Local Church Retention Schedule

RECORDS SCHEDULE #1

Records of Local Churches

DEFINITIONS

Active Record: Documents are needed in the office of creation for reference purposes for a certain period of time.

Disposition: Actions taken with regard to non-current records as determined by a records schedule; actions include transfer to an archives or destruction.

Inactive Record: Documents are no longer needed in the office of creation for reference but cannot be disposed of or transferred to the archives due to federal or state regulations or future organizational needs.

Record: A document created or received and maintained by an agency, organization, or individual in pursuance of legal obligations or in the transaction of business; also called Document, Item, Official Record.

Reference Copy: Copy of a record used primarily for consultation purposes, not usually the official copy

Records Schedule: Document describing records of an agency, organization, or administrative unit, establishing a timetable for their life cycle and providing authorization for their disposition; also called Comprehensive Records Schedule, Disposal Schedule, Records Retention Schedule, Records Disposition Schedule, Retention Schedule, Transfer Schedule, General Records Schedule

Record Type: The functional title for a record.  The title normally specifies or at least implies function or use, and often implies the basic layout of information; also called Form, Genre

Retention Period: Length of time, usually based upon an estimate of the frequency of use for current and anticipated business, that records should be retained in offices before they are transferred to an archives or otherwise disposed of

Transfer:  Act involved in a change of physical custody of records with or without change of legal title.

RECORDS RETENTION SCHEDULE

For more information see the GCAH Schedule for Local Churches: http://www.gcah.org/atf/cf/%7B9FFCD624-0CB2-4EB6-9D68-68E9775A36DA%7D/ConfRetSched.2009.pdf

RECORD TYPE DESCRIPTION OF RECORD ACTIVE RECORDS
RETENTION PERIOD
INACTIVE RECORDSRETENTION PERIOD  HOLD IN CHURCH ARCHIVES 
Administration District committee and program group reports; official district conference session reports filed by superintendent Current Year +3 Permanent Yes
Administration Closed church records (membership, histories, board minutes, directories, photographs, deeds) While Active (until legal matters are cleared/members transferred) Permanent Yes
Administration Staff meeting records Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Administration Reports of Administrative Board, Council on Ministries, or Administrative Council Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Administration Charge Conference Minutes Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Annual Reports Annual reports of local churches Current Year +2 Permanent Yes
Audio-visual Audio and video tapes (in any format) of local church activities, members, staff and properties, including oral histories Current Year +9 Permanent Yes
Banking Statement Current Year +3 4 years No
Banking Deposit tickets and checks, except as otherwise noted Current Year +3 4 years No
Board of Ordained Ministry Records of individuals who did not complete ordination or are incactive  Current Year +1  2 years  No
Bonds Paid interest coupons Current Year +2 3 years No
Bonds Cancelled Current Year +7 8 years No
Bulletins Weekly and special worship service programs (2 copies) Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
 Charge Charge Conference Minutes Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Charge Charge Conference Reports Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Charters Charters, constitutions, by-laws Until Superceded Permanent Yes
Church Groups UMM, UMW, UMYF, Ladies Aid Society, Epworth League, etc. minutes and reports Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Committees District committee, commission, task force minutes and reports Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Correspondence (General) Routine or transitory correspondence Current Year +1 2 years No
Correspondence (Subject) On special or topical interests While Active Permanent Yes
Correspondence (Employee) Relating to employee benefits Current Year +6 7 years No
Council on Ministries Council on Ministries minutes and reports Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Diaries and Journals Relating to the history of the church or of important individuals belonging to or involved in the organization of the church or of members documenting church activities While Active Permanent Yes
Directories Church directories (including pictorial and telephone) Until Superceded Permanent Yes
Employee Benefits (such as group insurance, pensions) While Active +7 7 years No
Employee Cancelled payroll checks and summaries Current Year +6 7 years No
Employee Date including accident reports Current Year +1 2 years No
Employee Data including accident reports involving benefits Current Year +6 7 years No
Employee Deduction authorization records While Active 3 years No
Employee Employment policies and procedures Until Superceded Permanent Yes
Employee Pay authorization records Current Year +4 5 years No
Employee Personnel records While Active Permanent Yes
Employee Rejected employment applications Current Year +1 1 year No
Employee Search employment records (accepted) While Active 3 years No
Employee Search employment records (other) While Active 3 years No
Employee Staff meeting minutes Current Year +4 Permanent Yes
Employee Tax withholding statements Current Year +5 6 years No
Employee Time sheets Current Year +2 3 years No
Employee Travel records Current Year +1 3 years No
Financial Account books and balance sheets Current Year +4 5 years No
Financial Claims and disbursement records (including expenses, accounting, bookkeeping, purchasing) Current Year +4 5 years No
Financial Apportionment deposits Current Year +2  3 years No
Financial Audit reports (external) Current Year +20 21 years No
Financial Budgets Current Year +5 6 years No
Financial Capital stock ledgers and transfer While Active While Active No
Financial Certified financial statements Current Year +9 10 years No
Financial Internal audits Current Year +5 6 years No
Financial Membership contributions/offerings Current Year +5 6 years No
Financial Periodic statements Current Year +2 3 years No
Financial Tax exemption certificates (Form 990) While Active While Active No
Financial Tax returns and related papers Current Year +7 8 years No
Financial Worksheets for financial statements or trial balances Current Year +3 4 years No
Grievances Records relating to grievances filed against employees, local churches, church groups, etc. While Active +3 While Active No
Historical Histories of local churches Until Superceded Permanent Yes
Insurance Election records While Active +3 While Active No
Insurance Expired policies Current Year +9 10 years No
Insurance Fire inspection reports Current Year +5 6 years No
Insurance Group records Current Year +7 8 years No
Internal Reports Reports and summaries including data processing print-outs or cards Current Year +2 3 years No
Lay People While Active + Permanent Yes
Legal Papers Completed or expired contracts and leases, loans, etc. Current Year +9 10 years No
Membership Membership lists and record books, baptism, marriage, birth, death and transfer records While Active Permanent Yes
Missionary Churches While Active Permanent Yes
Newsletters District newsletters Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Newsletters Local church newsletters or newsletters of church groups (such as UMW or WMYF) Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Parsonage While Active Permanent Yes
Pastors Deceased While Active +20 (per Chancellor) Permanent Yes
Pastors Appointments Until Superceded While Active +20 No
Pastors Retired While Active +20

(per Chancellor)

Permanent Yes
Photographs Identified photographs of local church activities, members, founders, staff and properties Current Year +9 Permanent Yes
Property Blueprints, plans, specifications, maps While Active Permanent Yes
Property Capital improvements records (including cancelled checks, purchase orders, vouchers, invoices, and cost data) Current Year +9 10 years No
Property Deeds, title papers, repair histories, permits, lease agreements While Active Permanent Yes
Property Paid mortgages and notes Current Year +9 10 years No
Property Physical inventories of possessions (furniture, etc.) Current Year +2 Permanent Yes
Property Real estate surveys, related correspondence While Active Permanent Yes
Quarterly Conference Quarterly Conference minutes Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Quarterly Conference Quarterly Conference reports Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Scrapbooks Relating to the history or membership of the church While Active Permanent Yes
Sunday School Sunday school records (including minutes and membership) Current Year +1 Permanent Yes
Trustees Trustee minutes and reports Current Year +2 Permanent Yes

 

Retention schedule last edited 11/1/2003 by Jennie Thomas.
Page last edited 5/1/2012 by Nicole Garrett