I thought I'd share my latest venture. Our church is celebrating its 150th anniversary next year and I volunteered to write a history of the church for the occasion. The major problem I'm facing quite obviously is having begun about 2 or 3 years later than such an undertaking should have commenced. We're just about one year away now from the anniversary celebration. The church was founded on April 14, 1860 and we'll be celebrating it next year on the Saturday and Sunday following that date--April 17 & 18, 2010.
There is a subcommittee of the larger anniversary planning committee that is working with me on the project, assisting with locating resources and investigating some of those. I've tackled the initial task of reading through 150 years of church business meeting minutes, although the church didn't meet for about 4 years during the Civil War as a terse note following the September 1861 business meeting notes: "No Church in the following months on account of the troubles in the border counties: October November and December 1861 – January February March April and May 1862 – Elder J. J. Robinson preached to the Congregation on the first Sunday in May 1862.” Thos. Best C.C. (church clerk). Following that worship service in May of 1862, the church didn't reunite for worship again until June of 1866.
There is also a gap in the minutes from about 1901 to 1912 due to the fact that the records were at the home of the church clerk and were lost in a house fire. Beyond those gaps though, with the exception of some early business meetings that were cancelled "owing to rain," there are regularly scheduled monthly meetings as well as special called business meetings to wade through and seek relevant information which will shed light on our church's past.
Other sources that we've uncovered include deacons meeting minutes, WMU minutes, trustees minutes, the church newsletters, bulletins, printed programs for special events, the minutes of the Blue River Association, articles in the Word & Way, articles in the Lee's Summit Journal, etc. Once again, the biggest challenge in writing the history will be finding the time to do the necessary investigation, writing, and editing. I'm excited about the prospects though and look forward to being able to have a printed account of our church's long history.