Writing a church history paper

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Writing a church history paper

Writing Church History A Guideline for Local Church Historians As historian for your church, you have one of the most exciting opportunities available to anyone in your congregation, for you have been asked to tell the story of what God has done and is doing in your congregation.

The Psalmist has said, Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them, and this well describes your task. Study the works that God has accomplished among His people, delight in them, and tell the story!

An ideal way to accomplish that is by recording information about events as they occur in a notebook. With a limited amount of editing, this collected material can become the basis of the annual church history.

You may find it beneficial to have church leaders submit regular monthly or quarterly activity reports to you. These reports can be used later to compile the history. Statistics The first several pages of your history should contain statistical information on your church.

List the full names of all ministers, board members elders, deacons, trustees, etc. The birth of children of members of the congregation should be reported.

Baptisms should also be reported. For baptisms, give the dates and the full name of those who were baptized during the period covered by the history.

Reflection Paper: What Is It?

If the individual s transferred from another church, indicate the church from which they transferred. Give the names of individuals dismissed or dropped from the congregational roll, showing the date and reason of the removal.

For transferees, indicate the church to which they transferred. Information on marriages should also be presented. In this listing indicate date and place of marriage, names of the bride and groom, as well as the names of their parents, whether living or dead.

Also report deaths within the congregation, giving the full name of the deceased, the date of death and age at the time of death. Narrative The narrative section is the story-telling portion of your church history. You may want to sub-divide the history into separate sections, with each one describing a major activity or event of the church, such as Sunday School, Youth, Session, etc.

The history for each section should be written in a chronological order. The majority of the narrative will be based on your notes and collected bulletins, newsletters and reports. The narrative portion of the church history should flow smoothly from paragraph to paragraph and section to section.

As you write, try to reflect, in a warm, personal way, the humorous and serious events that have transpired over the past twelve months.

The important thing, above all else, is to focus on telling the story of how God has been at work in your congregation. How has He shown Himself faithful?

writing a church history paper

How has He answered prayer? How has He provided and how has His grace been evident? Pictorial Photographs can be an important part of your history. If you decide to submit photographs, be sure to include pictures of the pastor and his family, church officers, special speakers, new members, buildings, and special events held throughout the year.

Histories submitted to the Historical Center should have photographs mounted on sheets of acid-free paper. Slits should be cut in the acid-free paper to act as corners to hold the photographs.

Photographs should not be glued or taped to the acid-free paper. Each photograph should be labeled, beneath or beside the picture, with the identity of the individual s or activities shown.

With new technologies now available, you may choose to scan and print your photographs directly onto the paper.In the sample church history paper title and introduction below, note how the author: Narrows his topic from the very broad “church polity in colonial New England” to the specific debate between two particular ministers.

Focuses his historical question not on what was said and done, but on the historical factors that shaped the debate. There are some minor writing problems and some questionable statements, as the marginal comments indicate, but the essay's intelligence overcomes these slight defects, and, overall, it is well organized, clearly written, and cleverly argued.

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Writing a family history may seem like a daunting task, but when the relatives start nagging, you can follow these five easy steps to make your family history project a reality.

News writing is an essential skill for journalists. Learn about the five Ws (Who, What, When, Where and Why) that every story should address. The front page of a paper (online and in print) offers the biggest news stories of the day and there you’ll find straight, hard news.

A Brief History of the News Media.

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Writing Guide: Introduction