There Will Come a Time . . .
The time is coming when our people’s memory will be no richer than the record we leave behind. Each church can benefit from an ongoing archive where the materials used to write the history are collected and deposited. Afterwards, the congregational archives should be kept up-to-date by judiciously adding new material—not too much, and not too little. Some churches have an official photographer whose selected photos are added to the church archives. Audio and video tapes also can be added. Weekly newsletters and a representative selection of Sunday morning bulletins are good records to keep.
The most important record to preserve are the minutes of the church board. These should be assembled and microfilmed for preservation purposes, with microfilm copies donated to the state historical society and the Nazarene Archives as insurance against the accidental loss of the originals. The minutes of the Sunday School, youth, and missionary societies deserve this treatment also and should be part of the microfilm project.
Hopefully this pamphlet stimulates useful ideas for your church. Do not be overwhelmed if a church history project seems too large to undertake. A smaller history project may be just as useful for your particular church. Any contribution you make toward preserving your church’s memory will be appreciated by later generations of members.