Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wichita's First Presbyterian Church Archives

One of Wichita's oldest churches, First Presbyterian has been around since starting in a dugout in 1869.  Members of MHGS recently got a tour of the archives, and I was blown away.  First, by the fact that they have an archives!  With five rooms, an archivist, an assistant archivist and several other volunteers!  As far as they know, they have the most extensive formal arrangement of any church in town, which is a pity, because more churches should do this.

What would a genealogist find there?  A brief list:

  • lists of church staff members
  • sermons
  • class rosters
  • minister files
  • building records, including photos
  • a Presbyterian newspaper that includes both local and national news
  • bound copies of all service bulletins since the 1920s
  • photos, both framed and in albums
  • a WWII vet project done last year
  • letters written between a Sunday school class and WWII servicemen overseas
  • a Bible collection
  • obituaries for members
  • the church register of baptisms, marriages, etc
  • the diaries of a member, written daily from 1864 to 1910
The church is at 525 N Broadway in downtown Wichita.  The phone number is 263-0248.  The archives are regularly open on Wednesday mornings from about 9:30 to 11:30 and by appointment.  Email the archivist at  They are willing to do some research for out-of-towners; they ask for money to cover copying charges and would appreciate a donation to help pay for the fireproof safe they've got their eyes on...

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