Texas Conference Archives Acquires Permanent Home

Date Posted: 3/21/2011

It is the mission of the Commission on Archives and History to (1) to preserve the official records of the Texas Annual Conference; (2) to assist local churches preserve their own historical records and (3) to provide a ministry of education and interpretation about the history of the Texas Annual Conference.

 

The Commission met recently to discuss permanent placement for the Conference’s historical records. A new project is underway to build a facility to house archival records, along with enough space for historical artifacts.

 

The Texas Conference historical records have traveled a long road. Prior to 1840, the records were part of the Mississippi Conference Texas Mission. From 1840 to 1856, scant records were kept at all. After 1856, however, permanent records were recorded and they were kept by one or another of the members of the Historical Society, in the “Conference Trunk.”

 

By 1960, the collection of records and historical artifacts had become large enough that the collection was moved to a room in the new Central Building at Lakeview Conference Center. Rev. C. A. West was instrumental in initiating this arrangement. Over time, the need for more space, climate control and archival care became apparent. Through the generosity of the Doornbos family of Nederland and the Moody Foundation at Galveston, an addition was built at the Henderson Library of Lon Morris College in the mid-80s.

 

From that time until the summer of 2010, the archives were housed in the Doornbos Archives, then Smith Hall and finally, in the Moody Building. During this time, Lon Morris provided utilities, security, cleaning, building insurance, phone and internet service – approximately a half million dollars worth of free services to the Annual Conference archives.

 

By 2010, the school’s enrollment more than doubled and the pressing need for classroom space required the archives to be moved out of the Moody Building and into temporary storage. The Center for Connectional Resources are taking the necessary steps to ensure a home for the Archives will be available to serve the conference needs for years to come. Chappell Hill UMC has donated land for the new facility. A new era in archival record keeping has begun.