Disciples News Service

Historical Society announces new hours, addresses financial challenges

The Board of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society temporarily suspended operations on June 30, 2014 to address significant financial challenges facing the Society. During this time, Dr. Glenn Thomas Carson concluded his service as the President of the Society.

This past week, the Finance Committee met in Nashville to begin the painful process of reducing over $500,000 in operating expenses. This included staff reductions, transferring treasury functions to Office of the General Minister and President (OGMP) Treasury Services, and reducing public operating hours. Dr. Todd Adams, Associate General Minister and Vice President, will continue to serve as the Interim President. Adams’ service, provided by OGMP, allows the Society to avoid further cuts to the archival staff. The finance committee is developing plans for 2015 and a balanced budget. The operating expenses for the T.W. Phillips building currently exceed 50 percent of the revenue for the Society.

The Society’s public operating hours will be Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 am to 3 pm. The staff will respond to research requests Monday thru Friday. The current focus of the staff is the continued integration of the documents that had been located offsite and assisting with research requests. The building will reopen on Tuesday, July 22.

Arnold Nelson, Jr., board chair, commented, “The work before us is not easy, but with the prayers and support of the Church and her leadership, we will move forward to creatively and faithfully fulfill our mission as the caretaker of church archives and artifacts.”

In addition to addressing the financial challenges, the committee discussed plans for the 2015 General Assembly, the Stone-Campbell Golf Scramble, and the Reed Lectures. The Board will meet in Nashville, October 21-23, 2014. Finance Committee members are Archie Jenkins, Chair; Arnold Nelson, board chair; Wanda Hedenberg, Alvin O. Jackson, and Todd Adams.

Questions regarding the transition should be directed to Adams at tadams@disciples.org.