Commission can provide help to apply for historical designation
If your church wants to apply for United Methodist Historic Site status, you will find enthusiastic, practical help offered by the Conference’s Commission on Archives & History and archivist Christina Wolf.
Wolf summarized the process. Church trustees send a letter of intent, including historical rationale, to Commission Chairperson John Beckman, a Lawton-First member. A team performs a site visit. Throughout, documentation is crucial.
When the commission votes to approve a request, a resolution is drafted and presented to Annual Conference delegates. If passed, the resolution is signed by the bishop and annual conference secretary. It then goes to the General Commission on Archives & History, housed in New Jersey.
That commission holds the authority to grant historical status and send an official plaque to the church.
Wolf said designation as a Historic Site is based on a church’s significance in an annual conference or jurisdiction.
"This is a first step. Then you can apply for United Methodist Heritage Landmark designation," she said. That conveys "national or international significance and requires General Conference approval."
Only one Heritage Landmark has been recognized in Oklahoma.
Jerry Gill of Stillwater-First, a Conference commission member, noted Historic Site status does involve "extensive research and historical documentation."
He also said that effort is invaluable to tell the ongoing story of the United Methodist witness for Christ in the world.
The Oklahoma commission is updating its online information at www.okumc.org. The General Commission website is www.gcah.org.
To contact Wolf: 405-208-5919, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Related story . . .Stillwater-First secures Historical Site recognition