On April 23, 1968 at the uniting General Conference in Dallas, Texas, representatives of the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church joined hands as the churches merged into one of the largest Protestant denominations in the world. Commemorations of this will be held in various places across the world of United Methodism.
On Saturday, April 7, an Area United Methodist History Convocation is planned at Leighton United Methodist Church in Caledonia, MI. The theme is “Roots and Branches – 2018 – 50 years of the United Methodist Church”. Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Sarah Blair of United Theological Seminary speaking about Evangelical United Brethren Roots in Michigan. In addition two other presentations will be given – one on the history of Leighton United Methodist Church – a former EUB church – and the other on the significance of the Central Jurisdiction dismantling as part of the merger. West Michigan archivist Justin Seidler will again share about his work and how the Archives can help the local church historian.
As part of this convocation, certificates will be presented to those churches that are celebrating anniversaries of existing 150 years and higher. Those churches 175 years and above who received certificates in 2017 will not receive one this year. Others who had not applied last year may do so this year. Any church celebrating 175 years 0R 200 years in 2018 will receive a certificate. In 2019 we will begin to recognize the anniversaries from 100 years and up in 25 year increments – 100, 125, 150, 175, 200. Those churches 150 years or older this year will need to notify MAUMCHS by March 15 in order for certificates to be prepared. (Contact Diana Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 989-426-2644 with questions or to get the application for the certificates.) Hopefully a representative of each church being recognized will be able to attend the convocation.
Persons from the entire Michigan area – especially historians of churches, those interested in church history and preserving it, clergy and lay will want to attend. Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 7, 10 am to 3 pm with lunch included at Leighton United Methodist Church in Caledonia.
The Area Historical Society has traditionally been a Board of Directors made up of members from both conferences, the chairs of the Commissions on Archives and History and the Archivists totaling 12. The current officers are Diana Spitnale Miller – President, Lois Omundsen – Vice President, Sharon Scott – Secretary, and M. Kay Mowery – Treasurer. The Detroit Conference Friends of the Archives have joined the Historical Society as of last November. The Area Society continues to expand membership to include church historians and other interested persons. Plan to come to the convocation and find out more about it.