Fairborn United Methodist Church Records
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.
- Majority of material found within 1930-1980
- United Methodist Church (Fairborn, Ohio) (Organization)
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 Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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
Other Finding Aids
The finding aid is available on the Special Collections & Archives, Wright State University Libraries web site at http://www.libraries.wright.edu/special/collection_guides/guide_files/ms132.pdf. It is also available in the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository at http://ead.ohiolink.edu/xtf-ead/.
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.
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
- 2018 August: Finding aid updated according to DACS standards by Allie Edmonds