Milligan Libraries is excited to announce that the Helsabeck Archives of the Stone-Campbell Movement recently received the North American Christian Convention archives. The large collection of over 100 boxes contains material spanning the history of the convention. Included are photos, audio and visual material, and papers documenting the 90 year plus history of the independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ’s annual convention.
“When the NACC (North American Christian Convention) contacted us about donating their archives, I was thrilled,” Katherine Banks, Information Resources Librarian & College Archivist, says. “Because the Helsabeck Archives is focusing on collecting the history of the Christian Churches/Churches of Christ branch of the Stone-Campbell Movement and the Convention is such a pivotal part of that branch’s history, I knew it would make a wonderful centerpiece collection for the archives.”
First held in 1927, the North American Christian Convention was a gathering of the independent Christian Churches/Churches of Christ (“4 C’s”). As such, it was not a denominational meeting, but a meeting highlighted by discussions, exhibits, worship services, and preaching. Beginning in 1950, the convention was held annually until 2018, after which it changed its name to Spire. The convention has been held in conjunction with other similar meetings at times, including a long tenure with Bible Bowl, a youth Bible quiz competition.
“This collection is a superb addition to the Helsabeck Archives,” remarks David Kiger, Theological Librarian and Assistant Director of Library Services. “Our goal with the Helsabeck Archives is to be a vital research center for Stone-Campbell Movement history. Because of Milligan and Emmanuel’s long-standing connection with the convention, the NACC archives is one giant step in that direction.” Former Theological Librarian John Mark Wade donated the shelving necessary to house this unique collection in the Helsabeck Archives.
The first collection made available for research from the larger NACC archives collection is the Executive Director Office’s records. “This has been a fascinating part of the larger collection to work on,” says Banks, who prepared this collection for research. “For anyone wanting to know the work and planning that went into preparing for and debriefing from the convention every year, this will be a valuable resource.” A finding aid (detailed record of the collection, including a list of the contents) can be found on MCStor, Milligan Libraries’ institutional repository. Other parts of the larger archives will be opened for research as they are processed.
We are grateful to the North American Christian Convention for choosing the Helsabeck Archives and Milligan Libraries to preserve their history!
The Helsabeck Archives of the Stone-Campbell Movement, located in the Seminary Library branch of Milligan Libraries, is open by appointment 8:00 AM-4:00 PM, Monday through Friday.