Church Records Should Be Protected

The following teasor is from an article by Frankie Meyer, published in the November 12, 2012 edition of the Joplin Globe:

JOPLIN, Mo. — Last July, St. John’s United Church of Christ in Springfield had a burglary. Although the building had damage such as broken doors, the loss that was most mourned by the members and the community was the theft of a thick, leather-bound book filled with the church’s history since its formation in 1887.

Some of the records were of marriages, births, baptisms, funerals and confirmations. The early records were contained in a book, which was written in the native language of its founding members in German. Until 1924, one of the church’s weekly services was held in German and the other was held in English.

Many of the members throughout the years have been active in church groups. The old book had records of the groups and the people who were active in them. Some examples were the Ladies Aid Society, Friendship Circle, Women’s Guild, Fidelia Group, Quilters Circle, 50/50 Class and Men’s Brotherhood.

Since its formation, the church has had 11 pastors. Information about the preachers was also contained in the records.

Read the full article.

Author: Leland Meitzler

Leland K. Meitzler founded Heritage Quest in 1985, and has worked as Managing Editor of both Heritage Quest Magazine and The Genealogical Helper. He currently operates Family Roots Publishing Company (, writes daily at, writes the weekly Genealogy Newsline, conducts the annual Salt Lake Christmas Tour to the Family History Library, and speaks nationally, having given over 2000 lectures since 1983.

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