The Missouri Area United Methodist Church has an abundance of records and it is worthwhile to search them.

Until 2004, the state was divided into Missouri East and Missouri West Annual Conferences. The repository for the Missouri East Conference is Western Historical Manuscript Collection, University of Missouri, Columbia. The repository for Missouri West Conference is Smiley Memorial Library, Central Methodist College, Fayette, Missouri. Central Methodist College has an online clergy file.

Predecessor denominations of the United Methodist Church include:

Methodist Episcopal Church 1784–1939
Methodist Episcopal Church, South 1845–1939
Methodist Protestant Church 1828–1939
Methodist Church 1939–1968
United Brethren in Christ 1800–1946
Evangelical Association 1803–1922
United Evangelical Church 1894–1922
Evangelical Church 1923–1946
Evangelical United Brethren 1946–1968
United Methodist Church 1968–Present

Internet sites can expand upon this information and give further tips. Search for Methodists and you will find a number of sites. A notable one is located at the Historical Society of the United Methodist Church, which includes tips for finding ancestors.

Also, look at the site for the General Commission on Archives and History, which includes names and addresses of Missouri contacts. It also has a searchable database of materials held.

Check at repositories to see if records have been stored there and look for individuals who were members of a particular Methodist church. If not, contact the church for information about their birth, death, marriage, etc. When you cannot find the individual church, Missouri has archives and history groups, which may be of help.

Methodists have long had a publishing house. One Methodist newspaper is the Christian Advocate. Missouri conferences publish the United Methodist Reporter in regional versions. There have been Annual Conference Journals published for more than 100 years, some as early as 1858. Check the repositories for extant copies. The Annual Conference Journals include many records of interest, including obituaries of deceased clergy and wives.

Written by Joyce Mercer, 2005


A Brief History of The Kingshighway United Methodist Church, 900 Bellerive Boulevard, St. Louis, Missouri, 1877–1977. St. Louis: Kingshighway Methodist Church, 1977.

Gooch, John O. A History of Bethel United Methodist Church, 1858–1975. St. Louis: privately printed, 1975.

Grace Methodist Church: Historical Interpretation, its Gifts and Memorials. St. Louis: Grace Methodist Church, 1943.

Immanuel United Methodist Church Centennial Celebration, 1888–1988. St. Louis: Immanuel Methodist Church, 1988.

Manchester United Methodist Church, 129 Woods Mill Road, Manchester, Missouri: Winter 1987, Pictorial Directory. St. Louis: Manchester United Methodist Church, 1987.

Ruhrwien, Helen Hampton. A History of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church and Creve Coeur Methodism. Creve Coeur, Missouri: H. H. Ruhrwien, 1984.

Salem Methodist Church: Kingshighway & Cote Brilliante, St. Louis, Missouri. St. Louis: Salem Methodist Church, 1941–1951.

Seaton, Richard A. History of the United Methodist Churches in Missouri. St. Louis: Missouri Methodist Historical Society, 1984.

Shankland, Wilbur Morse. Zion in the Valley: Origin and Building of the Methodist Church in Ferguson, St. Louis County, Missouri. St. Louis: W. Shankland, 1972.

Stephan Memorial United Methodist Church, St. Louis, Missouri, 1974, 1980, 1983, 1984. St. Louis: Stephan Memorial United Methodist Church, 1974–1984.

Tucker, Frank C. The Methodist Church in Missouri, 1798–1939: A Brief History. No place: Historical Societies, 1966.

Williams, Francis Emmett. Centenary Methodist Church of St. Louis: The First Hundred Years, 1839–1939. St. Louis: Mound City Press, 1939.

Woodruff, Mrs. Howard W., CGRS. A 6500 Name Comprehensive Index State-Wide Missouri Obituaries From “The St. Louis Christian Advocate” (Methodist) 1851–1882. No place: privately printed, 1986.

Last Modified: 12-Feb-2019 11:20