The United Methodist Historical Society of Ohio was originally founded in 1839 as the Western Methodist Historical Society. The goal of the organization was to "collect and preserve...materials for a complete and authentic history of the Methodist Episcopal Church, west of the Allegheny Mountains." Today, these original materials and many more comprise the collections of the East and West Ohio Conferences of The United Methodist Church, housed at the Archives of Ohio United Methodism at Ohio Wesleyan University. Members of the Society include church historians, as well as others who have a common interest in preserving the history of United Methodism in Ohio. Every year an award is given to the outstanding East and West Ohio Conference Historian. Certificates are also given to honor significant church anniversaries. The Historian's Newsletter is published by the Society twice a year and there is an Annual Meeting and Historical Convocation held in April of the year.
The Annual Meeting is held in a different geographic location each year. Previous meeting themes have included United Methodism and Ohio's Bicentennial (2003), German Methodism in Ohio (2004), Ohio Methodist Episcopal Native American Missions (2005), The Methodist Protestant Church in Ohio (2006), Celebrating the 300th Anniversary of the Birth of Charles Wesley (2007), Bishop John Seybert and the Evangelical Church in Ohio (2008), and Three Reform Eras : Times of Hope (2009), Lewis Miller and the Sunday School Movement (2010), United Methodist Ministry in Ohio through Children's Homes (2011), The Early Days of the United Brethren Muskingum Conference (2012), So You're the Church Historian (2013), 175th UMHSO Anniversary Celebration (2014) and Early Methodist Circuit Riders in Southwestern Ohio (2015). In addition to topical workshops, there are practical workshops for local church historians such as "Preservation 101", "Creating an Archive for your Church", "Making History Come Alive in the Local Church" and "Caring for Your Church's Photographs." Education of church historians is a primary goal of the Society.
Leadership of the Society is provided by an Executive Committee which meets twice a year. Officers of the Executive Committee are elected so as to alternate the Presidency between the West and East Ohio Conferences. The Vice President serves in "training mode" for one year and serves as President the following year.
The major benefit of membership is the opportunity to meet and work with others who are preserving and writing about UMC history in the state of Ohio. Membership is especially valuable to UMC local church historians as they work to preserve their own church records in local church archives around the state. However, anyone interested in the history of The United Methodist Church in the state of Ohio is welcome to join the Society. You do not need to be your church's historian to be a member.
We welcome all -- whether young or old, from Methodist or EUB heritage, scholarly or "just learning", church historian or "just interested" in UMC history. Please consider joining us.
Questions or comments? Contact UMHSO webmaster Carol Holliger at firstname.lastname@example.org, Archives of Ohio United Methodism, Ohio Wesleyan University, Beeghly Library, 43 Rowland Avenue, Delaware, OH 43015 (740) 368-3285