Southern Methodist University

Collection on the North Texas Conference Epworth League

A Guide to the Collection



Overview

Creator: Bridwell Library.
Title: Collection on the North Texas Conference Epworth League
Inclusive Dates: circa 1910-1940
Bulk Dates: 1919-1930
Abstract: This collection contains print materials and memorabilia produced by the North Texas Conference Epworth League between 1910 and 1930. The Epworth League was a Methodist ministry organization focusing on the spiritual and social development of youth and young adults in the United States and Canada.
Accession No: BridArch 302.23
Extent: 1 box (.5 linear foot)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

Historical Note

The Epworth League was a ministry to and by youth and young adults started by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1889 and adopted by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South in 1890. The League’s object was “to promote intelligent and vital piety in the young members and friends of the Church, to aid them in the attainment of purity of heart and constant growth in grace, and to train them in works of mercy and help.” (Source: The Doctrines and Disciplines of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1892.)

In Texas, the movement to establish Epworth Leagues began at the local level. The Texas State Epworth League formed in 1892. Annual Conference-level leagues began in 1893 when Bishop Joseph S. Key organized the North Texas Conference Epworth League.

The North Texas Conference Epworth League encouraged its members to support missionary work and to consider entering the mission field. Among the many North Texas Epworthians who volunteered for missionary service, Ruby Rachel Kendrick of Plano is noteworthy. Kendrick dedicated her life to foreign mission work in 1904 at the age of 21. After addressing the 1907 annual session of the North Texas Conference Epworth League, she traveled to Korea. During the 1908 annual session, an enthusiastic letter from Ruby Kendrick was read to the gathering. One day later the conference received word of her death. In her memory, the North Texas Conference Epworth League established the Ruby Kendrick Memorial Fund and later renamed its Department of Missionary Work the Ruby Kendrick Council of Missions.

In 1930 the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South directed its Board of Education to take over the work of the Epworth League. This transition eventually led to the development of the Methodist Youth Fellowship.

Sources:

Vernon, Walter N. et al. The Methodist Excitement in Texas. Dallas: The Texas United Methodist Historical Society, 1984.

Methodist Episcopal Church. The Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1892. New York: Hunt & Eaton, 1892.

North Texas Conference Epworth League. Journal and Yearbook. 1921.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

Bridwell Library’s collection on the North Texas Epworth League documents the history and work of a regional youth and young adult ministry within the Methodist Episcopal Church, South during the first three decades of the twentieth century. Materials in the collection include annual session programs, yearbooks, a group portrait, a delegate ribbon, and three felt pennants.


 

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into three series:
Series 1: Publications, 1907-1928
Series 2: Business Records, 1920-1940
Series 3: Memorabilia, circa 1910-1930

Restrictions

Access to Collection:

The collection is open for research use. Patrons must sign the Acknowledgement of Legal Responsibility and Privacy Rights form before using this collection.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the Bridwell Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.


Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
North Texas Conference Epworth League.
Epworth League (U.S.)
Methodists -- Texas.
Christian education of young people -- Texas.
Church work with youth -- Methodist Church.
Yearbooks -- Texas.
Minutes.
Methodist Episcopal Church, South. North Texas Conference.

Related Material

Ruby Kendrick Council on Missions records, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Collection on the North Texas Conference Epworth League, Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Acquired. Collection created in 2011 from internal holdings. The 1919-1925 print items were given to Bridwell Library by Lois Todd Johnson and Margaret Todd Shugert in 1956. The group photograph in file 9 was given by Lois Todd Johnson in 1968.

Processing Information

Processed by Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2012

Finding aid written by

Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2012

Encoded by

Ada Negraru, 2012


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1:
Publications, 1907-1928

The first series comprises eight folders of printed materials produced for use at annual sessions and recording North Texas Conference Epworth League history and business. Many of the publications are illustrated. Of special note, the 1920 Journal and Year Book contains historical essays on the North Texas Conference Epworth League and the Ruby Kendrick Council of Missions, and the 1921 Year Book and Journal presents the organization’s Constitution and By-laws.
Box File
1919B 01-03 Annual Session programs 1907-1924
04 Journal and Year Book1920-1921
05-08 Year Book and Journal1922-1928



 

Series 2:
Business Records

The two folders of records in this series contain signed, typescript minutes of North Texas Conference Epworth League business sessions and cabinet meetings. Starting with the June 1931 Assembly, the organization was known as the North Texas Conference Young People’s Organization.
Box File
1919B 09-10 Annual Session minutes 1920-1940



 

Series 3:
Memorabilia, circa 1910-1930

The final series contains four folders of souvenirs: six group portraits from the annual Assemblies in the 1920s, a delegate ribbon from the 1916 Annual Session held in Gainesville, Texas and three red and white felt pennants believed to have been associated with the North Texas Conference Epworth League.
Flat-File-Drawer File
2 2 Five panoramic group photographs, 1921-1926
Box File
1919B 11 Group photograph 1928
12 Delegate ribbon 1916
13 Felt pennants circa 1910-1930