Working with: Records of Closed Churches
The records of closed and discontinued churches can easily be misplaced or lost. The Book of Discipline provides the following legislation for these records: "All the deeds, records, and other official and legal papers, including the contents of the cornerstone, of a church that is so declared to be abandoned or otherwise discontinued shall be collected by the district superintendent in whose district said church was located and shall be deposited for permanent safekeeping with the commission on archives and history of the annual conference."
The Conference Commission should be vigilant to insure that this process is followed. It may begin by suggesting to the Conference trustees or other appropriate body that all resolutions presented to the annual conference which provide for the closing, abandonment, or discontinuance of the church include a provision that the official records of that church be collected by the district superintendent and deposited with the Commission on Archives and History. If resolutions are considered by the annual conference which do not have this provision, a representative of the Commission should move to amend the resolution to include such wording. This is a formal way of providing for the correct deposit of the irreplaceable records of these churches.