Southern Methodist University

Collection of Ministerial Credentials

A Guide to the Collection



Overview

Creator: Bridwell Library
Title: Collection of Ministerial Credentials
Inclusive Dates: 1795-1940
Bulk Dates: 1810-1925
Abstract: Bridwell Library’s collection of ministerial credentials comprises documents certifying authorization to minister at the local, regional, and denominational levels of seven branches of the Methodist movement. These ministerial licenses and certificates were issued between 1795 and 1940 by the Methodist Episcopal Church; the Methodist Episcopal Church, South; the Methodist Protestant Church; the Evangelical Association; the Free Methodist Church; the Methodist Church, Canada; and the Japan Methodist Church. Ministers and bishops being credentialed served in the United States of America, Canada, Japan, Angola, and Kongo Free State (now Democratic Republic of the Congo).
Accession No: BridArch 303.70
Extent: 4 boxes (2 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University

Historical Note

Since the time of John Wesley, the Methodist movement has utilized the talents of both lay preachers and ordained clergy. Unordained local preachers receive ministerial licenses as evidence of their authority to preach. Clergy status is conferred through the act of ordination to the three traditional orders of ministry: deacon, elder (presbyter), and bishop (superintendent), and verified by the issuing of official certificates of ordination.

Source:

Lawson, A.B., and Nolan B. Harmon. “Ordination.” In Encyclopedia of World Methodism. Nashville: United Methodist Publishing House, 1974.


Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection features 297 preaching licenses, Deacon’s orders, Elder’s orders, and Bishop’s orders from Wesleyan bodies in North America, Asia, and Africa. These official documents served as evidence that individuals had received authority to lead local faith communities and broader connectional ministries. Most of the credentials were issued in the United States between 1810 and 1925. Of special note, eight of the earliest credentials in the collection were signed by Francis Asbury (1745-1816). Asbury and his colleague, Thomas Coke (1747-1814), were the two first bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church.


 

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection contains a single series:
Series 1: Licenses and Certificates, 1795-1940

Restrictions

Access to Collection:

The collection is open for research use.

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.
Methodist Church -- Clergy
Ordination -- Methodist Church
Certificates
Asbury, Francis, 1745-1816

Related Material

Additional ministerial credentials can be found in the F. D. Leete Collection on Methodist Bishops (BridArch 301.09A) and in the papers of individual ministers and bishops in the Archives at Bridwell Library .


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Bridwell Library, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Acquired, ongoing.

Processing Information

Prior to 2013 the collection was stored in individual folders in a file cabinet. During processing item folders were replaced with group folders, Mylar sleeves were replaced as needed, oversize materials were unfolded and placed in flat storage, and the collection was rehoused in archival document cases.

Processed by

Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2013, with assistance from Rebekah Rochte

Finding aid written by

Timothy S. G. Binkley, 2013

Encoded by

Ada Negraru, 2014


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1:
Licenses and Certificates, 1795-1940

This series comprises 162 folders of local preaching licenses, ordination certificates, and bishop’s orders. The folders are filed alphabetically by surname. Oversize items are stored separately and follow the main folder listing.
Most of the documents in this collection were originally part of Frederick DeLand Leete’s Methodist Historical Library, which was donated to Bridwell Library by Bishop Leete in 1956-1957. Credentials originating in Texas were added by Bridwell Library staff members at a later date. An annotated, itemized inventory of this collection can be accessed by following this hyperlink: Inventory BA30370a.pdf
Box Folder
835A 01 Allen, F. L., 1865-1871
02 Andres, A. J., 1863
03 Andrews, Edward G., 1844-1852
04 Anthony, Darius, 1837
05 Ashmore, Ellery L., 1899
06 Backus, J. P., 1838
07 Bailey, Wallace B., 1857
08 Baker, Willets G., 1895
09 Bascom, Henry B., 1818
10 Bickley, George H., 1889
11 Bird, Carmine S., 1878-1880
12 Boneparte, Lawrence W., 1909
13 Box, John Calvin, 1889-1892
14 Brent, James H., 1851?-1852
15 Brettle, Robert E., 1893-1897
16 Brown, Caleb, 1827-1832
17 Brown, James Henry, 1910-1913
18 Brown, Sylvester H., 1847
19 Brown, Wallace E., 1894-1901
20 Buckner, Nixon S., 1868-1870
21 Byers, William P., 1890-1892
22 Canzamba, Francisco Manoel, 1927-1930
23 Carle, Joseph, 1825-1827
24 Carter, Byram, 1853-1855
25 Chitambar, Jashwant Rao, 1907-1909
26 Christie, Henry, 1795
27 Clark, George W., 1836
28 Cochran, Samuel, 1808
29 Coons, Curtis W., 1896-1903
30 Cooper, Alanson L., 1848-1850
31 Cottingham, Timothy, 1871
32 Crawford, John, 1839
33 Curtis, David A., 1848
34 Curtis, William H., 1900
35 Cushman, Ralph S., 1904-1907
36 Davis, John P., 1873
37 Dawe, William, 1874-1876
38 Douglas, Alexander, 1851
39 Dudley, Forrest E., 1923
40 Duke, William G., 1831-1847
41 Ellington, William, 1808
42 Everett, Frank A., 1883-1888
43 Fillmore, Gleason, 1821
44 Fisher, Fred B., 1900-1920
45 Flowers, Drury, 1816
46 Floyd, John C., 1878-1880
Box Folder
835B 01 Foust, John, 1832
02 Fowler, Littleton, 1826-1830
03 Fowler, Littleton M., 1875-1881
04 Frizzelle, Jacob W., 1879-1882
05 Garth, Schuyler E., 1910-1925
06 Gowdy, John, 1898-1902
07 Granbery, John Cowper, 1853
08 Griffith, George W., 1887-1935
09 Halm, Karl, 1902-1904
10 Hamner, James W., 1877
11 Harned, William F., 1854-1856
12 Harrison, Ferris B., 1858
13 Hart, Edward P., 1861-1863
14 Hartshorn, Orville N., 1860
15 Hasmer, William, 1833
16 Haygood, Atticus Greene, 1890
17 Henderson, John A., 1889-1893
18 Henrick, Austin F., 1848-1852
19 Hild, Albert, 1906
20 Hitchcock, Benjamin Franklin, 1866-1867
21 Hobson, George A., 1877-1882
22 Hopkins, Robert, 1825Horne, John W., 1897
23 Horne, John W., 1897
24 Hosmer, William, 1835
25 Houy, Gotthart Henry, 1903-1906
26 Howard, Orrin R., 1843
27 Howe, George O., 1890-1892
28 Hoyt, Benjamin, 1811-1813
29 Huckabee, B. W., 1889
30 Hughes, Edwin Holt, 1890-1896
31 Hughes, Matthew S., 1890-1893
32 Hughes, William Alfred, 1896-1900
33 Hughes, William H., 1848
34 Johnson, Ebenezer S., 1891-1893
35 Jones, Burton R., 1868-1894
36 Kavanaugh, Hubbard H., 1823-1855
37 Keeney, Frederick Thomas, 1885-1890
38 Keeney, Seabury B., 1861-1870
39 King, Lorenzo H., 1895-1900
40 Knapp, Henry, 1819
41 LaPrade, William H., 1872-1874
42 Larabee, Fred H., 1902-1904
43 Leach, James W., 1853-1859
44 Lee, L. D., 1876
45 Leet, Menzo S., 1861
46 Leete, Frederick D., 1887-1898
47 Leifeste, Albert, 1912
48 Leonard, Adna B., 1858-1864
49 Leonard, Adna Wright, 1896-1940
Box Folder
836A 01 Littlejohn, John, 1818
02 Lord, Isaiah, 1857-1859
03 Lovett, J. A., 1892
04 Lyons, Ernest S., 1899-1900
05 Mahaffey, James Boyce, 1916
06 Manifee, John, 1815
07 Mayer, Christian F., 1910
08 McAbee, Isaac N., 1837
09 McMurry, William F., 1885-1890
10 Miller, Samuel White, 1869-1874
11 Mister, Wilbur F., 1865-1867
12 Mitchell, Archelaus, 1833
13 Nichols, George T., 1871-1873
14 Nuelsen, John, 1891
15 Nutter, J. B., 1889
16 Page, William, Deacon’s Orders, 1795-1804
17 Palmer, Charles E., 1932
18 Palmer, Henderson D., 1838-1840
19 Pape, Henrich, 1883-1885
20 Parker, Zachariah, 1852
21 Pasco, John, 1851-1854
22 Pasko, John, Junior, 1821-1823
23 Pierce, Everett L., 1908-1910
24 Poage, William M., 1880
25 Putnam, Josiah, G., 1879-1881
26 Rasmussen, William, 1891
27 Richards, Richard, 1812
28 Riebe, Otto, 1877-1879
29 Ries, Friedrich, 1867-1872
30 Robinson, John W., 1889-1893
31 Rosenberg, Joseph P., 1882
32 Rush, Charles A., 1887-1892
33 Seager, Schuyler, 1838
34 Schleumbach, F. von, 1881
35 Schuler, Frederick, 1853-1855
36 Sellew, Walter A., 1911-1923
37 Sill, Matthew D., 1882-1886
38 Smith, E. A., 1876-1882
39 Smith, Frank Herron, 1907
40 Smith, G. G., 1870
41 Smith, Luther M., 1857
42 Southworth, William, 1842
43 Strain, Thomas A., 1842
44 Swanson, Thomas Felton, 1905
45 Tampke, Adolph W., 1908-1910
46 Teague, John L., 1884-1888
47 Thompson, William J., 1805
48 Torry, John D., 1836
Box Folder
836B 01 Valencia, José , 1928
02 Vananda, Carmi A., 1858
03 Van Dusen, Seymour, 1833-1834
04 Vanpelt, John F., 1846
05 Vanstan, J. T., 1878
06 Waldorf, Ernest Lynn, 1902-1915
07 Walker, William H., 1880
08 Ward, Seth, 1883-1885
09 Warfield, James H., 1850
10 Watson, Silas E., 1909
11 Weaver, Peleg, 1833-1835
12 Weems, James F., 1884
13 White, Lewis M., 1874
14 Willets, Oscar W., 1876
15 Wilsey, Archibald M., 1833
16 Wood, Joseph R., 1873-1875
17 Woolam, John, 1840-1847
18 Yamaguchi, Kikutaro, 1927