Annual Conferences were the regional governing bodies of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. They would meet once a year to license and ordain ministers, fix boundaries, assign ministers to congregations, oversee regional camps and educational institutions, and provide reports of activities and financial matters.
The Church of the United Brethren in Christ started with one conference consisting of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. This "Original" conference soon divided into several conferences roughly along state lines. As the church continued to grow some state conferences split into several geographic regions of independent conferences. In 2005 annual conferences were disbanded and the churches in the United States became one "National Conference."
Conference minutes contain ministerial records, church and circuit statistics, reports and social commentary. Annual conference minutes in the very early years were handwritten in journals--the handwriting sometimes illegible, some ink has faded--spelling of names varied and often incorrect. The earliest records are in German. Later, in the late 1800's, conferences began to print minutes. However, the secretary was also expected to keep the minutes in the handwritten journal.
Some of the annual conference minutes from the beginning of the conference are in the Archives—Kansas, Oregon, Michigan, North Michigan, Auglaize and North Ohio, Walla Walla, Idaho, East Illinois. The General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church, have most of the very early conference minutes. These were collected and microfilmed in the 1960's by Dr. John Ness, for the Evangelical United Brethren Historical Society. Mary Lou Funk and E. Faye Connor cooperated with Dr. Ness and gathered up most of our pre-1889 conference records for him to have microfilmed. Unfortunately, many conference minutes have been lost.
Most of the digital records found here are scans of the microfilmed records. Many are handwritten. We are currently cooperating with FamilySearch to digitize our print records which will also be available on this site as project progresses.
Auglaize Conference was formed in 1853 out of Scioto Conference and was originally called Maumee Conference. It encompassed most of the western part of Ohio (except the far northern counties) and a few of the eastern counties in Indiana. In the Old Constitution church Auglaize Conference eventually merged with Scioto Conference in 1965 to become Auglaize-Scioto Conference. This conference in turn merged with White River Conference to form Central Conference in 1973. In the New Constitution branch the conference ended in 1901 when it merged to become part of Sandusky Conference.
Indiana Conference was formed out of Miami Conference in 1830 and covered the southern part of the state. By 1835 the territory had expanded beyond Southern Indiana to the west central part of the state which formed Wabash Conference. The conference split again in 1846 with the northern part becoming White River Conference.
Lower Wabash Conference was formed in 1858 from the division of Wabash Conference. Its territory consisted of some counties in West Central Indiana and some counties in East Central Illinois. Westfield College in Westfield, Illinois was the conference College.
Sandusky Conference sent missionaries into the state of Michigan to preach and establish churches for the United Brethren. The work in Michigan had grown so rapidly, that in 1853 they petitioned the General Conference to create a separate conference in the state of Michigan. In 1854 Michigan Conference held it's first annual Conference. In 1861 Sandusky again petitioned the General Conference to divide their territory. The territory that became North Ohio / Michindoh Conference was called Michigan Conference. The Michigan Conference was then called North Michigan Conference. In 1869, the territory known as Michigan Conference became North Ohio and North Michigan became Michigan. In 1877, Michigan Conference was divided with the northern part becoming Saginaw Conference. In 1881 the name of Saginaw was changed to North Michigan.
North Michigan Conference beginnings can be deceptive. North Michigan originally encompassed the whole of the state except for the bottom tier of counties next to the Ohio and Indiana borders. It was organized in 1862 from part of Michigan Conference (later named North Ohio). What previously was named North Michigan was later renamed just Michigan Conference after the creation of North Ohio Conference. It still did not incorporate the bottom tier of counties which were given over to North Ohio. North Michigan Conference was separated from Michigan Conference in 1877. For a few years it came under the authority of the Mission Board and was called Saginaw Conference but it eventually gained its own independence as North Michigan.
The North Ohio Conference was organized in 1853 and was originally called Michigan Conference. It was formed out of Sandusky Conference and encompassed parts of Northwestern Ohio, Northeastern Indiana, and Southeastern Michigan. In 1869 it was renamed North Ohio. The New Constitution branch of the conference continued until 1901 when it was reabsorbed into Sandusky and Michigan Conferences. The Old Constitution branch continued until 2005. After 1989 it was known as Michindoh Conference.
Originally attached to Muskingum Conference the General Conference of 1833 authorized it as a separate conference. Originally made up of North Central And Northwestern Ohio, Sandusky Conference quickly expanded into Southeastern Michigan and Northeastern Indiana. It eventually gave up those territories when North Ohio Conference was formed and settled into North Central Ohio. After the division of 1889 the Old Constitution branch expanded the territory into Northeastern Ohio and Northwestern Pennsylvania. The New Constitution branch in 1901 folded the Ohio counties from North Ohio Conference and Auglaize Conference into an expanded Sandusky Conference.
Formed in 1858 when Wabash Conference was divided. Its territory covered some western counties in North Central Indiana and some eastern counties in East Central Illinois.
Wabash Conference was formed out of Indiana Conference in 1835 and held it fist conference in Parke County, Indiana. Its territory consisted of some of the western counties of Indiana and eastern counties of Illinois. It was divided in 1858 into Lower Wabash Conference and Upper Wabash Conference.