and History is to preserve the records and history of the distinguished past of Louisiana Methodism.  Our activity has been centered in creating a valuable and usable archival collection at Centenary College.  I believe that during the past year we have accomplished a great deal of the purpose of the Commission.      Several points should be mentioned.
1) The complete file of the official journals of the Conference from its inception in 1847 has been microfilmed, and microfilm of these invaluable records are now on deposit at the LSU Library in Baton Rouge and at Centenary, thus assuring the preservation of these documents.  This was accomplished at no cost to the Conference.

2) A microfilm copy of the entire file of the New Orleans Christian Advocate, for almost 100 years an official publication of the Louisiana Conference, has been acquired and deposited in the Centenary Library, making available this important part of our history, previously unavailable in Louisiana.

3) Minute Books of the Annual Conference covering the years 1862-1874 thought previously to be lost, have been located and deposited in the Methodist Archives at Centenary.

4) Many church records dating back to the earliest years of New Orleans Methodism have been deposited in the Methodist Archives.  These had been stored in the Felicity Church in New Orleans, and had been damaged by the hurricane of a few years ago.

5) We continue to receive histories of individual churches in Louisiana, and have catalogued those received in the Centenary Library.  We would urge each church which has not yet done so to prepare a comprehensive record of its origins and development.

6) Through gifts and purchase, we have added to the Methodist historical collection at Centenary over 100 volumes, pertaining to the Methodist past in this area.

     During the ensuing Conference year, we hope to continue a program of acquisition and microfilming of Louisiana Methodist records, and would urge those of you who know of particular sources of documentary material to acquaint members of the commission with them.  We hope to make the Methodist history collection at Centenary an outstanding resource of Louisiana Methodism.
     With the movement toward unification in our church, we hope to seek out materials on the history of some of our component Church groups in Louisiana, such as the Methodist Protestant Church, The Methodist Episcopal Church, the Evangelical United Brethren, and the churches formerly attached to the Central Jurisdiction of Methodism.

     Much of the work of collecting, cataloging, and making available documents and books relating to Louisiana Methodism has fallen on the staff of the Centenary College Library, and as Chairman of the Commission I wish to express my appreciation for their able and dedicated help to the Conference.  Also, such men as Dr. Bowden and Dr. H.L. Johns have provided invaluable assistance and guidance.

Changes that will appear in the 2000 Discipline
GC 2000 additions in RED

                        ¶ 638. 1. In each annual conference there shall be a
                        conference commission on archives and history or other
                        structure to provide for these functions and maintain the
                        connnectional relationships. The number of members of the
                        commission and their terms of office shall be as the
                        conference may determine and may include an ex officio
                        representative of each United Methodist heritage landmark in
                        its bounds. It shall be the duty of the commission to
                        collect and preserve the historically significant records of
                        the annual conference and its agencies, including data
                        relating to the origin and history of the conference and its
                        antecedents; to encourage and assist the local churches in
                        preserving their records, compiling their histories, and
                        celebrating their heritage; to provide for the permanent
                        safekeeping of the historical records of all abandoned or
                        discontinued churches in the bounds of the annual conference
                        and its antecedents (see ¶ 2548.3); to maintain a fire-safe
                        historical and archival depository and to see that all items
                        that obviously will have value for future history are
                        properly preserved therein; to provide for the ownership of
                        real property and to receive gifts and bequests; to nominate
                        to the General Commission on Archives and History buildings,
                        locations, or structures within the annual conference for
                        designation as historic sites or heritage landmarks; to maintain
                        contact with officially designated historic sites and
                        heritage landmarks in their bounds; to assist the bishop or
                        the appropriate conference committee in planning for the
                        historical hour and other appropriate historical observances
                        at annual conference sessions; to establish retention and
                        disposition schedules for annual conference and local church
                        records under standards or guidelines developed by the
                        General Commission on Archives and History; to cooperate
                        with and report, when requested, to the general and
                        jurisdictional commissions on archives and history; and to
                        engage with other Wesleyan, Methodist, or Evangelical United
                        Brethren-related denominations in lifting up our joint
                        heritage.
                        2. The commission may organize a conference historical
                        society and encourage membership therein for the purpose of
                        promoting interest in the study and preservation of the
                        history of the conference and its antecedents. The officers
                        of the conference commission on archives and history may be
                        the officers of the conference historical society.
                        Membership in the historical society shall be established as
                        the society may determine. Membership may include the
                        payment of dues as the society may direct, and in return,
                        members shall receive official publications and publicity
                        materials issued by the commission and the society and other
                        such benefits as may be deemed suitable.
                        3. Each annual conference may have a historian to undertake
                        specific duties as may be designated by the commission. The
                        annual conference historian may be a member of the annual
                        conference commission on archives and history.
                        4. The annual conference commission on archives and history
                        shall work with the ethnic congregations of the conference
                        to develop and preserve the historical records of those
                        congregations and antecedent conferences.

                        ¶ 2512.  7. Establishment of Annual Conference Policy with Regard to
                        Government Efforts to Designate Church-Owned Property as
                        Landmarks--The board shall, after consultation with the conference commission 
                        on archives and history, or alternate structure,develop a policy for an annual
                        conference response, on behalf of any local church,
                        church-related agency, or district or annual conference
                        board of trustees located within the bounds of the annual
                        conference, to any governmental effort to designate a
                        property held in trust for the benefit of The United
                        Methodist Church (¶ 2503) by any such board of trustees as a
                        cultural, historical, or architectural landmark. 

                         ¶ 2548. 3. Abandonment--When a local church property is no longer
                        used, kept, or maintained by its membership as a place of
                        divine worship, the property shall be considered abandoned,
                        and when a local church no longer serves the purpose for
                        which it was organized and incorporated (¶¶ 201-204), with
                        the consent of the presiding bishop, a majority of the
                        district superintendents, and of the district board of
                        church location and building, the annual conference trustees
                        may assume control of the property. If circumstances make
                        immediate action necessary, the conference trustees, giving
                        first option to the other denominations represented in the
                        Commission on Pan-Methodist Cooperation, may sell or lease
                        said property, retain the proceeds in an interest-bearing
                        account, and recommend the disposition of the proceeds in
                        keeping with annual conference policy. It shall be the duty
                        of the annual conference trustees to remove, insofar as
                        reasonably possible, all Christian and church insignia and
                        symbols from such property. In the event of loss, damage to,
                        or destruction of such local church property, the trustees
                        of the annual conference are authorized to collect and
                        receipt for any insurance payable on account thereof as the
                        duly and legally authorized representative of such local
                        church. [See Judicial Council Decisions 119, 138, 143.] As early as possible 
                        in the process of plans for abandoning a church, 
                        the district superintendent and the conference board of
                        trustees shall notify the chair of the conference commission on
                        archives and history of such plans, providing as much detail as
                        possible to enable the orderly transfer of the materials referred to
                        in Paragraph 2548.4.
                        4. All the deeds, records, and other official and legal
                        papers, including the contents of the cornerstone, of a
                        church that is so declared to be abandoned or otherwise
                        discontinued shall be collected by the district
                        superintendent in whose district said church was located and
                        shall be deposited for permanent safekeeping with the
                        commission on archives and history of the annual conference.