The responsibilities of the local church Committee on Records and History (Archives) is to provide for the preservation of all local church records and historical materials no longer in current use. Records and historical materials include all documents, minutes, journals, diaries, reports, letters, pamphlets, papers, manuscripts, maps, photographs, books, audiovisuals, sound recordings, and other documentary material in connection with the activities of a local United Methodist church or any of its constituent predecessors. First Church has had such a committee for more than thirty years.
The Archives Committee meets every Monday morning to work and assist persons who are doing research or study. Information requests are welcome. Persons who are interested in working with the committee should contact us using the church web site or speak to a committee member personally.
The Archives are located on the lower level of our church. The room provides a wonderful space for working and preserving our church records.
The Archives Committee is also responsible for preparing displays for visiting groups and for the Rev. Robert H. Wright display case in the Gathering Place.
First Church has a long history of supporting missions abroad and at home. We have the distinction of sending the first Methodist Episcopal missionary, Rev. Henry G. Appenzeller, who was a member of First Church, to Korea in 1885. He is still revered there for his remarkable ministry. Groups of Korean folks often visit First Church to experience the area where Henry left with his bride Ella, to witness and work in a far off land. It is as if our guests are standing on hallowed ground!
First United Methodist Church is an official Historic Site (#435) of the denomination. Its rich history goes back to 1807. After a devastating fire in 1946 that destroyed the sanctuary the congregation resolved to rebuild. Today after more than 200 years of ministry, with many renovations and additions to the building, we are able to provide a variety of worship experiences plus a wide-ranging use of the facility for outreach and programming.