University of Houston Libraries, Special Collections

Church Women United in Houston Records

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Church Women United
Title: Church Women United in Houston Records
Dates: 1911-2000
Abstract: Church Women United is a national ecumenical organization dedicated to bringing together religious women in order to celebrate and expand their faith, to promote peace and prayer, and to join together as a community to encourage spirituality and advocacy. This collection contains materials from the local, state, and national levels of Church Women United. Materials include business and financial records, materials from annual celebrations, programs from worship services, yearbooks, photographs, and ephemera such as scrapbooks.
Identification: 2001-001
Quantity: 9 boxes; 6 linear feet
Repository: Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries

Organization History

Church Women United is a national ecumenical organization dedicated to bringing together religious women in order to celebrate and expand their faith, to promote peace and prayer, and to join together as a community to encourage spirituality and advocacy. Church Women United is divided into four levels: national, regional, state, and local. At the national level, the United Council of Church Women was formed in December 1941, when delegates from three inter-denominational women's groups approved a constitution and established an office in New York City. This Council represented women from seventy Protestant denominations. In 1950, the Council became one of twelve interdenominational agencies that comprised the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States. In 1966, the organization's name was changed to Church Women United in order to encourage the participation of non-Protestant women, such as Roman and Orthodox Catholics.

In 1911, a group of Houston women of different denominations formed the Houston City Federation of Missionary Society; by 1946 the organization was known as the Houston Council of Church Women. The name was changed to Church Women United of Houston in 1966, and to Church Women United in Houston in 1968. At the local level, groups are organized into committees that administer programs and projects; in Houston, the women hold meetings at the many Houston area churches that are members of CWU. Church Women United in Houston participates in worship services at area churches and works with other Houston organizations to promote awareness of a number of issues, including the elderly, women and children, and the environment. Members of the Houston group also participate in the three annual Church Women United celebrations: World Day of Prayer, May Fellowship Day, and World Community Day.

Church Women United, Information Handbook and Directory, September 1999 through August 2000, p. 11, located in Box 1, Folder 3.

Scope and Contents

The collection arrived at the archives in good order and in general the original order has been maintained. Although primarily concerned with Church Women United in Houston, the collection also contains material from the state and national levels. Information in the collection includes material on the history of the organization, business and financial records, materials from the three annual celebrations, and programs from area worship services. It also includes yearbooks, photographs, and ephemera such as scrapbooks. The collection is divided into eight series: History, Administrative, Activities, Yearbooks, Holly Hall, Community Resource and Development, Photographs, and Ephemera. All of the series are arranged in alphabetical order, except for History, Yearbooks and Ephemera, which are in chronological order. For further information on women and religious activity in Houston, please see Brigid's Place, also in the Women's Archive and Research Center.


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use Restrictions

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, locating copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian.

Index Terms

Terms are either Library of Congress Subject Headings or taken from local sources.

Subjects (Organizations)

Church Women United. Houston Chapter


Women Societies and clubs -- Texas -- Houston.
Christian women -- United States.
Houston (Tex.) -- Christian Organizations.
Houston (Tex.) -- History.


Financial records

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Church Women United in Houston Records, Courtesy of Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries.


Donated by Church Women United in Houston, 2000

Processed by

Joanie South-Shelley, June 2001

Detailed Description

box folder
1 1-5 History
This series contains five folders dating from 1911 to 1999, arranged chronologically. These include a history of the Houston group, as well as brochures and a handbook describing Church Women United at the national level. The series also includes a book, Just Because, the Story of Church Women United in the U.S.A. 1941-1975, by Margaret Shannon, a former executive director of the national organization, published in 1977.
1 Organization History, Part 1, 1911-1959
2 Organization History, Part 2, 1960-1978
3 Brochures, 1951-1999
4 Just Because, 1977
5 Handbook, undated

1-2 Administrative
This series contains thirteen folders dating from 1959 to 2000, arranged alphabetically. The series consists of the business and financial records of the organization, including reports, minutes, and membership information. The newsletters in this series are those of Church Women United in Houston.
box folder
1 6 Annual/President's Reports, 1959-1971
7 Annual/President's Reports, 1986, 1991
8 Constitution, By-laws, Standing Rules, 1965-1985
9 Correspondence, 1988-2000
10 Financial Reports, 1965-1997
box folder
2 1 Membership Rosters, 1979-1989
2 Membership Rosters, 1989-1992
3 Membership Rosters, 1992-1993
4 Minutes - Board of Managers, 1965-1994
5 Minutes - General Assembly, 1965-1994
6 Newsletters, 1987-1994
7 Nominating Committee, 1989-1992
8 Scholarships, 1987-1992, 2000

2-4 Activities
This series contains twenty-seven folders dating from 1965 to 2001, arranged alphabetically. It includes material concerning the organization's activities at the local, state, and national level and is divided into three sub-series reflecting those levels. The series includes church service programs, newsletters, and brochures. The newsletters in this series are those from the national and state levels of Church Women United.
2-3 Local
box folder
2 9 Celebrations, 1990
10 Celebrations, 1991
11 Celebrations, 1992
12 Celebrations, 1994
13 Celebrations, 1998
14 Celebrations, 1999
15 Celebrations, 2000
box folder
3 16 Celebrations, 2001
1 Celebrations Information, undated
2 Church World Service, 1989-1992
3 Interfaith Workshops, 1965-1989
4 Programs, 1987-1993
5 Programs, 1994-2001
6 Women in Community Service, 1979-1988
7-13 State
7 Assembly, 1985
8 Assembly, 1993
9 Assembly, 1994
10 Correspondence, 1988-1992
11 Directory, 1986-1989
12 Directory, 1989-1991
13 Newsletters, 1988-1998
3-4 National
box folder
3 14 Brochures, 1983
15 Correspondence, 1982-1992
16 Ethical Choices Workshop, 1993
17 Fund for the Fifth Decade, 1981-1984
18 Gift Certificates, 1986
box folder
4 1 Health Care, 1991-1994

box folder
4 2-19 Yearbooks
This series contains eighteen folders dating from 1951 to 1996, arranged chronologically. Yearbooks list the officers, directors, projects, and programs for each year. Within this range of dates, only a few yearbooks are missing: 1955, 1956, and 1995.
2 Yearbooks, 1951-1952
3 Yearbooks, 1953-1954, 1957
4 Yearbooks, 1958-1960
5 Yearbooks, 1962-1964
6 Yearbooks, 1965-1967
7 Yearbooks, 1968-1970
8 Yearbooks, 1971-1973
9 Yearbooks, 1974-1975
10 Yearbooks, 1976-1977
11 Yearbooks, 1977-1978
12 Yearbooks, 1979-1980
13 Yearbooks, 1982-1983
14 Yearbooks, 1984-1985
15 Yearbooks, 1986-1987
16 Yearbooks, 1988-1989
17 Yearbooks, 1990, 1992
18 Yearbooks, 1993
19 Yearbooks, 1994, 1996

box folder
5 1-7 Holly Hall
This series contains seven folders dating from 1960 to 1966, arranged alphabetically. Holly Hall is a non-profit retirement community in Houston. In 1949, CWU in Houston proposed building a retirement home. By the next year, the project had grown to the extent that CWU in Houston was no longer able to financially sponsor the home, and in 1951 that task was relegated to the Holly Hall Board of Directors. However, Church Women United in Houston continued to act as Holly Hall's spiritual sponsor; CWU in Houston raised over $12,000 in 1951 for the project, and several CWU officers served on the Board of Directors of Holly Hall. Ground was broken and a cornerstone laid in 1951, and the home opened in 1952. For more information, please visit the Holly Hall web site at
1 Architectural Drawings, 1961
2 Audit Report, 1961
3 Audit Report, 1963
4 By-laws, undated
5 Committee Reports, 962-1965
6 Financial Reports, 1960-1966
7 Report on Examination of Accounts, 1960

5-6 Community Resource and Development
This series contains twelve folders dating from 1981 to 1998, arranged alphabetically. The series contains material of interest to Church Women United on a number of topics. Certain folders in this series contain items on a particular subject from several sources, while other folders contain material from only one organization.
box folder
5 8 Children and Family Services, 1987-1998
9 Christian Community Service Center, 1992
10 Committee, 1986-1995
11 Elder Services, 1989
12 Environmental Issues, 1993-1998
13 Greater Houston Women's Foundation, 1994
14 Houston Metropolitan Ministries, 1981-1991
15 Mental Health Organizations, 1989
16 Miscellaneous, 1988-1998
box folder
6 1 New Directions Club, 1988-1997
2 United Way, 1989-1990
3 Women in Action, 1985-1997

box folder
6 4-13 Photographs
This series contains ten folders dating from 1981 to 1988, arranged alphabetically. The photographs originally were in magnetic albums, but they have been removed for preservation purposes. Some of the individuals have been identified. folder 13, Miscellaneous, contains photographs which were neither in an album, nor were the individuals identified.
4 CWU Causeway, November 1988
5 Community Resource and Development Committee, Fall 1988
6 Dallas State Assembly, September 1987
7 Leadership Training, May 1987
8 May Fellowship Day, May 1987
9 Miscellaneous, 1986-1988
10 Miscellaneous, undated
11 Savvy Award, April 1987
12 State Meeting, 1981
13 Slides, 1986-1987

7-9 Ephemera
This series contains items dating from 1966 to 1981, arranged chronologically. The three scrapbooks in this series have been disassembled for preservation purposes. The pages from each scrapbook have been removed from their covers and retained in their original order, while the covers have been placed in a separate box.
7 Scrapbook, 1966
8 Scrapbooks, 1967, 1981
9 Scrapbook Covers, 1966, 1967, 1981
Newspaper Clipping, 1982
Bandana, undated
Leather Binder, undated
Plastic 3-Ring Binder, undated