Disciples News Service

Disciples of Christ Historical Society Board meets, charts next steps

The Disciples of Christ Historical Society (DCHS) Board met in Nashville, TN, March 6-7, 2015. The Board of Directors, chaired by Archie Jenkins, took several actions to ensure the future of the Church’s archives and the Society’s role as one of several Stone-Campbell archives.

One of the primary objectives of the board meeting was to address the future home of the Society. Jenkins reminded the board that our purpose “is to set the path for the future that connects to but is not trapped by our past.” To that end President Emeritus Dr. Peter Morgan began his motion, “I would be honored to be on record as making this motion to relocate the Disciples of Christ Historical Society and the archives to Bethany College.” The board unanimously approved the motion authorizing Interim President Todd Adams to negotiate the details with Bethany and report the outcome to the DCHS board for final approval.

Bethany is proposing that DCHS construct a new facility on land adjacent to the Campbell Mansion and the Renner Visitor’s Center at Bethany Village. Relocation to Bethany will include opportunities for student-workers, the use of Historic Bethany, classroom-laboratory partnerships in church history and library science, as well as engagement with the Buffalo Seminary. Buffalo Seminary is the commissioned ministry and continuing education partnership of Bethany College and the West Virginia Region.

Included with the Bethany proposal were letters of support from Thomas Johnson, T.W. Phillips’ grandson and John Renner of the Renner Family Foundation. The Phillips family was the original donor for current building near the Vanderbilt University campus. The Renner Family Foundation built the Visitor’s Center at the Campbell Mansion in support of Historic Bethany.

During the meeting, the board approved a restated Statement of Net Assets Activity (balance sheet). Office of the General Minister and President Treasury Services and the Christian Church Foundation collaborated on the research of historical fund balances and performance of Beasley and Common funds of the Joint Investment Trust since Dec. 31, 2004. This work and other research supported the restated Dec. 31, 2014 fund balances. The Statement of Net Assets will be included with DCHS’ report to the General Assembly. Adams stated, “All funds have been documented, funded and restored. The $270,000 operating deficit created by restoring the funds will be paid off with the proceeds from the sale of the current facility.” The board adopted an amended 2015 budget, anticipating closing on the sale of the T.W. Phillips Memorial Library by June 2015.

In other action, the board reviewed plans for the Stone-Campbell Scramble and the Reed Lecture at General Assembly. More information on the Golf Tournament is on the General Assembly webpage under pre-events. The Reed Lecture, taking place on Saturday, July 18 is a lunch. Rev. Chris Dorsey, president of Higher Education and Leadership Ministries will speak on the “Role of Social Movements in the History of the United States.”

Additionally, Adams led the new board through Board Source’s “Ten Responsibilities of Non-Profit Governance Boards and Three Duties of Board Members.” Board Chair Archie Jenkins, will issue a letter of thanks to General Minister and President Sharon E. Watkins for her leadership during these challenging times and her willingness to share Associate General Minister and Vice President Todd Adams as the DCHS Interim President.

Current board members are:
Thad Allen, West Virginia (2017)
David Ayres, Churches of Christ (2016)
Richard Cherok, North America Christian Convention (2015)
Charisse Gillett, Kentucky (2017)
Archie Jenkins, Georgia (2016)
James Johnson, Indiana (2017)
Mary Lou Kegler, Greater Kansas City / Administrative Committee representative (2016)
Lynnette Li, Indiana (2015)
Siobhan Lopez, Pacific Southwest Region (2017)
Peter Morgan, Capital Area Region and Administrative Committee representative (2016)
Bill Newton, Tennessee (2015)
Janis Sherick, Arizona (2015)
Edie Rice-Sauer, Northwest Region / Administrative Committee representative (2016)
Marsha Smith, Southwest (2017)
Bob Williams, Southwest and General Board Audit Committee member (2017)