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United Brethren Historical Center/Archives

United Brethren Historical Center

Records of pastoral service are held by the United Brethren Archives and are available to genealogical researchers. As a norm the archives do not contain records of individual members. Additional complications arise because of the division of 1889. The current Church of the United Brethren in Christ also known as the Radical or Old Constitution branch was by far the smallest group resulting from the split. The Liberal or New Constitution branch consisted of about 85% of ministers and members. That denomination existed until 1946 when it merged with the Evangelical Church and became the Evangelical United Brethren. It in turn merged with the Methodist Church in 1968 to from the United Methodist Church. Most information from this branch of the church is held by either the United Methodist General Commission on Archives and History or one of the Annual Conference Archives around the nation.

The United Brethren Historical Center does contain pastoral records of ministers of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (Old Constitution) from 1889 to the present and some information on ministers active before that date. Questions about ministers of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ (New Constitution) (1889 - 1946) should be directed to one of the United Methodists archives mentioned above.


Obituaries for United Brethren and selected others can be found in two publications produced by the denomination. The Religious Telescope was the first periodical published by the church and was active from 1934 to 1946 when it merged with the Evangelical Messenger to form the Telescope Messenger. From 1834 to 1889 the Religious Telescope was the main publication of the church before the division of the denomination. The second publication is the Christian Conservator, published from 1887 to 1954 when it changed its name to the United Brethren. The Christian Conservator started as a publication for the conservative faction of the denomination and after the division of 1889 it became the main publication for the conservative branch. Digitization of both publications is ongoing at the Historical Center.

A spreadsheet of names that have been indexed can be found here:

Obituary Index of United Brethren Publications

Please note that it is incomplete and the Historical Center may not have access to all the publications listed in the spreadsheet.