North Texas United Methodists love their local churches and are fascinated by the history of their faith community. Local church historians are eager to share their history, and the North Texas Conference Commission on Archives and History helps churches tell their stories well.

The committee preserves the past and present archives and history of churches within the North Texas Conference. When a church closes, the committee will go in to look through all the nooks and crannies for any piece of history to archive. Also, the committee will take records or artifacts that local churches don’t have room for or know what to do with.

Education is another essential role of the committee. The committee conducts education sessions, hosts monthly writers’ groups and supports sessions by the General Commission and other annual conferences. The committee also supports local church historians with their church history and archives.

History is important to United Methodists, and archives and history committees are required by the Book of Discipline (¶ 641.1). The North Texas Conference Commission on Archives and History, which is comprised of a chair and 10 members, works with the General Commission on Archives and History and with other conference committees within the South Central Jurisdiction. The committee also supports the work of the North Texas Conference and the archivist.

North Texas Annual Conference Archives

The Archives of the North Texas Conference is located at Bridwell Library in the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. This repository of the North Texas Annual Conference collects, preserves and provides access to records of the conference that have enduring historical value. A Finding Guide for the Collections at the NTC Archives may be accessed online.

North Texas Annual Conference Archivist

Lillie Jenkins Walker is the archivist for the North Texas Conference and works with the North Texas Conference Commission on Archives and History. The archivist supports the mission and vision of The United Methodist Church, providing research opportunities, training and outreach to creators, church staff and to local church historians. The next training session is planned for fall 2023. Walker serves as ex officio member of the Conference Commission [PH5] on Archives and History. Please reach out to [email protected] or [email protected] if you have questions.

Teaching and Training Basic Archival Processing

The North Texas Conference archivist provides training to local church historians twice a year, providing affiliated church historians and others the chance to establish a church archive in their local church setting that records the history and continuing work of the local congregation.

In this training, aspiring local church historians will learn what should be in their archive, where to find this material, how to care for it and how to communicate through effective storytelling.

Archival Reference Services

The archivist provides direct reference assistance to church leaders and researchers through scheduled reading visits, and most frequently via email and telephone reference requests. Finding aids posted online make the first level of research possible and provide instructions to aid deeper investigation.

We have materials that permit writing pastor biographies, local church histories and some genealogical information.

The North Texas Conference Archives is dynamic, changing daily through new acquisitions and "surprise finds" in the existing collection. The archivist keeps leaders and historians abreast of developments and invites collaborative research between researchers relating to the North Texas Annual Conference archival collections.

Please contact NTC Archivist Lillie Jenkins Walker at [email protected] or [email protected] with your research request.

Note about Disaffiliating Churches

Every effort is being made to collect the records of disaffiliating churches. According to guidance from the General Commission on Archives and History regarding closed churches, the records, to the extent that they are turned in, are available for research requests by any researcher through the North Texas Conference Archives.

Other Resources

Select NTC church histories

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