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Vermont Congregational Conference and Vermont Domestic Missionary Society Collection

 Collection
Identifier: mss-995

Scope and Content

The collection begins with a small group of booklets relating the histories of the Congregational churches in various Vermont towns. These booklets are supplemented in some instances by manuscripts from the local churches. There are early manuscripts from a number of Vermont churches, including a large group from Jericho, Vt. Typically, these consist of the church constitution, records of meetings, public notices, records of different religious societies, and correspondence of the local ministers. The collection also contains material relating to the Congregational Church as a statewide body, including minutes of the Congregational Conference from 1795 to 1930, various Conference financial records for the period 1800-1869.

The VDMS material in the collection includes annual reports for 1850-1861, much correspondence of Society secretary Charles Henry Merrill, reports of the Woman's Board of Missions for 1909-1920, and of the Congregational Women's Home Missionary Union of Vermont for 1912-1930. There is also considerable material relating to the VDMS. Vacation Church School projects, a set of articles relating to the Congregationalism in Vermont in the years 1854 to 1946, and copies of The Vermont Missionary from the years 1884-1900.

Dates

  • 1773-1998

Creator

Access:

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights:

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

History

The first formal statewide organization of the Congregational Church in Vermont began in 1795 under the name General Convention of Ministers in the state of Vermont. The aims and responsibilities of the Convention broadened gradually in the early nineteenth century, and the constitution was altered in 1822 to admit lay delegates from the Consociations. The title of the body changed in 1841 to General Convention of the Congregational Ministers and Churches of Vermont, and in 1892 the membership was increased to direct representation of the pastor and a lay delegate from each member church. The organization's name underwent further changes, from the Congregational Convention of Vermont in 1898, to the Vermont Congregational Conference in 1908, to the Vermont Congregational Conference and Domestic Missionary Society, Inc., in 1926. The Vermont Congregational churches voted in 1961 to act as a conference of the nationwide United Church of Christ, and in 1966 the state organization changed its name to Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ, Inc.

The Vermont Domestic Missionary Society traces its origins back to 1804, when the Consociations of the Western District of Vermont appointed a committee to begin home missionary work within the state. This committee became the Vermont Missionary Society in 1807 and eleven years later reorganized as the Vermont Juvenile Missionary Society. The Society began holding its annual meetings in conjunction with the General Convention in 1823 and in 1826 became an auxiliary of the American Home Missionary Society under the name for Vermont Domestic Missionary Society. The VDMS provided missionaries for Vermont throughout the nineteenth century, sending its representatives and young theological students around the state to provide both brief itinerant visits to faltering churches and longer, more regular assistance to churches seeking permanent ministries. Although the VDMS maintained close ties to the Congregational Conference, the two did not merge formally until 1926, under the name Vermont Congregational Conference and Domestic Missionary Society, Inc.

Extent

9.83 cartons (7 cartons, 2 boxes, 1 oversize box)

Overview

The collection includes a small group of booklets relating the histories of the Congregational churches in various Vermont towns, early manuscripts from a number of Vermont churches, and material relating to the Congregational Church as a statewide body. The VDMS material in the collection includes annual reports, correspondence of Society secretary Charles Henry Merrill, reports of the Woman's Board of Missions, and of the Congregational Women's Home Home Missionary Union of Vermont.

Physical Location

Library Research Annex; contact uvmsc@uvm.edu for access.
Title
Guide to the Vermont Congregational Conference and Vermont Domestic Missionary Society Collection
Status
Completed
Date
1998
Language of description
English

Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)