What is the purpose of the RPCNA History Committee?
The mission of the History Committee of the Reformed Presbyterian Church is to solicit, collect, arrange, describe, preserve, and make available the historical record of the origin, development, programs, ministries, influence, liturgical practices, and people of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America. The components of this mission include, but are not limited, to :
- Collecting the institutional records of the denomination at its various levels; local, regional (presbyteries) and national (synod) and her agencies.
- Collecting the personal papers and memorabilia of ministers, missionaries and other servants of the denomination as appropriate.
- Collecting the programs, pictures and other artifacts associated with denominational or presbytery conferences and the like.
- Providing facilities for the retention, preservation, servicing, and research use of its records and collections by members of the church, Reformed Presbyterian Theological Seminary students and faculty, and others who have an interest in researching some element of the church’s history and work.
- Providing references service through the use of electronic archival files to those who desire to pursue their interest in the history of the RPCNA.
- Providing personal research on a limited basis to those who desire to pursue their interest in the RPCNA.
- Facilitating the efficient management of the materials recorded by the church and her various units and agencies.
What is on the website rparchives.org?
The archive website, is currently undergoing some changes but below are some of the publications you can access on the site as of the summer of 2017:
Reformed Presbyterian and Covenanter,
Reformed Presbyterian Standard,
Herald of Mission News,
Our Hebrew Messenger,
Covenanter Witness (to 1989),
Minutes of Synod,
Reformed Presbyterian Ministers and History (Includes Reformed Presbyterian Ministers 1950-1993),
Charles McBurney: Sketches of Ministers (1888-1930),
Owen Thompson: Covenanter Ministers (1930-1963).
In addition we have a link to bluebanner.org for Blue Banner Faith and Life, produced by the late Dr. J. G. Vos, and a wide variety of tracts and pamphlets which have been published by the church throughout the years.
What items are catalogued but not available for general circulation?
- More than 800 inventoried sessional, presbyterial, and congregational records.
- More than 120 large file boxes of various files and records.
- More than 70 scrapbooks which are largely photographs, slides, clippings, and other important information.
- More than 525 files for ministers, missionaries and other denominational servants.
- More than 250 pamphlets, booklets, tracts, many of which have been scanned (see listing above).
- Many hundreds of color slides, cassettes, and reel-to-reel tapes.
- Several inventories and detailed archival records. Most notable and extensive is the Willson collection with many hundreds of items such as letters, minutes, photographs, etc.
- A few boxes of sermon notes and memorabilia of RP ministers.
- Many photos of synods, national and international conferences, churches, ministers, mission fields, etc.
What about ongoing collections?
We desire the minute books of sessions and presbyteries whenever these are no longer needed at the local level. We digitize these documents along with other significant documents, most of which are available for research in the archives but will not be put on the website because of their often personal information. Please consider sending RPCNA memorabilia to the archives – items such as records, photos, objects, and documents from congregations, missions, and ministers.
Rev Ralph Joseph