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Trotwood United Church of Christ Records (MS-614)

 Collection
Identifier: MS-614

Scope and Contents

The records of this collection document the history of the Wolf Creek Christian Church, with the bulk of materials relating to its existence as the Trotwood Congregational Christian Church, which came into existence in 1931, and as the Trotwood United Church of Christ, which formed in 1957. The collection also has materials related to the Southwest Ohio Northern Kentucky Association (S.O.N.K.A.), Ohio Conference United Church of Christ, Southwestern Ohio Association of Congregational Christian Churches, and the United Church of Christ (U.C.C.). The collection materials document virtually all the functions of the church from its beginning to its closure in 2018.

Series I, Administration, 1848-2017, is the largest series of the collection and is broken up into six subseries.

Subseries IA, General Records, 1848-2017, contains materials related to the church history, articles of incorporation, community history, mission statements, constitution, and stewardship. The history of the church is limited and a majority of the documents relating to its history span 1848 to roughly 1980. Materials related to its recent history are not present. Also included are church policies, endowment fund materials, directories, correspondence, and the church’s investment fund. However, most materials span 1980 to the present.

Subseries IB, United Church of Christ, 1985-2009, includes newsletters from that organization, which span 1986 to 1995, with no materials earlier or later. Also included are policies relating to church life and how each United Church of Christ branch should be run and organized. The policies only span the mid to late 1990s. The general synod convention materials from the mid-2000s are included, as are flyers, brochures, and other publications. Most materials from this section date from 1980 to the present, with no materials that describe the early existence of the United Church of Christ in the 1950s.

Subseries IC, Membership, 1848-2017, contains baptism, wedding, and memorial service records. However, few marriage, baptism, and memorial service records are contained in the collection. No materials exist to represent the church’s early history from 1848 to about 1933. The dates span from the mid-1930s to the present. Membership records include transfer certificates, membership certificates, membership rolls, and membership books. These materials span roughly from 1848 to 2008, with the bulk of the materials representing the 1950s and 1960s. Finally, the section has church attendance records that span the 1960s and the 1990s. Additionally, church guest records are available from the 1990s to the present.

Subseries ID, Meeting Minutes, 1955-2017, includes congregational meeting minutes, long range planning committee minutes, annual report minutes, mission fellowship minutes, youth group minutes, and ministerium minutes. Also present are meeting minutes from the Miami Ohio Christian Conference, which span 1918 to 1925. Most of the meeting minutes in this section are from the church’s council and span from 1955 to 2017.

Subseries IE, Building Committee, 1963-2008 contains the church’s efforts to renovate the church building. These efforts included the eventual remodel of the sanctuary in 1970, when an entrance was built at the narthex. This section includes their records, reports, fund appeal, minutes and plans relating to this renovation. The dates mostly cover the 1960s to 1970. Some materials from 2000 to 2008 appear when the church was again considering renovations.

Subseries IF, Legal, 1900-2008, contains legal records relating to the church. These include property statements, property insurance, property tax, tax statements, property records, and warranty deeds. These materials largely cover the 1970s to the 1990s. Some materials from the early 1900s appear, as well as materials from the mid-2000s. Also included are wills and estates. The other estates and wills in this section are mostly the 1990s to early 2000, with some materials from the 1940s, 1960s, and 1980s. Most of these materials relate to Ruby Baker, who was a crucial member of the church through her donations, as well as her role as the church clerk for 40 years. She also arranged and organized the church meals during that time period. She died in 1994 and provided for the church in her last will and testament. Finally, the legal section contains a large amount of materials relating to Mike West, who became the church’s treasurer in 2004. He stole $44, 132 from the church and subsequently faced a criminal investigation, as well as time in jail and probation. These materials relate to the investigation of his criminal activity, trial, and probation during that time.

Series II, Financial Records, 1945-2017 is divided up into two subseries. Almost no materials relate to the church’s finances during its early history, from 1848 to roughly 1950.

Subseries IIA, General Records, 1945-2017, contains the general financial records of the church. These include financial reports, monthly reports, account and cash account books, and youth group account books, deposit receipts, and balance sheets. Most of the materials in this section span from the late 1950s to the mid-2000s. The bulk of these materials are from the 1960s to the 1970s. The majority of the materials in this section include profit and loss statements from the early 2000s, budgets from the 1950s to the present, and treasurer’s books, which span 1973 to 1980. Also included are ledger books from the 1960s.

Subseries IIB, Treasurer’s Reports, 1966-2002, contains reports from the church treasurer. These span from 1966 to 2002. The bulk of the materials relate to the 1970s to 1990s.

Series III, Employment Records, 1954-2014, contains the employment records for the church. This include job descriptions for each church position, such as treasurer, moderator, choir director, secretary, and custodian. The dates for these span the 1980s to 2014, with the bulk relating to the 1980s. The majority of this section relates to the employment of the church’s pastor. This includes the process for finding clergy candidates through the nominating committee and the search committee. Also included are the process for employing a clergy member, clergy compensation, and clergy candidates. Most of these materials are from the 1980s and 1990s, with some materials relating to these processes in the 1950s. Student associate employment records were also kept from the United Theological Seminar, which span the 1980s and early 2000s. Finally, employment files for various clergy members are included, which contain their resumes and employment contracts. These include Rev. Edwin Neff, Rev. Robert McCann, Rev. Barb Hope, Rev. Donald Blanchette, Rev. John Barnett, and Rev. Dan Flory, Rev. Pat Whiting, Rev. Michael Carman, and Rev. Larry Ganger.

Series IV, Worship, 1911-2018, contains two subseries.

Subseries IVA, General Records, 1911-2017, includes the general special worship programs, such as the bell and steeple dedication service and the Tenebrae program. Also included are the altar guild guidelines, deacons/shepherd program, worship education materials, worship volunteer guidelines, worship songs, and worship questionnaires. The materials span from 1911 to 2007. The bulk relates to the period from the 1990s to early 2000s.

Subseries IVB, Worship Bulletins, 1947-2018, contains the worship bulletins which were passed out at each worship service. The materials span from 1947 to 2018. Few worship bulletins from 1947 to 1959 have survived. The majority of the materials cover the time span from 1963 to 1989. Few worship bulletins from the 1990s are available and the early 2000s are missing. The remaining bulletins span from 2010 to 2018.

Series V, Programs and Activities, 1925-2015, is broken up into seven subseries.

Subseries VA, General Records, 1965-2015, contains the church’s programs, retreats, and missions. The dates roughly span the 1960s to the present. The bulk of the materials are from the 1980s to 1990s.

Subseries VB, Ohio Conference United Church of Christ, 1950-1999, contains records related to that organization. The records include resolutions, annual meeting reports, and other reports. Also included are financial documents from the conference, publications, programs, newsletters, and a conference story book. The dates span from 1950 to 1959, with some materials from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1990s.

Subseries VC, Southwestern Ohio Association of Congregational Christian Churches, 1938-1992 contains materials from the association, such as their bylaws, membership records, seasonal reports, statistics, programs, and correspondence. The bulk of the materials are correspondence from this association. The dates for the subseries span 1939 to 1992. Most of the materials date from 1939 to 1945.

Subseries VD, Southwest Ohio Northern Kentucky Association (S.O.N.K.A.), 1976-2015, contains records from that association of interconnected churches that come together to fulfill God’s mission. The subseries contains administrative records, financial documents, meeting minutes, as well as programs, giving, and mission. Also included are yearend reports, correspondence, newsletters, and materials related to covenant cluster V. The bulk of the materials are from the 1990s to the mid-2000s. Some materials also range from the 1970s to 1980s.

Subseries VE, T.U.C.C. Pre-school and Childcare, 1968-2000, contains the records from the church’s pre-school program. These include nursery school meeting minutes and financial reports. Also included are the pre-school policies, meeting minutes, budgets, financial reports, profit and loss statements, statistics, legal documents, newsletters, and correspondence. The date span is largely from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Subseries VF, Sunday School Records, 1943-1988, contains Sunday school record books. The record books document attendance and financial contributions. The bulk of the materials date from 1945 to 1988.

Subseries VG, Women’s Fellowship, 1925-1999, documents the group’s programs for the church. The early iteration of this organization in the church was known as Ladies Aid. By 1955, the name changed to the Women’s Fellowship. Also present in this section are the annual reports and minutes from the Ohio Fellowship of Congregational Christian Women, which the T.U.C.C. Women’s Fellowship was part of. The Ohio Fellowship was an organization that women joined to promote the work of their local churches. At the local level, the Women’s Fellowship promoted the work of the T.U.C.C. through their programs. This section includes Women’s Fellowship accounts books, bylaws, correspondence, financial documents, membership records, minutes, ticket sales, and programs. Finally, Ladies Aid account books are present. The dates of the subseries span from 1925 to 1999. The bulk of the materials relate to the 1950s to the 1990s.

Series VI, Publications, 1931-2017, contains newsletters from the church. These span from 1931 to 2017. The bulk of the newsletters range from 1962 to the present. Also included are the Trotwood Pulpit, which was produced from 2007 to 2008. Finally, the section includes the church’s cookbook, cookbook photographs, poetry, brochures, news clippings, Historical Sketches of The Congregational Christian Churches and The Evangelical and Reformed Church book, and a teaching manual for the church. The dates from these materials span 1955 to 2005. The bulk spans 1998 to 2001.

Series VII, Scrapbooks, 1955-2009, includes scrapbooks from church events, such as the Valentine Banquet, the Cabbage Roll Dinner, Pastor Dan Flory’s Retirement, Easter Sunday, and Christmas. Also included are scrapbooks with news clippings from Trotwood and Brookville, as well as a poem scrapbook. The dates span from the 1956 to 1964 and 1996 to 2009.

Series VIII, Photographs, 1950-2017, contains a large amount of unidentified photographs and negatives. Also included are photographs of Ruby Baker, Christmas events, church activities, and Rev. John and Debbie Barnett photographs. Negatives include construction of Fellowship Hall, and the Narthex renovation. The photo albums span from 1987 to 2017, with the bulk from the 1990s. The loose photographs span from 1950 to 2000, with the bulk from the 1960s-1970s. Most of the photo albums have lists of the events included on the spine. Finally, this section contains a drawing of the church that is undated.

Dates

  • 1848-2018
  • Majority of material found within Bulk 1970-2017

Conditions Governing Access

There are no donor-imposed restrictions on accessing materials in this collection. However, this collection is stored off site. Please provide us with at least two days advance notice if you would like to research this collection. Call (937)775-2092 or e-mail us at archive@www.libraries.wright.edu. Also, access to electronic files in this collection indicated by an e-number (e.g., ms614_e0001), is restricted until they are fully processed.

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

The Trotwood United Church of Christ is the oldest church in Trotwood and Madison Township, Montgomery County, Ohio. In 1842, Elder Nathan Worley began the Christian Church at Wolf Creek. In 1848, Elder Caleb Worley, Nathan’s son, and Elder Thomas S. Wells joined as officiating Elders. Elder Thomas S. Wills had been ordained at a conference at the New Carlisle Christian Church in that same year. The church was dedicated under the name of the Wolf Creek Christian Church. The land for the church was donated by Amos Higgins, in addition to three hundred dollars. A small brick building, called the Wolfcreek Chapel, was built along the Union Road on December 23, 1849. Isaac N. Walter, Thomas A. Brandon, Thomas W. Wells, Caleb Worley, and Elder Childs officiated the dedication services for the church.

The Wolf Creek Christian Church was inducted as a member of the Miami Ohio Christian Conference in 1849. Along with the Mt. Jefferson and Houston Christian Churches, the congregation met at the Plattsburg Christian Church to be guided by the leadership of such ministers as Rush, Worley, and Walters. In February of 1872, the Wolf Creek congregation, along with Elder H.Y. Rush and Elder A.C. Hanger, planned for the building of a new church building. The building was completed that summer and dedicated in November of 1872. The church also organized a Sunday school at that time.

In November of 1914, Monroe Stetler, provided the church with an additional lot of land and a house in his last will and testament. Located at 18 Pleasant Street, the house was used as the parsonage until 1925. Begun after World War I and finished in 1922, the sanctuary basement was dug out for use as a meeting room, bathroom, and cooking area. In 1925, the 18 Pleasant Street property was sold and a new parsonage building was purchased at 6 East Worley. That building was later used to house the church’s pre-school program. Additionally, a vestibule was added to the church in 1925.

In 1931, the churches of the Christian Convention merged with the Congregational Churches. At that point, the Wolf Creek Christian Church became the Trotwood Congregational Christian Church. That same year, the horse barn on the property was torn down and an addition to the church was planned. Finished in 1932, the back wing included classrooms for the Sunday school, a kitchen, library, Fireside Room, and church offices. In 1942, the sanctuary was renovated, which added a curved ceiling and arches above the windows.

By 1957, the Evangelical and Reformed Church merged with the Congregational Christian Churches to form the United Church of Christ denomination. At that time, the Trotwood Congregational Christian Church became the Trotwood United Church of Christ. An educational wing was built in 1958 and the church began the Trotwood U.C.C. Pre-School program in 1963. The sanctuary was again remodeled in 1970 and an entrance was added to the Narthex to provide room for future expansions. As a result, the altar and divided Chancel were placed at the original entrance. Finally, in 1980, a new steeple was added to replace the old steeple that had been removed in 1959.

From the 1980s onward, the church had an active congregation and several hundred members. However, due to its aging congregation, its active membership dwindled to 8 or 10 members by 2017. As a result, the decision was made to close the church by its congregation. The property was sold to the Phillips Temple Church. Over the years it has been the church’s mission to live up to its given name through the word of God. The church continued its service to God through the work of its congregation from 1848 until its closure on January 1, 2018. The last service for the Trotwood United Church of Christ was held on New Year’s Eve, 2017.

Extent

16 linear feet

Language of Materials

English

German

Abstract

The Trotwood United Church of Christ was founded as the Wolf Creek Christian Church in 1848. It was the first organized church in Madison Township, Montgomery County, Ohio. In 1931, the churches of the Christian Convention merged with the Congregational Churches. At that time, the Wolf Creek Christian Church became the Trotwood Congregational Christian Church. In 1957, the Evangelical and Reformed Church combined with the Congregational Christian Churches to form the United Church of Christ denomination. With this merger, Trotwood Congregational Christian Church became the Trotwood United Church of Christ. Trotwood United Church of Christ closed on January 1, 2018. The collection contains membership records, meeting minutes, treasurer’s reports, correspondence, worship bulletins, photographs, photo albums, and scrapbooks. The collection does not include many vital records, such as baptism, marriage, or memorial service records.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in 8 series and 17 subseries:

Series I: Administration, 1848-2017 Subseries IA: General Records, 1848-2017 Subseries IB: United Church of Christ (U.C.C.), 1985-2009 Subseries IC: Membership, 1848-2017 Subseries ID: Meeting Minutes, 1955-2017 Subseries IE: Building Committee, 1963-2008 Subseries IF: Legal, 1900-2008 Series II: Financial Records, 1945-2017 Subseries IIA: General Records, 1945-2017 Subseries IIB: Treasurer’s Reports, 1966-2002 Series III: Employment Records, 1954-2014 Series IV: Worship, 1911-2018 Subseries IVA: General Records, 1911-2007 Subseries IVB: Worship Bulletins, 1947-2018 Series V: Programs and Activities, 1925-2015 Subseries VA: General Records, 1965-2015 Subseries VB: Ohio Conference United Church of Christ, 1950-1999 Subseries VC: Southwestern Ohio Association of Congregational Christian Churches, 1938-1992 Subseries VD: Southwest Ohio Northern Kentucky Association (S.O.N.K.A.), 1976-2015 Subseries VE: TUCC Pre-school + Childcare, 1968-2000 Subseries VF: Sunday School Records, 1943-1988 Subseries VG: The Women’s Fellowship, 1925-1999 Series VI: Publications, 1931-2017 Series VII: Scrapbooks, 1955-2009 Series VIII: Photographs, 1950-2017

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/ms614.pdf. It is also available in the OhioLINK Finding Aid Repository at http://ead.ohiolink.edu/xtf-ead/ .

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to Wright State University Special Collections and Archives by Trotwood United Church of Christ in January 2018.

Accruals

No further accruals are expected.

Related Materials

United Church of Christ Archives, Cleveland, Ohio.

Title
Guide to the Trotwood United Church of Christ Records (MS-614)
Status
Completed
Author
Allie Edmonds and Riza Miklowski
Date
2018 Apr
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Wright State University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA
937-775-2092