Chicago Theological Seminary's collection of the Illinois Home Missionary Society records, 1872-1911
The Illinois Home Missionary Society was founded in 1871 at the annual meeting of the Congregational General Association of Illinois and was incorporated in 1873. The Society existed under the auspices of the American Home Missionary Society and shared its mission to aid the spread of Christianity throughout the states and territories by organizing churches and commissioning ministers for congregations that lacked the financial resources to supply their own. The American Home Missionary Society had been active in Illinois since 1826, and the founding of the Illinois Home Missionary Society was part of a larger push for greater financial and administrative independence for the state-level organizations.
In 1878, the Illinois Home Missionary Society underwent a major administrative reorganization, assuming auxiliary status under the national organization. This change allowed the Society to gain even greater control over its funds and policies and to become completely financially self-sufficient with excess funds passed on to the national organization. As a result of this reorganization, the 1873 corporation was dissolved in 1880 and the Society was reincorporated. Between 1878 and 1911, when it ceased to exist, the Illinois Home Missionary Society issued 1340 commissions.
On the advice of the national council, the Illinois Home Missionary Society turned over its operations to the Congregational Conference of Illinois in May 1911. Its assets and work were subsumed by the Conference, but there was little turnover in personnel, since the board of directors of the new organization retained most of the former members of the old Society's board.
Scope of Collection
The Chicago Theological Seminary's Collection of the Illinois Home Missionary Society records documents the administrative activities, membership, and finances of the Society. The collection includes minutes of the meetings of the board of directors and executive committee, membership lists, records of missionaries' commissions granted by the Society, and scrapbooks of Society publications.
Related Materials held at the Congregational Library & Archives
Congregational home missionary society reports, 1827-1891 / American Home Missionary Society [RG0773]
Congregational home missionary society reports, 1892-1916 / Congregational Home Missionary Society [RG0774]
Related Materials held at another repository
Additional materials regarding the Illinois Home Missionary Society may be found in the American Home Missionary Society records, 1816-1907 at the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.
The Chicago Theological Seminary's Collection of the Illinois Home Missionary Society records is arranged in three series, reflecting executive committee and board meeting minutes, commissions, financial and membership records, and scrapbooks. The Executive Committee and Board Minutes series includes meeting minutes and foundational documents. The Commissions, Finances, Membership series includes Society accounting records, membership rosters, and missionary commissions. The final series, Scrapbooks, includes scrapbooks containing publications by and about the Society such as newsletters, flyers, appeals for donations, and newspaper clippings.
|Series I:||Executive Committee and Board Minutes|
|Scope of Series:||The Executive Committee and Board Minutes series contains minutes of the meetings of the Illinois Home Missionary Society's Executive Committee and Board of Directors from 1872-1911. In addition to the meeting minutes, it also includes copies of the Society's various constitutions and records relating to the decision to merge the Society with the Congregational Conference of Illinois.|
|Records of the Meetings of the Board of Directors of the Illinois Home Missionary Society||1872-1878||B1/F1|
|This volume contains meeting minutes from 1872 to 1878, including information pertaining to the incorporation of the Society in 1873 and the 1878 amendment of constitution to reconstitute society as an auxiliary to American Home Missionary Society. Also included is a printed copy of the 1872 constitution.|
|Records of the Executive Committee of the Illinois Home Missionary Society||1878-1897||B1/V1|
|This volume contains the 1878 constitution with amendments, the bylaws of 1880, copies of records Society and state records regarding dissolution of corporation of 1873 and reincorporation in 1880, and minutes of the Executive Committee meetings.|
|Records of the Meetings of the Directors of the Illinois Home Missionary Society||1897-1911||B2/V1|
|This volume contains minutes of Board meetings, including records related to the decision to place the Illinois Home Missionary Society under the control of the Congregational Conference of Illinois. It includes copy of the constitution of 1911, reorganizing the society as a part of said Conference.|
|Series II:||Commissions, Finances, and Membership|
|Scope of Series:||The Commissions, Finances, and Membership series includes records detailing the commissions granted by the Society to missionaries including information about the amount of aid granted and the church where the missionary was assigned. It also includes records of the Society's financial transactions from 1904 to 1906 and rosters of the Life Members and Life Directors of the Society.|
|Illinois Home Missionary Society Record of Commissions||1878-1911||B3/V1|
|Records the missionaries commissioned by the Illinois Home Missionary Society. The entries provide the missionary's name, the dates of the commencement and expiration of the commission, aid pledged by the missionary's church, aid requested from the Society, aid granted, the date of the grant, the missionary's church or preaching station, and additional remarks.|
|Life Members and Life Directors of the Illinois Home Missionary Society||1878-1903||B3/V2|
|This volume records the Life Members and Life Directors of the Society. Each entry includes the membership number, the member's or director's name and sometimes address, the name of the donor who paid for the membership, and the date of the certificate.|
|Illinois Home Missionary Society Journal||1904-1906||B3/V3|
|An accounting ledger for the Society which includes receipts and disbursements.|
|Scope of Series:||This series comprises scrapbooks containing publications by or related to the Illinois Home Missionary Society. It includes such various documents as circulars, newsletters, appeals for donations, and donation pledge cards. It also includes flyers announcing services, events, and lectures, minutes of the annual meetings of the General Association of Illinois, programs for General Congregational Association of Illinois Annual Conferences and other conferences, conventions, and gatherings, and religious and informational tracts and pamphlets. Finally, the series contains clippings from Congregational newspapers and magazines such as the Home Missionary Paper, the Congregationalist and Boston Recorder, the Advance, and the Congregational Review.|