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Union Church Collection, 1865-

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Constitution and History

Congregational Meetings and Annual Reports

Membership

Pastors and Staff

Correspondence

General Committee

Worship

Music

Deacons

Christian Education

Outreach and Mission

Women's Organizions

Trustees

Finances

Buildings and Grounds

Anniversaries: 150th Anniversary and others - Oral History Interview Recordings and Transcripts

Newsletters

Photographs and Scrapbooks

Worship Service Audio and Video Recordings



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Union Church Collection, 1865- | Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

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Collection Overview

Title: Union Church Collection, 1865-Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Church of Christ, Union (Berea, Ky.).

Extent: 29.0 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

The records are arranged in eighteen series:

Series 1: Constitution and History

Series 2: Congregational Meetings and Annual Reports

Series 3: Membership

Series 4: Pastors and Staff

Series 5: Correspondence

Series 6: General Committee

Series 7: Worship

Series 8: Music

Series 9: Deacons

Series 10: Christian Education

Series 11: Outreach and Missions

Series 12: Women’s Organizations

Series 13: Trustees

Series 14: Finances

Series 15: Buildings and Grounds

Series 16: Anniversaries - Oral History Interview Recordings and Transcripts

Series 17: Newsletters

Series 18: Photographs and Scrapbooks

Series 19: Audio-Visual Materials

Subjects: American Missionary Association., Appalachian Region -- Church history., Berea, (Ky.), Berea College, Church of Christ, Union (Berea, Ky.)., Cowan, Thomas B. (Scotty)., Fee, John Gregg -- 1816-1901, Oral history -- Appalachian region., Oral history -- Berea College (Ky).

Languages: English

Abstract

The Church of Christ, Union, of Berea Kentucky (Union Church) collection consists of materials pertaining to the historical, financial, and celebratory records of the institution.  It also includes information about the church’s order for worship, including music and the arts as a part of the church’s history.

There are minutes, programs, and brochures about the governance of the church and in celebration of its two major anniversaries: the Centennial in 1953 and the Sesquicentennial in 2003.  Other series included are correspondence of the church and individuals, pastors, and the work of the church’s women’s organizations.

Union Church, established by Berea College founder John G. Fee, has served the community of southern Madison County in various ways throughout the decades.  Fee founded the church on the principles of social and racial equality by recognizing chattel slavery as a sin.

After being forced into exile following John Brown’s raid upon Harper’s Ferry in 1859, Fee courageously returned and worked to firmly establish the institutions by which he christened following the American Civil War. It was in 1865 that the war ended, the thirteenth amendment was passed, and the church’s oldest covenant was established, “to work together as a church and extend to each other mutual love and watch care.”  Fee served as the congregation’s pastor until 1895 when he resigned due to a lack of support for a resolution on baptism by immersion.

Because Berea College was the child of Brother Fee, Union Church was considered “the mother of Berea College.”  The church received financial support for many years from the school.  During the mid 1970’s, however, that supported was terminated, while Union Church remains an active influence in the life and history of Berea College.

The Church was established as a nondenominational body and did not have a permanent meeting place until 1902 when the Parish House was constructed with the help of college funding. In 1920, the Fee Memorial Building was erected with supporting funds coming from Berea College.  The church took on a major fundraising campaign, “Together We Will Build,” during the 1960’s in order to complete the Religious Educational building that opened in 1965.  In memoriam of the beloved Reverend Dr. T.B. “Scotty” Cowan, former pastor, a chapel was constructed and dedicated in 1982 at the side of the church.

The work of Union Church stretches beyond the rural Berea community.  Fee himself was a member of the American Missionary Association that supported the college until Fee suspected a denominational influence in the organization.  Many of the members of the church have also served in the mission field through various organizations.  It is because of these connections that the Benevolence and Outlying Work committees of the church have played a significant role in its history.

For central Appalachia, it has served in fieldwork aiding the region through education, health services, and igniting an evangelical spirit with in its people. The women’s organizations of the church have also been instrumental in providing clothing, health care, and food for families in need in the surrounding areas. Several non profit charitable organizations have been aided via the Outreach and Benevolence committees, including the American Friends Service Committee, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the United Board for Christian Higher Education, and other organizations.

Art is among the many unique appreciations witnessed in the history of Union Church.  Many members have served as artists for different mediums.  Along with the adult and children’s choirs, hand bell ensemble, and traditional Appalachian music, the church has been capable of allowing music to play a significant role in worship.  For many years at Christmas George Handle’s Messiah was performed by the church and community choirs.  In 1987, the church created a committee in order to secure a purchase of a new Steiner organ used for recitals, special services, and Sunday morning choir accompaniment.

With a variety of pastors coming from diverse backgrounds in worship and theological training, Union Church has remained a nondenominational and ecumenical body throughout its existence.  In 1953, the congregation celebrated its centennial anniversary.  During, 2003, the church celebrated its Sesquicentennial anniversary by incorporating a history of worship, efforts for social justice, and the legacy set forth by its founder, John G. Fee, during many specially scheduled worship services throughout the year.  Some of the past ministers and former members of the church that serve as missionaries and clergy returned throughout the year for the anniversary and special meetings.

This collection reflects the diversity of the church and its dramatic influence of the development of the community of Berea. From the specific membership records, constitutional drafts and amendments, to biographical information on the various ministers, missionaries, and other clergy, this is a representation of a unique and challenging history.  This diversity along with individual accomplishments of its members’ service to the specific communities of the Appalachian region and to the people of the world can be found within the correspondence of both church members and benevolent organization.  The Union Church collection shows the history of the evangelical witness of its people and its impact of its existence in the community of Berea College and beyond.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

This collection is comprised of official church records, publications, correspondence, audio recorded oral history interviews, and worship service recordings documenting the founding and history of Union Church (Church of Christ, Union) of Berea Kentucky.

Subject/Index Terms

American Missionary Association.
Appalachian Region -- Church history.
Berea, (Ky.)
Berea College
Church of Christ, Union (Berea, Ky.).
Cowan, Thomas B. (Scotty).
Fee, John Gregg -- 1816-1901
Oral history -- Appalachian region.
Oral history -- Berea College (Ky).

Administrative Information

Repository: Berea College Special Collections and Archives Catalog

Access Restrictions: Records can be accessed through the Reading Room, Berea College Special Collections and Archives, Hutchins Library, Berea College.

Use Restrictions: Federal copyright restrictions apply to all materials.  Some designated personnel files, and personal information held therein, may be restricted. Two interviews contained withing Series 18 are also RESTRICTED.

Related Materials:

Children of God Oratorio Collection, Record Group 11/11.01

Papers of the William Goodell Family

Berea City Vertical Files, Union Church

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], Church of Christ, Union of Berea, Kentucky Records, Special Collections and Archives, Berea College, Berea, Ky.

Processing Information: The finding aid was updated in 2015.  Audio video materials and recordings were added in 2016 and the finding aid was updated at that time. Updated October 2019 to reflect combination of boxes 2 and 3 in Series 18: Photographs and Scrapbooks.

Other Note: BCA 0176 HC 01


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Constitution and History],
[Series 2: Congregational Meetings and Annual Reports],
[Series 3: Membership],
[Series 4: Pastors and Staff],
[Series 5: Correspondence],
[Series 6: General Committee],
[Series 7: Worship],
[Series 8: Music],
[Series 9: Deacons],
[Series 10: Christian Education],
[Series 11: Outreach and Mission],
[Series 12: Women's Organizions],
[Series 13: Trustees],
[Series 14: Finances],
[Series 15: Buildings and Grounds],
[Series 16: Anniversaries: 150th Anniversary and others - Oral History Interview Recordings and Transcripts],
[Series 17: Newsletters],
[Series 18: Photographs and Scrapbooks],
[Series 19: Worship Service Audio and Video Recordings],
[All]

Series 18: Photographs and ScrapbooksAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Item 1: Photographs:  BazaarAdd to your cart.
Item 2: Photographs:  Bible SchoolAdd to your cart.
Item 3: Photographs:  Blue Lick Vacation SchoolAdd to your cart.
Item 4: Photographs:  BuildingsAdd to your cart.
Item 5: Photographs:  Estey OrganAdd to your cart.
Item 6: Photographs:  Fee Memorial BuildingAdd to your cart.
Item 7: Photographs:  Groundbreaking: 1922Add to your cart.
Item 8: Photographs:  MembersAdd to your cart.
Item 9: Photographs:  Noss Slides: MiscellaneousAdd to your cart.
Item 10: Photographs:  Old Glade Meeting HouseAdd to your cart.
Item 11: Photographs:  Otonka Family Camp: 1967Add to your cart.
Item 12: Photographs:  Parish HouseAdd to your cart.
Item 13: Photographs:  Pastors and StaffAdd to your cart.
Item 14: Photographs:  Performances and CelebrationsAdd to your cart.
Item 15: Photographs:  Steiner OrganAdd to your cart.
Item 16: Photographs:  Woman?s IndustrialAdd to your cart.
Item 17: Photographs:  WorkdayAdd to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Item 1: "Union Church at Work" Scrapbook, Early 1970sAdd to your cart.
Part 1 of 2. Note: removed from original notebook for preservation reasons
Physical Description: Oversized
Folder 2: "Union Church at Work" Scrapbook, Early 1970sAdd to your cart.
Part 2 of 2. Note: removed from original notebook for preservation reasons
Folder 3: "Church of Christ Union" Scrapbook, 1972Add to your cart.
Part 1 of 2. Note: removed from original notebook for preservation reasons
Folder 4: "Church of Christ Union" Scrapbook, 1972Add to your cart.
Part 2 of 2. Note: removed from original notebook for preservation reasons
Box 3Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Constitution and History],
[Series 2: Congregational Meetings and Annual Reports],
[Series 3: Membership],
[Series 4: Pastors and Staff],
[Series 5: Correspondence],
[Series 6: General Committee],
[Series 7: Worship],
[Series 8: Music],
[Series 9: Deacons],
[Series 10: Christian Education],
[Series 11: Outreach and Mission],
[Series 12: Women's Organizions],
[Series 13: Trustees],
[Series 14: Finances],
[Series 15: Buildings and Grounds],
[Series 16: Anniversaries: 150th Anniversary and others - Oral History Interview Recordings and Transcripts],
[Series 17: Newsletters],
[Series 18: Photographs and Scrapbooks],
[Series 19: Worship Service Audio and Video Recordings],
[All]


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