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Fairborn United Methodist Church Records

Identifier: MS-132

Scope and Contents

The papers of the Fairborn United Methodist Church contain a variety of materials. These include minutes, reports, financial records, marriage, funeral, baptismal, and membership records, weekly programs, publications, newspaper clippings, and women’s and youth organization records.

The earliest records are the IDEAL Church Records in Series I which are a listing of members, marriages, baptisms, and funerals for the Brandt, Palmer, Mt. Pisgah, and Wayne Methodist-Episcopal churches. These records date from 1903-1921.

The membership records in Series II consist of scattered membership lists and directories for the Fairborn church as well as records of marriages, baptisms, and funerals from the 1940s and early 1950s. The bulk of the remaining materials span the 1940s to 1970s. They consist mainly of minutes and reports of the Official Board, scattered financial records, and weekly church programs and newsletters. These records hold a wealth of information about the day to day concerns of the congregation.

Series V, Church Organizations, contains the records of various women’s organizations including the Ladies Aid Society (1903-1924), and the Women’s Society of Christian Service (1959-1980). These records show a shift in women’s concerns from providing auxiliary services to the congregation to the social concerns of the 1960s and 1970s.

The historical materials in Series VII consist of a file of clippings about church activities, photographs, a file of materials pertaining to the church’s 100th anniversary celebration in 1972, and a general historical file with papers and correspondence documenting the development of the church from 1934-1973. This series also contains a history of the Fairborn United Methodist Church published in 1972.

Materials within the file folders are arranged chronologically.


  • Creation: 1903-1980
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1930-1980


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

In the spring of 1831, members of a “Methodist Society” purchased ground in the Village of Fairfield, Ohio for a house of worship. The Society met in various members’ homes until a building was erected in 1846. The present location of the Fairborn United Methodist Church was acquired in 1871 and construction of a red brick church building was completed in 1872.

In nearby Osborn, Ohio a Methodist-Episcopal society was formed in 1853. By 1871, the Osborn Methodists had completed a frame church building where they held services.

When the railroad came to Bath Township in the 1850s, it bypassed Fairfield and ran through Osborn. As a consequence, by the end of the century Osborn was growing rapidly while Fairfield declined in population. In 1899, the Fairfield church closed its doors due to a lack of funds. However, it reopened in 1906 with a new minister, J.A. Huffman, who agreed to be paid only what could be raised in each week’s collection plate. Under Huffman’s leadership, the Fairfield church regained its equilibrium, paid its debts, and attracted new members. It did not suffer closure again.

In 1922, the flood prevention plans of the Miami Conservancy District called for the relocation of the Village of Osborn from its original site to one just east of Fairfield. At that time, the congregation of the two churches was consolidated into the Fairfield-Osborn Methodist Episcopal Church, with the Fairfield building as the home for the new congregation. With this consolidation and the building of Wright-Patterson Field nearby, the membership of the church steadily increased. Expansion and remodeling projects were undertaken in 1925, 1947, 1958, and 1963.

A longer, more detailed account of the development of the Fairborn church can be found in the publication, A History of the Fairborn United Methodist Church which is located in Box 10, File 1 of this collection.


5 linear feet

Language of Materials



Records consist of minutes of official church boards, reports, financial records, marriage, baptismal, and membership rolls, weekly church programs, publications, women's and youth organization materials, newspaper clippings, historical files, and photographs.


The collection is arranged into seven 7 series:

Series I:
IDEAL Church Records, 1903-1921
Series II:
Membership Records, 1940-1979
Series III:
Financial Records, 1914-1979
Series IV:
Minutes and Reports, 1910-1979
Series V:
Church Organizations, 1903-1980
Series VI:
Newsletters and Weekly Church Programs, 1950-1980
Series VII:
Historical Files, 1934-1979

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The records of the Fairborn Methodist Church were accessioned into the Wright State University Department of Archives and Special Collections in June of 1981. They were donated by Mrs. Dorothy Ranville, the church’s business manager.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Dorothy Smith, Summer 1983. Finding aid updated according to DACS standards by Allie Edmonds in 2018.

Guide to Fairborn United Methodist Church Records (MS-132)
Dorothy Smith
Summer 1983
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2018 August: Finding aid updated according to DACS standards by Allie Edmonds

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA