Detroit Conference
United Methodist Archives
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About the Archives

Who we are and what we do....


The mission of the archives is to:

The Detroit Conference Commission on Archives & History oversees the archives, plans the budget and archives policies, and hires the archivist to manage the collection.  Adrian College provides space in its library to house the archives.

Friends of the Archives


The earliest efforts at preserving the history of the Conference date to September 13, 1880 when the annual conference voted to create the Historical Society of the Detroit Annual Conference.  Over the years, the Society went through both active and inactive phases, but gradually accumulated some historical records.

In 1926 the Society voted to work out an agreement with the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library to store its collections.  By 1949 the Society had records at both the Burton Collection and the Wesley Building in Detroit.  In that year, the Society moved their archives to Adrian College, where they have been located ever since.  Through the various church mergers the archives gradually broadened its scope to include the United Methodist Church and all of its predecessors:

In 1969 the Detroit Conference replaced the Historical Society with the Committee (later to become Commission) on Archives & History, which currently manages the archives.

After the move to Adrian College, the Historical Society hired students to manage the collection and handle reference service for several years, but in 1957 retired pastor William C.S. Pellowe became curator. Subsequent custodians have usually been called either historian or archivist.

Conference Archivists/Historians, 1969-Present

Conference Historian Frank Stephenson’s description of the archives, 1970