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Celebrating our congregations’ roots

Roots of many churches were with work of circuit riders

The Roots and Branches Convocation, hosted by the Area Historical Society, will be held online April 17, 10 am to 12:30 pm. The theme for 2021 is “Learning from past separations: The Methodist Protestant Church.”


DIANA SPITNALE MILLER

Michigan Area United Methodist Church Historical Society, President

Do you know how old your church is? Do you understand your church is part of the historical development of the United Methodist Church in the Michigan Area? No matter when your church was started, it is important to celebrate the ministry that has brought us to where we are. 

The next Roots and Branches Convocation will be held on Zoom on Saturday, April 17, from 10 am – 12:30 pm. The theme will be “Learning from Past Separations: The Methodist Protestant Church”. There is a fee of $5.00. You must register by mail, postmarked by Tuesday, April 6, to be sure to get the Zoom link and the program pdf. Click here for the registration form

The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Melanie Young, a pastor in the Michigan Conference and past chairperson of the former West Michigan Commission on Archives and History. She will present on the topic, “Introduction to the History of the Methodist Protestant Church.”

In addition, “The Identifiable Methodist Protestant Church still in Michigan” will be presented by William McNitt, former archivist at the Bentley Historical Library and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library in Ann Arbor, MI. “The Story of Rev. Anna Howard Shaw: First Woman Ordained by the Michigan Protestant Church” will be shared by Pastor Joyce Vanderlip serving  Centreville UMC.  The Annual Meeting of the Society will also be held during this online session.

Clergy and laity from the entire Michigan area — especially church historians and those interested in preserving church history — will want to attend. Check out the website of the Michigan Area United Methodist Church Historical Society for the many items available for research.

The 2020 convocation was postponed because of the pandemic. The 2021 convocation will, therefore, include recognitions that would have been made a year ago. Certificates will be presented to those churches that are celebrating anniversaries in 25-year increments – 100 years – 1920/21, 125 years – 1895/96, 150 years – 1870/71, 175 years – 1845/46, 200 years – 1820/21. Church names will be announced at the convocation; certificates will be sent after the convocation. Those churches celebrating one of these anniversaries will need to notify MAUMCHS by April 8 for the certificates to be prepared. Click here for the notification form. Hopefully, a representative of each church being recognized will be able to be online for the convocation.  

The Society continues to develop a database that lists all the churches in the Michigan Conference and their beginning year.  Contact Diana Miller at diana@ddmiller.net or call her at 989-418-8562 with questions. 

The current officers of the Area Historical Society are Diana Spitnale Miller – President, Sharon Scott – Secretary, and Della Wilder – Treasurer. The Area Society continues to expand membership to include local church historians and other interested persons.  Plan to come to the convocation and annual meeting and find out more about it.

Roots and Branches registration

Reporting your roots