When the children of Israel crossed through the Jordan River into the Promised Land, God told them to build an altar with a stone for each tribe. They were commanded to tell their children the story of God’s provision and guidance using the stones as a visual reminder.
Church histories provide “stones of remembrance” for congregations. They are reminders of how God led a group of people to a certain area to plant a church to reach the community for Christ. Church history is not dry or dull but is a living testimony. Those old church minutes reveal God at work in His people. Whether joyous or painful, the story needs to be told.
What provides the “stones of remembrance” for a church? What should be saved?
Minutes of business meetings and reports
Organization records: Bible study groups, children’s/youth ministry, WMU, etc.
Pictures, Audiovisuals, website
Annual reports to the association and state convention
Artifacts such as early hymnals, offering plates, items from earlier buildings, etc.
As these items are gathered, they should be kept in a safe, fireproof environment. Many of these items are irreplaceable. Duplicates of minutes and other records should be kept with one set at the church and the other off-site.
Historical Services at the SC Baptist Convention can offer your church assistance with this important task. Contact Jane Poster at 803.765.0030.