The nomination letter from Boardman UMC, dated February 25, 2013:
Rev. John Buchanan asked Elaine to become our church historian in preparation for our church’s 175th anniversary in 1996. To prepare for this role, she attended several educational workshops, including one in Delaware, Ohio that was specifically dedicated to techniques and methods for gathering and preserving pertinent church documents. With this training, she quickly learned how to become an effective church historian. Elaine began to gather various materials from all of the nooks and crannies of the church. She also interviewed many long-time members of Boardman United Methodist Church to record their oral history. As a veteran high school math teacher, Elaine has always been a strong, participating member of our community and she used this experience and her many regional contacts to obtain additional materials from other churches and various community groups throughout our region. From dusty basements and attics to precious and highly valued memories, Elaine has culled important relics of our church’s past as she artfully set the stage for us to forge our future.
Under Elaine’s leadership, our church has created an Archive Room where church documents, news releases, photographs, various audio-visual materials, a wooden model of our first church building constructed by long time church member Chuck Carl, church artifacts, and other pertinent materials are carefully stored and open for viewing by church members. The various documents have been carefully treated for preservation and stored in a proper archival manner. Over the years, Elaine has been faithfully reminding us of our historical heritage. She gives monthly reports in our Administrative Council meetings, she prepares articles for the Carillon (our monthly newsletter), she gives presentations to our youth groups, confirmation classes, UMW groups, New Member Classes, our church Ministry Fairs, and various visiting groups, including this past year’s Ulster Project group from Ireland. These presentations have been well received as they provide long-time members with reminders of events and contributions of various members throughout our history as well as an introduction to our church’s heritage for our younger members.
Of special note is the personal touch Elaine gives to these stories and materials that help make our church history play a vital role in our understanding of our heritage as we move forward in fulfilling our mission to our community and the world.
Bonnie Babyak, Chair, SPRC
Dr. Dennis R. Henneman, Lay Leader
Kathy Longmuir, Asst. Church Historian
Rev. Ashwin Welch, Co-Pastor
Rev. Peg Welch, Co-Pastor