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German Conferences of the Methodist Church of America. Minnesota Church Records, 1855-1933

 Collection — Container: Box 1
Identifier: SMHC Collection 1270

Scope and Contents

This collection pertains to Minnesota districts and congregations and contain: quarterly conference minute books; church registers that list, pastors, members, probationers, elders, congregational and district officers, class leaders, trustees, marriages, baptisms, catechism classes, and deaths; financial records, and records of various related organizations such as the Sunday School and the Epworth League. Most of the information is in German.

These records were originally collected by the German Methodist Historical Library, Bethesda Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio. Beginning about 1920, the library solicited original records and printed materials from German Methodist Churches and ministers throughout the United States. In 1972 the library's holdings were transferred to the Cinciimati Historical Society, although the Bethesda Board of Trustees retained legal possession. The Miimesota records were loaned to the Minnesota Historical Society for microfilming in 1978.

This reel is one roll of an eight-roll set of microfilm that completes this collection. A complete set of microfilm is available at the Minnesota Historical Society and includes information on the Northern German Conference, the Northwest German Conference, and more information on Minnesota Districts and Congregations.


  • 1855-1933

Biographical / Historical

In the late 1830s, German-speaking congregations of the Methodist Episcopal Church (the church's official name from 1784-1939) began to be grouped into a number of geographically defined German conferences. These conferences were divided into districts, which were, in turn, made up of individual congregations. The Northwest German Conference was organized in 1864. It initially included the following districts: Chicago, Galena (IL), Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Red Wing (MN). By 1887 the conference had become so large that an additional conference—^the Northern Central Conference was formed. It consisted of German Methodist districts and congregations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and northern Wisconsin. Administratively the congregations were in a constant state if flux, often transferring their affiliation from district to district, even from conference to conference.

The Northwest German Conference existed until 1933 (by which time it had become the Northwest-Chicago German Conference). At that time its member congregations were absorbed into English-speaking conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Northern German Conference remained in existence until 1924. Its Minnesota congregations also were absorbed by English-speaking conferences - the Minnesota Conference and the Northern Minnesota Conference.


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Language of Materials



Records concerning German-speaking Minnesota congregations, kept by the two geographically defined conferences of the Methodist Episcopal Church that governed them. There are minutes, financial record books, church registers, and records of congregational organizations and societies from Minnesota districts and congregations.

German Conferences of the Methodist Church of America. Minnesota Church Records, 1855-1933
Minnesota Historical Society donated this collection
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Southern Minnesota Historical Center Repository

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Memorial Library
PO Box 8419
Mankato MN 56002-8419 US