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American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region Records

Identifier: MS-BC18

Scope and Contents

Recods of the American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region concerning the organization's creation and operation, including minutes, reports, correspondence, organizational files and scrapbooks of this organization, itspredecessors, auxiliaries and affiliated organizations. Material related to early Baptist history inIllinois is included. John Mason Peck, James Lemen, and Mason Brayman are documented.Various congregations of the Baptized Church of Christ, Friends to Humanity are documented. Amanuscript copy of J. D. Cole’s History of Illinois Baptists is included. Shurtleff College recordsare included from the opening of the school until its closing in the 1950s. Files relating toindividual churches and associations are included.


  • Created: 1805-1984
  • Other: Date acquired: 00/00/1964


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.


31.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Organization formed in 1968 to provide support for churches and auxiliary organizations that weremembers of the former Illinois Baptist State Convention and the Missouri Convention ofAmerican Baptists. Chartered as a not-for-profit corporation with headquarters in Springfield,Illinois. Governed by a regional board of directors that is responsible for developing regionalpolicy, financial matters and other business. Areas of interest include Christian education,evangelism, and world mission support. Each member congregation must make regular andproportionate financial contributions to the American Baptist Mission budget of the AmericanBaptist Conventions or other recognized, authorized institutions. The churches must alsoparticipate regularly in the support of the purposes of the region as outlined in the by-laws. Anewsletter and yearly directory keep members apprised of news throughout the region. Historicalmaterials from predecessor organizations such as Shurtleff College are included.

Arrangement Note

Materials are arranged in four series. SERIES I: The Illinois Baptist Historical Collection, 1805-1951 (Boxes 1-6 and Oversize Bound Volume 1) consists of a Minute Book File, 1807-1902 and a Subject File, 1805-1951. TheMinute Books, 1807-1902, consist of minute books documenting the organization and operation ofmany early Baptist churches and associations. These volumes are arranged in chronological order.The Subject File, 1805-1951 is comprised of the correspondence, programs, charters, constitutions,photographs, bibliographies, biographies, histories, and bulletins written on a wide variety of individuals concerning and relating to the Baptist Church, its history and development in Illinois.Some of the subjects include: John Mason Peck, James Lemen, Shurtleff College, and Baptist convention, convictions, traditions, publications and organizations. The subject folders arearranged alphabetically.SERIES II: The Baptist General Association of Illinois Records, 1859-1906 (Box 6), iscomprised of the secretary’s record books, account books and minutes of the Baptist GeneralAssociation. These records are arranged chronologically.SERIES III: The Illinois Baptist State Convention/American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region Records, 1818-1982 (Boxes 6-25) and Oversize Bound Volumes 2-16) arearranged in six files: Administrative File, 1907-1941; Executive Officers File, 1915-1962; ChurchFile, 1818-1956; Association File, 1825-1982; Affiliated/Auxiliary Organizations File, 1806-1975and Large Bound Volumes File, 1891-1961.The Administrative File, 1907-1941 (Boxes 6-7), consists of the Board of Trustees minutes1907-1941 as well as the minutes of related committees and correspondence.The Executive Officers File, 1915-1962 (Boxes 7-9), is comprised of the correspondencereports and financial records kept by superintendents Peterson and Schell, treasurer L. K. Evans,field secretary H. Schlink and field representatives A. Huston and C. Smith. This file isarranged alphabetically or chronologically depending upon the type of record, and each person’srecords are filed separately.The Church File, 1818-1956 (Boxes 9-16), is comprised of administrative records, statisticalreports, scrapbooks, bulletins, histories, minutes, financial records and membership records ofchurches in the organization. The records are arranged alphabetically by location. Missionarypastors’ reports for various churches (1930s-1940s) are arranged alphabetically at the end of theChurch File. The Association File, 1825-1982 (Boxes 16-18), consists of the financial records, minutes,yearbooks, committee materials and reports of some of the associations belonging to the IBSC and the American Baptist Churches of the Great Rivers Region. The Association File is alsoarranged alphabetically.The Affiliated/Auxiliary Organizations File, 1806-1975 (Boxes 18-24), is comprised of therecords of auxiliaries of/or organizations which were associated with the IBSC or the Great Rivers Region. Included in these records are minutes, financial records, committee reports,scrapbooks, charters, constitutions, correspondence, and legal papers from such auxiliaries as the Baptist Young Peoples Union and the Peoria-Friendship House and such affiliated organizationsas the Woman’s Baptist Mission Society and Shurtleff College. The arrangement of this file isalphabetical.The Large Bound Volumes File, 1891-1961 (Box 25), is comprised of large bound volumeswhich do not physically fit into their correct locations earlier in this collection. The volumes arearranged alphabetically.SERIES IV: Miscellaneous Materials, 1835-1984 (Box 25 and 25 ½ and Oversize BoundVolumes 17-18) is comprised of scrapbooks, financial records, minutes, biographical sketches andhistories prepared for the 150th Anniversary and Baptist Heritage Day in 1984. Items are arranged chronologically.

Accruals and Additions

1975, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987

Related Materials

Portions of the collection are available on microfilm.

Separated Materials

Published material, photographs and artifacts were transferred out of the collection.
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collection Repository

112 North Sixth Street
Springfield IL 62701 US
(217) 558-8923