Table of Contents
Collection Overview +/-
Collection Inventory +/-
series: Series 1. Minutes
series: Series 2. Subject files
box 2, folder 1: Audio-visual Center
box 2, folder 2: Audits
box 2, folder 3: Bible study
box 2, folder 4: Book review
box 2, folder 5: Brochures
box 2, folder 6: Budgets
box 2, folder 7: Civil rights
box 2, folder 8: Committee lists
box 2, folder 9: Committee reports
box 2, folder 10: Community action programs
box 2, folder 11: Constitution
box 2, folder 12: Correspondence, 1952-1956
box 2, folder 13: Correspondence, 1961-1965
box 2, folder 14: Directories (Churches)
box 2, folder 15: Editorial
box 2, folder 16: Financial statements
box 2, folder 17: Higher Education, Commission of
box 2, folder 18: Indian Commission
box 2, folder 19: Map (Utah counties/population)
box 2, folder 20: Ministers
box 2, folder 21: National Council of Churches
box 2, folder 22: Newsletters
box 2, folder 23: Newspaper clippings
box 2, folder 24: Nominations
box 3, folder 1: Officers
box 3, folder 2: Population statistics (1950)
box 3, folder 3: Prayer for new officers
box 3, folder 4: Prison ministry
box 3, folder 5: Programs
box 3, folder 6: Protestant crusader
box 3, folder 7: Publications--Migrant ministry
box 3, folder 8: Refugees
box 3, folder 9: Registrations (Annual meeting)
box 3, folder 10: Reports--Annual
box 3, folder 11: Reports--Annual organization (State of Utah)
box 3, folder 12: Reports--Commissions
box 3, folder 13: Reports--Presidents
box 3, folder 14: Reports--Special
box 3, folder 15: Resolutions
box 3, folder 16: Rosters (Utah Protestant churches)
box 3, folder 17: Social security
box 3, folder 18: Speeches
box 3, folder 19: Statistics (Salt Lake City)
box 3, folder 20: Surveys
box 3, folder 21: Television guide
box 3, folder 22: United Christian Church Youth Movement
box 3, folder 23: United Church Women
box 3, folder 24: Utah Foundation for Protestant Campus Ministry
box 3, folder 25: Utah Migrant Council
box 3, folder 26: Vietnam War
box 3, folder 27: Visitations to churches
Biographical Note/Historical Note +/-
The Utah Council of Churches was an organization for the various Protestant faiths and denominations in which they worked together for the betterment of their communities. In 1949, planning for the Utah Council of Churches was begun. By 1951 the Council was holding annual meetings. In 1957 the Council filed articles of incorporation mainly so donors could claim tax deductions. Annual meetings took place at various Utah churches and the Westminster College campus.
In the early 1900s, many smaller communities in Utah were either without any Protestant churches or had small community churches without formal affiliation to any national-level denomination. The Comity Committee of the Utah Council of Churches worked with community leaders to determine which denomination an unaffiliated community church would be assigned. Comity is a principle of reciprocity, that one jurisdiction will extend certain courtesies to other jurisdictions. In 1917 for instance, Wendover and Gold Hill had been allocated to the Baptist denomination; thus in 1949, the Utah Council of Churches deemed recent contacts at Wendover by the Baptist Church to be in line with the previous allocation. That same year the Council approved occasional sacramental services for Episcopalians in the Toole community church, reinforced that Brigham City Church was allocated to the Presbyterian Church years ago and thus new work in the area (in this case by the Utah Baptist State Board) would be a violation of present Comity agreements. The Council drew up and revised Comity agreements over the years.
In the 1950s, the Council was discussing the publication and distribution of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, assistance to the Washington Terrace Community Church (Ogden area), Lutheran work in the Rose Park area of Salt Lake City, comity agreements between Protestant denominations within Utah, women's leadership in Protestant church work, and claims that American churches were being infiltrated with communists. By the 1960s the topics of concern included civil rights, interracial marriage laws, divorce laws, the Vietnam War, and ministry to migrant workers, prisoners, and students. It is unknown if the Utah Council of Churches continued to exist after the mid-1960s, however the World Council of Churches and National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America are still active.
Content Description +/-
Series 1 of this collection includes minutes taken at meetings of the Executive Committee/Board of the Utah Council of Churches and at annual meetings from 1949 to 1965, as well as documents of constitution, bylaws, and resolutions. The majority of the minutes are typed; the remainder are handwritten. Annual meeting materials include programs (a few printed), and reports (mostly typed). The August 17, 1964 Executive Committee meeting minutes (Box 1, Folder 8) are mimeographed on Utah Council of Churches letterhead, giving the address as 2160 South 10th East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84106, and cooperating denominations as: Baptist, Christian, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and United Church of Christ. In 1965 the letterhead address changes to 2916 South 8900 West, Magna, Utah 84044 and Rev. Charles L. McCarty appears as President of the Council.
Series 2, the remainder of the collection, is comprised of notes and paperwork relating to various projects and associations with which the Council worked.
Utah Council of Churches presidents were mostly Utah ministers, but sometimes church laymen. Cited within the collection materials are the following Council presidents:
Series 1. Minutes. The earliest minutes of the executive committee of the Utah Council of Churches in the collection date April 8, 1949 (Box 1, Folder 1). This meeting took place at Westminster College and was attended by "Bishop Clark, Dr. Johnson, Dr. Ross, Dr. Adams, Dr. Wampler, Ven. Bulkley, Pres. Steele". While it cannot be determined when the Utah Council of Churches was originally formed, it appears from the content of these 1949 minutes that the Council had recently been formed. June 27-29, 1949 were set as the dates for an annual meeting of the Council. It was voted that "the cooperating denominations be asked to secure $20.00 each for the treasury ... to undergird the tentative expense of the annual meeting." A directory and abridged record of the 1951 annual meeting (Box 1, Folder 1) lists all officers of the executive committee, and of the varous committees. The Minutes of 1953-1954 (Box 1, Folder 2) include a 1953 list of "Ministers in Utah" arranged by denomination, and including name, address, and city. The list includes 11 Baptists, 5 Congregationalists, 8 Episcopalians, 17 Methodists, 5 Lutherans, 13 Presbyterians, 1 Congregationalist, and under the heading "Others", 1 or 2 names each from Assembly of God Tabernacle, Christian, Community, Greek, Jewish, Salvation Army, and Unitarian.
The minutes of the Annual Meeting of February 1953 records that in a Report on Special Literature, given by Dr. Frank Robinson (Council Vice-President) "he expressed concern that we continue referring to Mormons as non-Christians, and start appealing to the most liberal and fringe elements of Mormonism."
Committees mentioned in the 1959 minutes of the Cabinet of the Utah Council include: Audio-visual, Christian education, Comity, Community relations, Evangelism, Higher Education, Ministry to State Institutions, Indian work (later renamed Indian Commission), and a short-term committee "to re-edit Utah Council brochure, revise the by-laws, and draft a new Comity Agreement". Committees which were voted to be dropped were: Radio and T.V., Boy Scouting, and Publications. In the 1960 annual meeting program, there were reports from additional committees: Women's Division and Social Action. In a letter dated January 21, 1961 from the Social Action Committee, read at the annual meeting of the Utah Council, the committee reports they wrote "letters to Congressmen, U.S. Army Air Force heads, the House Un-American Activities Committee, and to daily newspapers in Utah on the controversial Air Force Manual, which accuses both the National Council of Churches and the churches in American society today to be infiltrated with communists" (Box 1, Folder 5). There is a 1959 report of the Women's Division to the Utah Council of Churches on "Utah Council of United Church Women" letterhead.
The printed program from the 1961 annual meeting (Box 1, Folder 6) includes quotes from the Constitution for Utah Council of Churches, stating 3 purposes of the Council: "1) To express through fellowship, cooperation and service the essential unity of the Christian Church; 2) To provide an interdenominational agency for cooperation of the churches in Fellowship and such other service as may achieve more effectively the objectives of the Christian religion; 3) To study the religious needs of the Area and devise plans through which these needs can be met." As for membership: "Any Churches of a denomination which holds membership in the National Council of Churches of Christ in America are considered to be members of the Utah Council of Churches." The 1961 Executive Committee meeting minutes mention "a letter from E. Dale Peak, Pres. of the Salt Lake Council of Churches" in which he points out a conflicting overlap of the annual meeting date of the two Councils; the Salt Lake Council of Churches at the time encompassed 16 churches in the area. There are minutes dated December 18, 1961 from a joint meeting of the Executive Committees of Salt Lake Council and the Utah Council of Churches.
The minutes of the Annual Meeting, January 19, 1961 (Box 1, Folder 6) recorded that Dr. John B. Ketcham, Executive Secretary of the National Council of Churches was the featured speaker of the meeting. Also at this meeting a resolution was passed stating that the Utah Council of Churches petitions the Utah Senate and House of Representatives bring the Civil Rights Bill to the floor of each body for debate and a vote, urging the legislators to "support the civil rights of all citizens in this State and put an end to second class citizenship and discrimination". In the September 1963 Executive Committee meeting, Rev. Wade reported on the Freedom March in Washington, D.C. which he attended, and that a Human Relations Committee is being set up by the City Commission for Salt Lake County (Box 1, Folder 7). In the Executive Committee minutes of November 1963, there was a report from the "Ministry to Migrants" committee by Rev. Don Randstrom reporting that the Council has been asked to co-sponsor a Migrant Conference to be held March 13, 1964. In a later planning meeting with one representative from the Council (Feb. 3, 1964) is was decided "after considerable discussion" that because the Utah Farm Labor Association had not been involved in planning for a March conference "there was some question as to whether the conference would serve a useful purpose at this time".
The Executive Committee meeting minutes dated March 15, 1965 record the "main feature of the evening was a discussion of the War on Poverty and the Church's role in it", as well as the Economic Opportunity Act.", a discussion led by Dr. Edward Moe, Director of the Bureau of Community Development at the University of Utah. The last set of minutes in the collection, mimeographed together on one sheet, are from the Annual Meeting of December 3, 1965 and the Executive Committee meeting held January 13, 1966 (Box 1, Folder 8).
Series 2. Subject files.
Collection Use +/-
Restrictions on Access:
Open to public research.
Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.
Twenty-four hours advance notice is encouraged.
Restrictions on Use:
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.
Permission to publish material must be obtained from the director of the Giovale Library.
Utah Council of Churches records, 1949-1966, MSS-008, Giovale Library Archives, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Administrative Information +/-
The collection is organized into two series:
Processed October 2007 by Charlene Newbold.
Utah Council of Churches
Collection materials are in English.
1 linear foot
Language of the Finding Aid:
Author of the Finding Aid:
Finding aid written by Charlene Newbold in October 2007; expanded January 2016 by Sarah Shaw.
EAD Creation Date:
2016 January 19 by Sarah Shaw
Describing Archives : A Content Standard (DACS)
Related collections in Giovale Library Archives:
Fellowship of Reconciliation (U.S.)
Form or Genre Terms:
Buckham, Sidney H.