Congregational Library & Archives collection of the Congregational Conference of Illinois. Records, 1834-1967.

Collection Information
Title:

The Congregational Library & Archives collection of the Congregational Conference of Illinois records, 1834-1967.

Creator(s):

Congregational Library & Archives

Congregational Conference of Illinois
Illinois Congregational Association

Fox River Association

Central Association

Rockford Association

Geneseo Association

Elgin Association

Chicago Congregational Association

Bureau Association

Southern Association

Central East Association

Northwestern Association

Aurora Association

Rock River Association

Springfield Association

Bureau-Rock River Association

Northern Association

Illinois State Christian Conference

Dates:

1834-1967

Extent:

14 boxes, 13 document cases (12.95 cubic feet)

Collection ID #:

RG5299

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to this collection is unrestricted and open to the public.

Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Congregational Library & Archives collection of Congregational Conference of Illinois records, RG5299. The Congregational Library & Archives, Boston, MA.

Language:

English

Processing information:

Accessioned and processed by Corinne Bernstein and supervised by Cristina Prochilo in November of 2015 using DACS 2nd edition.

Abstract:

The Congregational Conference of Illinois was established in 1844 by the first three Congregational associations in Illinois: the Congregational Association of Illinois, the Fox River Association, and the Rock River Association. The number of associations within the Congregational Conference of Illinois grew as Congregationalism spread throughout Illinois during the 19th and early 20th centuries.  The Congregational Library & Archives collection of Congregational Conference of Illinois Records document the history of the Congregational Conference of Illinois and its member associations including Conference and Association constitutions, annual meetings, committee activities, ministerial records, and correspondence from 1834 to 1967.

Acquisition Information:

Items donated from the Chicago Theological Seminary in 2011 and 2014.

Description

Historical Note

An agreement between the National General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church and the Congregational Associations of New England, the 1801 Plan of Union, allowed for mutual support between denominations and spurred a joint effort in evangelizing the American Frontier. The Plan of Union also enabled churches of either denomination to hire ministers from the other. From 1826 to 1833, the American Home Missionary Society sent 24 missionaries of both cooperating denominations to Illinois. Although many of these missionaries were from New England, a stronghold of Congregationalism, the very first churches they established in Illinois were Presbyterian.

A large percentage of settlers in Illinois during this period were land-buying colonists from the Northeast, who brought with them their Congregational beliefs and traditions. These Congregational roots along with the fervor of several Congregational ministers and missionaries from the Home American Missionary Society resulted in the creation of the first Congregational churches in Illinois in 1833. By 1834, a group of about 30 churches in the central western area of Illinois had established the first Congregational Association. This first group, the Congregational Association of Illinois was renamed the Quincy Association in 1864. The Quincy Association absorbed the Western Illinois Christian Conference, formed in 1931[1].

In 1835, an assembly of 18 churches created the Fox River Association at a convention in Big Grove. Next, the Rock River Association was formed in 1838 in the Rock River Valley. The Rock River Association was marked by a high concentration of fervent abolitionist pastors, many of which were tried for harboring slaves. Another distinguishing trait of the Rock River Association was a large percentage of pastors from New England who identified as Oberlin Perfectionists. The theology of Oberlin Perfectionism stemmed from the teachings of Charles G. Finney and emphasized a belief in a second stage of Christian life characterized by a perfect trust in God and complete commitment to his way. The American Home Missionary Society refused to fund associations heavily populated by Oberlin believers and Congregationalists in Illinois were similarly uncomfortable with this new school of thought, which many believed broke from Congregational doctrine. The political activities of abolitionists and the tensions surrounding Oberlin believers led to the dissolution of the Fox River Association in 1848.

These first three Congregational strongholds in Illinois lacked statewide connections and the New England Congregational Associations were not yet convinced of the strength or doctrinal purity of these western Congregational Associations. Also, the Presbyterian Assembly, which had abrogated the Plan of Union in 1831, also felt that they could encroach on the regions Congregational missionaries were cultivating. The Presbyterian denouncement of the Plan of Union was triggered by the strict abolitionist stance of Congregationalists, as well as anger towards the provisions in the Plan of Union that allowed mixed denomination churches to be governed by Congregational committeemen instead of Presbyterian elders. Presbyterians were also uncomfortable with the admittance of Congregational committeemen into the General Assembly and the lack of adherence to Presbyterian doctrine in mixed churches. In an effort to create a strong, unified body of legitimate Congregationalists to present to the Presbyterians and Easterners, the Congregational Conference of Illinois was formed in 1844. During the Conference's first official convention, resolutions strongly condemning slavery were adopted.[2]

In 1844 the Central Association was formed from churches that spanned a huge territory stretching across the state. From this original association, the Bureau, Central West, and Central East Associations were later formed. However, a smaller Central Association survived until merging with the Central Christian Conference in 1931 to form the Central Congregational Christian Association. In 1848 the Rockford Association was formed from a portion of the churches originally affiliated with the Rock River Association. Likewise, the Geneseo Association was created in 1851 from the churches that broke off from the southern portion of the disbanded Rock River Association.

Rapid population growth took place in Illinois from 1850 to 1860 and resulted in the formation of several new Congregational associations. The population growth stemmed from several developments. First, Chicago became known as the commercial metropolis of the Midwest soon after the Illinois Michigan Canal was created in 1848. Also, the introduction of railroads into Illinois led to a fresh wave of New England Congregationalist setters in the Northern and Central regions of the state. Formed during this period in 1852, the Elgin Association resulted from the assembly of 16 of the original 45 churches that constituted the Fox River Association. Also established during this period of population growth was the Morgan Association, founded in 1851 and renamed the Southern Association in 1858. The Bureau Association came into being in 1857 after several churches broke off from the Central Association. Similarly, in 1860 the Central West and Central East Associations were formed from the merger of new churches and churches originally attached to the Central Association. The Central East Association also integrated a number of churches that detached from the Chicago Congregational Association.

Before and during the years of the Civil War, Congregationalism was the only major denomination located exclusively above Mason Dixon line. Due to this placement, Congregationalists generally did not experience slavery among their settlements or depend upon slavery for their financial stability. Congregationalists, with their beliefs regarding equality and ability to stand against slavery without worrying about financial repercussions, helped spur the sectionalism that led to the war due to their radical anti abolitionist stance. This stance was demonstrated in 1837 by the formation of the Illinois State Anti Slavery Society, which had a largely Congregationalist base. The Society was also partly a response to the death of the Congregationalist Reverend Lovejoy who was killed trying to defend a press speaking against slavery in Illinois in 1837. The denomination's followers were also concentrated in areas where Republicanism first developed, resulting in a strong Puritan and Congregational strain within the Republican demographic that pushed President Lincoln into office. During the war, several Congregationalist ministers in Illinois were also heavily involved with the Underground Railroad and many were even prosecuted for their efforts. The war aims of Congregationalists in Illinois were set forth during the 1864 convention of the Congregational Conference of Illinois and included the legal abolition of slavery, diplomatic relations with Haiti and Liberia, admission of African American men into the army, and the defeat of a new Illinois constitution which would perpetuate the legal discrimination of people of color. Directly after the Civil War, population and economic growth in the Northern states led to the creation of several new Congregational churches in Illinois.

The foundation of the Chicago Congregational Association in 1853 was also heavily influenced by the strict abolitionist stance held by members of the denomination. Unwillingness to abide by a Presbyterian church's policies regarding slavery led to Congregationalist members breaking off and forming the first Congregational Church in Chicago. This same situation played out throughout the city, leading to the formation of the city's Congregational association. The Congregationalist abolitionist movement also became centralized in the Chicago Congregational Association due to the Chicago publication of The Western Citizen, a well known anti slavery periodical. In 1855 the Chicago Theological Seminary was established in an effort to produce more home grown ministers for Illinois and the Western Frontier. Besides participating in the abolitionist movement, members of the Seminary responded to the influx of European immigrants to Illinois by teaching theological and bible courses in several languages. By 1890, CTS was the second largest seminary in America and the majority of ministers in Illinois that received a seminary education came from CTS. Also by 1890 and due in part to the development of the urban areas around Chicago, the Chicago Congregational Association contained more than one third of Congregational membership in Illinois and more than one third of church property values for the entire state.[3]

The Northwestern Association was established in 1861. In 1868, the Association merged with the Geneseo Association to form the new Rock River Association. The Aurora Association was formed in 1867, and the Springfield Association was established in 1886. Soon after in 1892, the Illinois German Congregational Conference was formed, although this group also belonged to the German Conference. In 1872 the state Conference also created the Home Missionary Society of Illinois, an auxiliary branch to the National Missionary Society. Soon after, in 1880, the Congregational Conference finally achieved its goal of financial independence from the American Home Missionary Society and the Eastern Congregational Associations. The Conference also pushed toward the creation of more seminaries in the state, leading to the creation of one seminary in the Southern Association and one in the Rock River Association. In 1885 the Conference also approved the creation of the Illinois Women’s Missionary Society.[4]

In 1926, the Bureau and Rock River Associations merged to create the Bureau-Rock River Association. The Rockford and Elgin Associations also merged in 1926, establishing the Northern Association. The Northern Association also absorbed the Northern Christian Conference in the same year this new Conference was formed, in 1931. The Southern Illinois Christian Conference formed in 1931 but withdrew in 1937. The Illinois Christian Conference also formed in 1931, but was renamed the Fairfield Congregational Christian Association in 1933.

In 1964, the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ was formed through the consolidation of the North Illinois Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Conference of Illinois. This merger led to the dissolution and reorganization of several Illinois Congregational Associations.


[1] Spinka, Matthew. A History of Illinois Congregational and Christian Churches. Chicago, Illinois: Congregational and Christian Conference of Illinois, 1944. 84.

[2] Spinka, Matthew. "Expansion and Development to 1844." In A History of Illinois Congregational and Christian Churches, 84. Chicago, Illinois: Congregational and Christian Conference of Illinois, 1944.

[3] Spinka, Matthew. "Congregationalists and the Civil War." In A History of Illinois Congregational and Christian Churches, 84. Chicago, Illinois: Congregational and Christian Conference of Illinois, 1944.

[4] Spinka, Matthew. "The Period of Growth, 1865-1900." In A History of Illinois Congregational and Christian Churches, 84. Chicago, Illinois: Congregational and Christian Conference of Illinois, 1944.

 

Scope of Collection

The Congregational Library & Archives collection of Congregational Conference of Illinois records documents the history of the Congregational Conference of Illinois and its member associations including Conference and Association constitutions, annual meetings, committee activities, ministerial records, and correspondence from 1834 to 1967. Included in the records are Conference and Association volumes of records, meeting minutes, programs, certificates of incorporations, conference and association constitutions, amendments to constitutions, resolutions, articles of faith, by laws, correspondence, financial records, registrar records, ministerial transfer records, certificates of ordination, ministerial installation records, and association histories. These records highlight the development and spread of Congregationalism throughout Illinois during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Records for the first Rock River Association, the Central West Association, the German Congregational Association, the Southern Illinois Christian Conference, and the Southern Wabash Congregational Christian Conference are not in the collection. There are gaps of information and missing records in the collection.

 

Further Searches

Subject Headings

Chicago Illinois - church history.

Abolitionists - Illinois.

Congregational Conference of Illinois.

Illinois Congregational Association.

Oberlin Perfectionism.

Fox River Association.

Central Association.

Rockford Association.

Geneseo Association.

Elgin Association.

Chicago Congregational Association.

Bureau Association.

Southern Association.

Central East Association.

Northwestern Association.

Aurora Association.

Rock River Association.

Springfield Association.

Bureau-Rock River Association.

Northern Association.

Illinois State Christian Conference.

American Home Missionary Society

Quincy Association of Congregational Churches.

Plan of union of Presbyterian and Congregational churches.

Temperance - Illinois - Societies, etc.

Chicago Theological Seminary.

Western Education Society.

Springfield Women's Mission Society.

Antislavery movements - Illinois - History - 19th century - Sources.

Chicago Illinois - church history.

Church and social problems - Illinois - Chicago.

Church records and registers - Illinois.

Clergy - Illinois.

Congregational and Christian Conference of Illinois - Directories.

Congregational churches - Illinois - Elgin.

Congregational churches - Illinois - Geneseo.

Congregational churches - Illinois - History.

Congregational churches - Illinois - Quincy.

Congregational churches - Illinois - Rockford.

Congregational churches - Illinois - Springfield.

Congregationalists - Illinois.

General Association of Illinois.

Home missions - United States - Illinois.

Illinois - Chicago.

Illinois - Church history.

Illinois - History - Civil War, 1861-1865.

Illinois Home Missionary Society.

Illinois Home Mission Association

Illinois Conference

Missionary societies - Illinois.

Rock River Congregational Association (Illinois) - History.

Theology - Study and teaching - Illinois.

 

Related Materials held at Congregational Library and Archives:

Taylor, Richard H. Congregational and Plan of Union Churches in the Great Lake States (2009)

The Congregational Conference of Illinois. Minutes of the General Association of Illinois 1852-1864

Parrish, George R. History of the Congregational Association of Southern Illinois (1896)

Robinson, Jack Fay. History of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ (1990)

The Illinois Society of Church History. Illinois Society of Church History, Congregational : historical statement and papers (1895)

Spinka, Matthew. A History of Illinois Congregational and Christian Churches (1944)

 

Arrangement

The Congregational Library & Archives received these records in two accruals from the Chicago Theological Seminary. These records were not originally organized into one collection. The processor has imposed the following arrangement onto the collection: This collection is divided into 18 series which each contain a separate Congregational association within the Congregational Conference of Illinois. The series are arranged by each association's chronological order of establishment in order to reflect the history and development of Congregationalism in Illinois. Within each series, records and volumes are arranged chronologically. Due to provenance, records in some series retain their original order received at transfer to the Congregational Library & Archives.

Series I: Congregational Conference of Illinois records 1844-1962
Series II: Illinois Congregational Association meeting minutes 1834-1904
Series III: Fox River Association meeting minutes 1872-1927
Series IV: Central Association records 1885-1942
Series V: Rockford Association records 1872-1926
Series VI: Geneseo Association records 1851-1867
Series VII: Elgin Association records 1852-1945
Series VIII: Chicago Congregational Association records 1852-1967
Series IX: Bureau Association records 1857-1926
Series X: Southern Association records 1851-1906
Series XI: Central East Association records 1861-1926
Series XII: Northwestern Association records 1861-1884
Series XIII: Aurora Association records 1938-1965
Series XIV: Rock River Association records 1872-1925
Series XV: Springfield Association records 1885-1963
Series XVI: Bureau-Rock River Association records 1950-1964
Series XVII: Northern Association records 1911-1965
Series XVIII: Illinois State Christian Conference records 1884-1931

 

Contents

Series I: Congregational Conference of Illinois records

Date: 1844-1962
Extent: 1 box, 1 folder
Scope of series: This series contains two volumes of records including the Conference's constitution, articles of faith, and meeting minutes. There are also two volumes of records from the Western Education Society of which the Congregational Conference of Illinois took part. The series also contains a folder of loose-leaf including constitutions, resolutions, programs, correspondence, financial records, and registrar records.
      Date Box/Item
Volume 1 of the Congregational Conference of Illinois Records 1844-1855 B1/V1
Volume 2 of the Congregational Conference of Illinois Records 1856-1868 B1/V2
Congregational Registrar of Illinois Records 1905-1906 B1/V3
Western Education Society Records 1858-1885 B1/V4
Western Education Society Records 1864-1893 B1/V5
  Date Box/Folder
Congregational Conference of Illinois Records 1924-1962 B2/F1
 

Series II: Illinois Congregational Association Meeting Minutes

Date: 1834-1904
Extent: 2 volumes
Historical note: The Illinois Congregational Association was established in 1834 and renamed the Quincy Association in 1864. The Quincy Association absorbed the Western Christian Conference in 1939. The Association was dissolved in 1964 due to merger of the North Illinois Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Conference of Illinois.
Scope of series: This series contains two volumes of meeting minutes.
  Date Box/Item
Illinois Congregational Association Meeting Minutes 1834-1858 B2/V1
Illinois Congregational Association Meeting Minutes 1859-1904 B2/V2
 

Series III: Fox River Association Meeting Minutes

Date: 1872-1927
Extent: 1 volume
Historical note: The Fox River Association was established in 1835 and dissolved during the 1964 merger of the North Illinois Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Conference of Illinois.
Scope of series: This series contains one volume of meeting minutes. Note that there are no records from the beginning years of the Fox River Association due to custodial history.
  Date Box/Item
Fox River Association Meeting Minutes 1872-1927 B2/V3
 

Series IV: Central Association Records

Date: 1885-1942
Extent: 1 volume, 1 folder
Historical note: The Central Association was established in 1844 and merged with the Central Christian Conference in 1931 to form the Central Congregational Christian Association.
Scope of series: This series contains one volume of records including meeting minutes, the association's constitution, bylaws, articles of faith, and registrar records. The series also contains one folder of obituary records. Note that there are no records from the beginning years of the Central Association.
  Date Box/Item
Central Association Records 1834-1858 B3/V1
Central Association Obituary Records 1942 B3/F1
 

Series V: Rockford Association Records

Date: 1872-1926
Extent: 1 volume, 1 folder
Historical note: Originally called the Winnebago and Ogle Association during the planning stages before official establishment, The Rockford Association was formed in 1848 by a group of churches that broke off from the Rock River Association, which was established in 1838. In 1926 the Rockford Association merged with the Elgin Association to form the Northern Association.
Scope of series: This series contains one volume of records including the association’s constitution, registrar records, and meeting minutes. The series also contains one folder of records including a meeting program, a church member list, and an amendment to the constitution.
  Date Box/Item
Rockford Association Records 1885-1920 B3/V2
Rockford Association Records 1924-1926 B3/F2
 

Series VI: Geneseo Association Records

Date: 1851-1867
Extent: 1 volume
Historical note: The Geneseo Association was formed in 1851 from churches that broke off from the Rock River Association, which was established in 1838. In 1868 the Geneseo Association merged with the Northwestern Association to create a new Rock River Association.
Scope of series: This series contains one volume of records including the association’s constitution and meeting minutes.
  Date Box/Item
Geneseo Association Records 1851-1867 B3/V3
 

Series VII: Elgin Association Records

Date: 1852-1945
Extent: 1 box, 1 volume
Historical note: The Elgin Association was formed in 1851 from 16 of the 45 churches that made up the Fox River Association. In 1926 the Elgin Association merged with the Rockford Association to create the Northern Association.
Scope of series: This series contains four volumes of the records including the association's constitution, meeting minutes, registrar records, ministerial membership records, ordination council reports, licentiate records, treasury records. This series also includes a volume of statistic records and a volume of the treasurer's records. The folder includes program meetings and ministerial transfer records.
  Date Box/Item
Elgin Association Records 1907-1920 B4/F1
Elgin Association Records Book A 1852-1864 B4/V1
Elgin Association Records Book B 1875-1899 B4/V2
Elgin Association Records Book C 1900-1921 B4/V3
Elgin Association Statistic Records 1900-1919 B4/V4
Elgin Association Treasurer's Records 1903-1920 B4/V5
  Date Box/Item
Elgin Association Book D 1921-1945 B5/V1
 

Series VIII: Chicago Congregational Association Records

Date: 1852-1967
Extent: 6 boxes, 1 volume
Historical note: The Chicago Congregational Association was established in 1853 and dissolved during the 1964 merger of the North Illinois Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Conference of Illinois.
Scope of series: This series contains 22 volumes of records including meeting programs, treasurer's records, committee records, per capita records, individual church accounts, advisory board records, registrar records, church expense records, Kirk's Map of Chicago Suburbs, the association's constitution, articles of faith, roll of ministers, and meeting minutes. This series also contains five folders of records including programs, meeting minutes, and care association records.
  Date Box/Item
Chicago Congregational Association Programs 1915-1942 B7/V1
  Date Box/Folder
Chicago Congregational Association Constitutions and Programs 1908-1941 B8/F1
Chicago Congregational Association Care Association 1950-1954 B8/F2
Chicago Congregational Association Care Association 1951-1954 B8/F3
Chicago Congregational Association Care Association 1950-1954 B8/F4
Chicago Congregational Association Meeting Minutes 1955-1967 B8/F5
  Date Box/Volume
Chicago Congregational Association Treasurer's Account 1913-1931 B9/V1
Chicago Congregational Association Officer and Committee Records 1917-1932 B9/V2
Chicago Congregational Association Programs 1920-1947 B9/V3
Chicago Congregational Association Accounts of Treasurer 1942-1952 B9/V4
Chicago Congregational Association Church Per Capita Records 1952-1962 B9/V5
Chicago Congregational Association Accounts of Individual Churches 1942-1952 B9/V6
  Date Box/Volume
Chicago Congregational Association Advisory Board Minutes 1910-1930 B10/V1
Chicago Congregational Association Meeting Minutes 1947-1953 B10/V2
Chicago Congregational Association Advisory Board Minutes 1947-1964 B10/V3
  Date Box/Volume
Chicago Congregational Association Meeting Programs 1882-1917 B11/V1
Chicago Congregational Association Church Expenses 1892-1901 B11/V2
Kirk's Map of Chicago Suburbs 1935 B11/V3
Chicago Congregational Association Financial Records 1952-1963 B11/V4
Chicago Congregational Association Meeting Minutes 1954-1964 B11/V5
  Date Box/Volume
Chicago Congregational Association Records 1852-1879 B12/V1
Chicago Congregational Association Records 1852-1895 B12/V2
Chicago Congregational Association Registrar Records 1895-1925 B12/V3
  Date Box/Volume
Chicago Congregational Association Roll of Ministers 1910-1964 B13/V1
Chicago Congregational Association Advisory Board Minutes 1930-1949 B13/V2
Chicago Congregational Association Advisory Board Minutes 1926-1946 B13/V3
Chicago Congregational Association Financial Records 1963 B13/V4
 

Series IX: The Bureau Association

Date: 1857-1926
Extent: 1 box
Historical note: The Bureau Association was formed in 1857 from a group of churches that broke off from the Central Association, which was established in 1844. In 1926 the Bureau Association merged with the Rock River Association to create the Bureau-Rock River Association.
Scope of series: This series contains seven volumes of records including programs, association history, the association’s constitution, meeting minutes, advisory committee records, and registrar records. On page 291 of Volume 5, the merger between the Bureau and Rock River Associations is discussed.
  Date Box/Volume
Bureau Association Records Volume 1 1857-1876 B6/V1
Bureau Association Records Volume 2 1876-1887 B6/V2
Bureau Association Records Volume 3 1889-1897 B6/V3
Bureau Association Records Volume 4 1898-1907 B6/V4
Bureau Association Records Volume 5 1907-1926 B6/V5
Bureau Association Advisory Committee Meeting Minutes 1911-1925 B6/V6
Bureau Association Registrar Records 1916-1924 B6/V7
 

Series X: Southern Association Records

Date: 1851-1906
Extent: 1 box, 1 volume
Historical note: The Morgan Association was established in 1851 and renamed the Southern Association in 1858.
Scope of series: This series contains three volumes of records including meeting minutes, councils' meeting minutes, the association's constitution, articles of faith, by laws, and registrar records.
  Date Box/Volume
Southern Association Records 1851-1881 B5/V2
  Date Box/Volume
Southern Association Councils' Meeting Minutes 1864-1906 B14/V1
Southern Association Records 1882-1905 B14/V2
 

Series XI: Central East Association Records

Date: 1861-1926
Extent: 1 box
Historical note: The Central East Association was formed from a group of churches that broke apart from the Central Association. The Central East Association also integrated a few churches originally in the Chicago Congregational Association.
Scope of series: This series contains two volumes of records including the association’s constitution, articles of faith, by laws, meeting minutes, and registrar records. This series contains a folder of meeting programs. The first volume dated 1861-1887 includes a pasted in letter from Reverend Riggs, who was appointed by the Congregational Conference of Illinois in 1866 to form a committee to progress the Central East Association’s efforts to promote temperance. The letter discusses these efforts. The second volume dated 1887-1926 includes a pasted in report from April of 1918 from the Committee of Resolutions discussing the Association’s support of President Wilson’s 1918 State of the War address given in Baltimore.
  Date Box/Item
Central East Association Programs 1909 B15/F1
Central East Association Records 1861-1887 B15/V1
Central East Association Records 1887-1926 B15/V2
 

Series XII: Northwestern Association Records

Date: 1861-1884
Extent: 1 volume
Historical note: The Northwestern Association was formed in 1861 by a group of churches that broke off the Geneseo Association as well as newly established churches. In 1868 the Geneseo Association and the Northwestern Association merged to form the new Rock River Association.
Scope of series: This series contains one volume of records including the association's constitution, articles of faith, and meeting minutes. On page 122 of the volume the merger with Geneseo is discussed. From page 125 onward, the Association is referred to as the Rock River Association.
  Date Box/Volume
Northwestern Association Records 1861-1884 B15/V3
 

Series XIII: Aurora Association Records

Date: 1938-1965
Extent: 3 boxes
Historical note: The Aurora Association was established in 1867 and dissolved in the 1964 merger of the North Illinois Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Conference of Illinois.
Scope of series: This series contains 3 volumes of records including the association’s constitution, statement of church polity, declaration of faith, meeting minutes, association narrative, correspondence, financial records, and programs. This series also contains 23 folders of records. Note that this series does not include records from the beginning years of the association.
  Date Box/Volume
Aurora Association Records 1867-1937 B17/V1
Aurora Association Records 1938-1961 B17/V2
Aurora Association Records 1961-1964 B17/V3
  Date Box/Folder
Aurora Association Certificate of Incorporation 1964 B18/F1
Aurora Association Constitutions 1960-1963 B18/F2
Aurora Association History 1964 B18/F3
Aurora Association Resolutions to Incorporation 1961-1964 B18/F4
Aurora Association  Annual Reports and Minutes 1960-1964 B18/F5
Aurora Association Correspondence 1960-1962 B18/F6
Aurora Association Correspondence 1962-1965 B18/F7
Aurora Association Registrar Records 1958-1964 B18/F8
Aurora Association Officer Records 1959-1963 B18/F9
Aurora Association Committee Records 1961-1963 B18/F10
Aurora Association Annuity Fund Records 1962-1963 B18/F11
Aurora Association Ministerial Records 1960-1964 B18/F12
Aurora Association Special Meetings Minutes 1962-1964 B18/F13
Aurora Ordination and Meeting Minutes 1959-1963 B18/F14
  Date Box/Folder
Aurora Association Meeting Programs 1938-1954 B19/F1
Aurora Association Financial Reports 1942-1957 B19/F2
Aurora Association Correspondence 1942-1955 B19/F3
Aurora Association Transfer Records 1943-1955 B19/F4
Aurora Association Constitutions and History 1953-1964 B19/F5
Aurora Association Executive Committee Records 1941-1944 B19/F6
Aurora Association Ordination Records 1940-1945 B19/F7
Aurora Association Delegate and Ministerial Fellowship Records 1943-1949 B19/F8
Aurora Association Merger with Evangelical and Reformed Church Records 1948-1955 B19/F9
 

Series XIV: Rock River Association Records

Date: 1872-1925
Extent: 1 box, 2 volumes
Historical note: The first Rock River Association was established in 1838 but disbanded ten years later. The Geneseo and Rockford Associations were both formed from churches originally in the Rock River Association. The second Rock River Association was formed in 1868 by the merger of the Geneseo and Northwestern Associations.
Scope of series: This series contains three volumes of records including the association's constitution, bylaws, articles of faith, resolutions, registrar records, and meeting minutes. This series contains four folders of records. Note that there are no records from the original Rock River Association, founded in 1838, in this series due to custodial history.
  Date Box/Item
Rock River Association Records 1884-1898 B22/V1
Rock River Association Constitution, Bylaws, Advisory Committee Records 1911-1917 B22/F1
Rock River Association Correspondence 1891-1919 B22/F2
Rock River Association Letters of Dismissal 1872-1923 B22/F3
Rock River Association Letters of Transfer 1876-1919 B22/F4
  Date Box/Volume
Rock River Association Records 1898-1916 B23/V1
Rock River Association Records 1917-1925 B23/V2
 

Series XV: Springfield Association Records

Date: 1885-1963
Extent: 1 box, 3 volumes
Historical note: The Springfield Association was established in 1885 and dissolved due to the 1964 merger of the North Illinois Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Conference of Illinois.
Scope of series: This series contains eight volumes of records including financial records, reports of the Women's Mission Society, the association's constitution, articles of faith, registrar records, meeting minutes, council meeting minutes. This series includes five folders of records.
  Date Box/Item
Springfield Association Meeting Programs 1887-1930 B21/F1
Springfield Association Correspondence, Constitutions, Speech Transcript of "The Challenge of the War to the Church" 1888-1919 B21/F2
Springfield Association Correspondence 1918-1921 B21/F3
Springfield Association Correspondence, Letters of Transfer, Programs, Meeting Minutes 1893-1942 B21/F4
Springfield Association Records Letters of Dismissal, Meeting Minutes, Programs, Missionary Activity Report 1891-1963 B21/F5
Springfield Association Financial Records 1918-1921 B21/V1
Springfield Association Reports of Women's Missionary Society 1885-1895 B21/V2
Springfield Association Records 1885-1902 B21/V3
Springfield Association Records 1909-1917 B21/V4
Springfield Association Registrar Records 1914-1922 B21/V5
  Date Box/Volume
Springfield Association Council Meeting Minutes 1885-1899 B23/V3
Springfield Association Meeting Minutes 1900-1918 B23/V4
Springfield Association Meeting Minutes 1919-1930 B23/V5
 

Series XVI: Bureau-Rock River Association Records

Date: 1950-1964
Extent: 3 boxes
Historical note: The Bureau-Rock River Association was established in 1926 by the merger of the Bureau and the Rock River Associations. The Bureau-Rock River Association dissolved in the 1964 merger of the North Illinois Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Conference of Illinois.
Scope of series: This series contains 17 folders of records.
Arrangement: The records in folder 3 in box 16 have been kept together in order to preserve the intentional original order of these materials.
  Date Box/Folder
Bureau-Rock River Association Constitutions 1908-1940 B16/F1
Bureau-Rock River Association Photographs 1921-1940 B16/F2
Bureau-Rock River Association Records 1926-1958 B16/F3
Bureau-Rock River Association Letters of Transfer 1949-1955 B16/F4
Bureau-Rock River Association Advisory Board Minutes 1948-1962 B16/F5
Bureau-Rock River Association Ordination and Installation 1949-1963 B16/F6
  Date Box/Folder
Bureau-Rock River Association Financial Records 1959-1964 B20/F1
Bureau-Rock River Association Correspondence 1959-1964 B20/F2
Bureau-Rock River Association Correspondence 1961-1964 B20/F3
Bureau-Rock River Association Transfer Records 1956-1964 B20/F4
Bureau-Rock River Association Advisory Board Records 1960-1963 B20/F5
Bureau-Rock River Association Ordination Records for United Church of Christ 1961-1962 B20/F6
Bureau-Rock River Association Certificate of Incorporation 1964 B20/F7
  Date Box/Folder
Bureau-Rock River Association Financial Records 1950-1955 B27/F1
Bureau-Rock River Association Correspondence 1955-1963 B27/F2
Bureau-Rock River Association Care Association 1957-1959 B27/F3
Bureau-Rock River Association Meeting Minutes 1955-1964 B27/F4
 

Series XVII: Northern Association Records

Date: 1911-1965
Extent: 2 boxes, 4 volumes
Historical note: The Northern Association was established in 1926 by the merger of the Rockford and Elgin Associations. In 1931 the Northern Association absorbed the Northern Christian Conference. The Northern Association dissolved in the 1964 merger of the North Illinois Synod of the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the Congregational Christian Conference of Illinois.
Scope of series: This series contains four volumes of records including advisory board meeting minutes, certificate of incorporation, and committee meeting minutes. This series also contains 17 folders of records. Folder 2 of Box 26 includes meeting minutes discussing the merger between the Elgin and Rockford Associations.
Arrangement: The records in folders 3 and 4 in box 26 have been kept together in order to preserve their original order. The records include meeting minutes, ministerial transfer records, and programs.
  Date Box/Volume
Northern Association Advisory Board Meeting Minutes 1945-1952 B24/V2
Northern Association Advisory Board Meeting Minutes 1952-1956 B24/V3
Northern Association Meeting Minutes, Articles of Incorporation 1961-1964 B24/V4
Northern Association Resolutions, Committee Meeting Minutes 1957-1961 B24/V5
  Date Box/Folder
Northern Association Correspondence 1911-1942 B25/F1
Northern Association Programs and Records 1925-1960 B25/F2
Northern Association Transfer of Ministerial Membership Records 1925-1948 B25/F3
Northern Association Meeting Programs 1925-1961 B25/F4
Northern Association Licentiate Records 1940-1943 B25/F5
Northern Association Ecclesiastical Council Records 1929-1940 B25/F6
Northern Association Service of Installation Programs and Records 1910-1961 B25/F7
Northern Association Constitutions 1954 B25/F8
Northern Association Constitutions and Bylaws 1963-1964 B25/F9
  Date Box/Folder
Northern Association General Council Report 1956 B26/F1
Northern Association Meeting Minutes 1926-1934 B26/F2
Northern Association Records 1931-1944 B26/F3
Northern Association Records 1945-1953 B26/F4
Northern Association Meeting Minutes 1954-1963 B26/F5
Northern Association Financial Records 1954-1961 B26/F6
Northern Association Programs 1955-1962 B26/F7
Northern Association Correspondence 1957-1965 B26/F8
 

Series XVIII: Illinois Christian Conference Records

Date: 1884-1931
Extent: 1 volume, 1 folder
Historical note: The Illinois Christian Conference was established in 1931. It was renamed the Fairfield Congregational Christian Association in 1933.
Scope of series: This series contains one volume of records including the association's constitution, articles of faith, certificate of incorporation, meeting minutes, financial records, and ministerial membership records. This series contains one folder of records including programs, correspondence, and financial records.
  Date Box/Item
Illinois State Christian Conference Records 1908-1931 B24/F1
Illinois State Christian Conference Records 1884-1924 B24/V1

 

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