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First Presbyterian Church of Rockford



Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Historical and Administrative Records

Membership Information

Financial Records

Church Groups and Committees


Oversize Drawer 29

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First Presbyterian Church of Rockford, 1854-2010 | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: First Presbyterian Church of Rockford, 1854-2010

Predominant Dates:1854-2010

ID: RHC/RC/325

Extent: 18.75 Linear Feet. More info below.

Date Acquired: 09/17/2012

Subjects: First Presbyterian Church of Rockford, Rockford (Ill.)


The First Presbyterian Church of Rockford Records contain five series of records:  (l) Historical and Administrative Records, (2) Membership Information, (3) Financial Records, (4) Church Groups and Committees, (5) Audio-Visual.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The first series contains historical and administrative records. The first series consists of four subseries:  historical records, annual reports, board of trustees minutes and records and administration records. These include the history of the church from its founding in Rockford in 1854 and as well as correspondence. This section also contains other land and property deeds and ministerial records dating from the late 1800s, annual reports (1919-2010), session meeting reports (including late 1800s), by-laws, and additional administrative correspondence until 2010. Also included in this series are the church deeds of 1951 and 1954, deed and land titles of 1904 and 1954, hymn books (1917), and centennial church records (1854-1962). The second series, Membership Information, consists of three subseries:  records of church members and membership cards, bulletins and newsletters, and church-members correspondence. This series includes records relating to church members, membership cards, church bulletins and directories, church-member correspondence, member lists, reception and dismissals, bulletins and directories, church handbooks and baptism records from early 20th century. There are also memorial records of church members and eulogies (1961-1996). In one “Baptism” book, there is a list of Presbyterian members that were on the “Khaki Roll” from WWI. There is also a list of church members WWII roll call.

The third series consists of financial records, treasury reports, and communicant rolls. These include General Fund information pertaining to how money was collected and raised and specifically how the funds were dispersed, (1971-2011). There are records on the church building and fund from 1922-2006, treasurer’s reports (1877-1883), financial statements and reports(1942-2005), expenses and balances records (1941-1971), annual congregation and meeting reports (1933-1963) and stewardship records (1957-1994).  The fourth series, Church Groups and Committees, consists of three subseries; financial reports, church groups and committees and programs.  This series is the bulk of the collection. First Presbyterian Church was comprised of dozens of church organization committees. These include the audit, property, renovations, Eudokian, Thistle bookshop, witness and outreach, youth, worship, Christian education, Evangelism, missions, music, finance and stewardship, and women’s ministry committees.  The Church records contain information on how the different groups, organizations and committees within the Church raised funds and donated their time and money to those less fortunate both here and abroad. The Deaconess Committee was a women’s group that visited the sick and elderly, boosted their morale and assisted with their needs. The Eudokians were a young women’s group that existed for several decades beginning in the 1920s. They were involved in many church-related programs and charitable events. The Missions committee involved an overview of the Church’s purposes as well as mission trips. This series also contains information relating to various Church programs and the church scrapbooks.

The fifth series, Audio-visual, consist of seven subseries; photographs, slides, cassette tapes, films, phonograph records/reel to reel sound recordings, church artifacts, and oversize records. This series contains photographs and slides of the interior and exterior of the church, church members, youth groups, church mission trips, church celebrations and other church activities. Of particular interest is a film that features the exterior of First Presbyterian Church and surrounding area taken in the 1920s by the Eudokian Committee.  Also contained in this series are sermons on cassette tape and church artifacts.

Collection Historical Note

Several names in Rockford’s local history are mentioned in the collection and may be useful to researchers doing local history. Because Rockford began as a manufacturing center, businessmen were able to contribute to the growing community, including the Church. First Presbyterian was built on land originally owned by George Haskell, who acquired the land patent from the United States of America in 1842. This original land patent as well as subsequent land acquisitions and divisions is in the collection. In addition, the collection has information regarding prominent local figures involved in the original church formation. The First Presbyterian Church was formed in Rockford, Illinois in 1854. The first permanent building they used for church purposes was called “The Little Brown Church,” a simple rectangular building that was used until a more permanent structure was built. A fund was created in 1862 for the building of the new structure located on West State Street in Rockford, Illinois. When that church was outgrown, a new larger church was dedicated and opened in 1908 in a different location at the NW corner of North Main Street and Park Avenue, where it stands today.

The Church contains a large pipe organ that was an integral part of the church for many years. A special committee was formed for the funding of and building preparation for this organ.  Church meeting minutes make reference to the locating, funding and arrival of this organ. As the Church aged, additions and updates were desired and a capital campaign was begun in 1993 to raise the necessary funds. Due to declining membership and rising costs, the First Presbyterian Church of Rockford joined with another church, The Second Congregational UCC in 2011. Although the congregation continues to gather at their new home in Rockford, church leaders felt the need to archive the collection from First Presbyterian in order to maintain its individual and original histories.

Subject/Index Terms

First Presbyterian Church of Rockford
Rockford (Ill.)

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Alternate Extent Statement: 245 digital file (141 MB)

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Technical Access Note: Electronic records may be accessed on the computer in the Center’s reading room.

Acquisition Source: Rev. Beth Wagner

Acquisition Method: Rev. Beth Wagner, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Rockford, donated the church records in three parts to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center between September and December 2012.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Historical and Administrative Records],
[Series II: Membership Information],
[Series III: Financial Records],
[Series IV: Church Groups and Committees],
[Series V: Audio-Visual],
[Oversize Drawer 29],

Series IV: Church Groups and Committees
Sub-Series A: Church Groups and Committees
Box 16
Folder 1-4: Building and Grounds, 1962-1970, 1972-1978, 1982-1988, 1990-1998
Folder 5: Barbara Coleman Control Drawings, Area Property Maps and Drawings, 1973, 1974
Folder 6: Building new addition, Architect, 1958
Folder 7: Building Fund, 1862
Folder 8: Parking Lot Lease, 27 March, 1987
Folder 9: Renovations, 1993
Folder 10: Amcore Bank Appraisal, 1994
Folder 11-12: Insurance, 1964-1970
Folder 13: Board of Trustees, 1958-1968
Folder 14: Mortgage Papers, 1994, 1998
Folder 15: Tax Correspondence, 1975-1978
Folder 16: Appraisal, 1994
Folder 17: Burpee Wood Funeral Home Appraisal, 2004
Folder 18: Inheritance Tax Return, 1973
Folder 19: Executive Committee Capital Campaign, no date
Folder 20: Capital Campaign Committee and Church Renovation, 1993
Folder 21: Building for Tomorrow Campaign, 1993
Folder 22: "Build for Tomorrow" Capital Campaign, no date
Folder 23-24: Capital Campaign, 1993-1995
Folder 25: Capital Improvement Plan, 1982
Folder 26: Wills, 1989-1997
Folder 27: Estate Deed, 1879, 1888
Folder 28: Will of Elizabeth T. McMenemy, 1981-1983
Folder 29: Estate of Kathryn Ralston and William Ralston, 1982-1984
Folder 30: Pledges and Giving, 1987-1992
Folder 31: Advertizing Committee, 2002-2004
Folder 32: Audit Committee, 1971-2010
Box 17
Folder 1-12: Property Committee, 1976-2008
Box 18
Folder 1: Property Committee, 2005-2009
Folder 2-4: Renovations Committee, 1993-1994
Folder 5: Leighton-Ford Crusade , Christian Witness and Follow-up Committee, 1972-1973
Folder 6: Thistle Bookshop Committee, 1964-1978
Folder 7: Unicameral Committee, 1966, 1969, 1970
Folder 8: Witness and Outreach Committee, 1972-1988
Folder 9: Eudokian Committee, 1981-1984
Folder 10: Youth Sub-Committee, 1995
Box 19
Folder 1: Worship Committee, 1987-2006
Folder 2: Christian Education Committee, 2000|2011
Folder 3: Christian Education, 1960-1996
Folder 4: Children’s Ministries, 2000-2005
Folder 5: Teacher Appreciation, 1995-2002
Folder 6: Programs and Education, 1975-1996
Folder 7: Program Book, 1999-2001
Folder 8: Preschool, 1990-2001
Folder 9: Day School, 1970-1973
Folder 10: Christian Education Department, Audio Visual Resources, 1976
Folder 11: Sunday School Class List, 1994
Folder 12: Children’s Sermons, 1999
Folder 13: Children’s Chapel Songbook, no date
Folder 14: Vacation Church School, 1930-1931
Folder 15: Vacation Bible School, 1999-2001
Folder 16: Adult Lifestyle Classes, no date
Folder 17: Education Program, 1981-1984
Folder 18: Children’s Director, 1984-1990
Folder 19: Planning for Adult Classes, 1989-1995
Folder 20: Eudokian Meeting Minutes (Book), February 1959-December 1973, September 1974-December 1991
Folder 21: Eudokian Meeting Minutes (Book), April 1992-December 1996
Folder 22: Eudokians Photographs, 1952, 1956
Folder 23: Eudokian, 1966-1987
Folder 24: Eudokian Meeting Minutes, 1971-1997
Folder 25-27: Mariners, 1970-2006
Folder 28: Deacons, 1981-1991, 1981-1991
Folder 29: Education Fund Sterling Committee, 1985-1992
Folder 30: Photographs, no date
Folder 31-32: Endowment and Memorial Committee, 1967-1995
Folder 33: Evangelism Committee, Community Outreach, 1994-2001
Folder 34-35: Evangelism Committee, 1998-2001
Box 20
Folder 1: Program Ministry, 1975-1992
Folder 2: Program and Education Council, 1986-1988
Folder 3: Program Council Committee, 1995-1997
Folder 4: Chancel Guild, 1985-1989
Folder 5: Wedding Guild, 1956-2011
Folder 6: Mission Committee Records, 1898-2010
Folder 7: Mission Study Committee, 1998-2002
Folder 8: Mission Study Assessment, 2001
Folder 9: Missions Records and Booklets, 1960-1997
Box 21
Folder 1: Ellington Missions Trip, 2005
Folder 2: Koinonia Mission Trip, 2007
Folder 3: Missions Trip, 2002
Folder 4: Chancel Choir, 1981-1985
Folder 5: Chancel Music, 1986-1991
Folder 6: Music Department, Margaret J. Hitchcock, 1983
Folder 7: Music Committee, 1991-1999
Folder 8: Organ Committee Correspondence, 1906-1966
Folder 9: Church Organ and Organ Committee, 1963-1964, 1987-1988
Folder 10-11: Associate Pastor Nominating Committee, 1990-1998
Folder 12: Pastor Nominating Committee, 1982-1994
Folder 13: Strategic Planning, 1990
Folder 14: Session Committee, 2006-2007
Folder 15-17: Finance and Stewardship Committee, 1971-2011
Folder 18-20: Stewardship Committee, 1967-2001
Folder 21: Stewardship and Easter Sunday, 1989-1991, 1992-2001
Folder 22: Women’s Ministry Committee, 1993-2004
Folder 23: Women’s Fellowship Committee, 1983
Folder 24: Women’s Ministry Annual Report, 1996-1997
Folder 25: Women’s Ministry Retreat, 1994-1996
Folder 26: “The Women’s Word”, 1993-1996
Box 22
Folder 1: Presbyterian Women’s Board Meeting and Minutes, 1993-1996
Folder 2: Women’s Board Meeting Minutes, 1966-1970
Folder 3: Presbyterian Women’s Budget Ministry Fund, 1993-1996
Folder 4: Presbyterian Women, 1988-2005
Folder 5: Women of the Church, 1985
Folder 6: International Women's Day, 1996
Folder 7: Women’s Association, 1909-2009
Folder 8: Women’s Association Treasury Reports, 1956-1970
Folder 9: Women’s Association Accounts, 1962
Folder 10: Women’s Association Constitution and By-Laws, 1956
Folder 11-14: Women’s Association Minutes, 1941-1942, December 1952-December 1959, 1960-1967
Sub-Series B: Programs
Folder 15: Abound in Hope, 1985
Folder 16: Adult Retreat, 2008
Folder 17: Advent Activities, 1990-1998, 2000
Folder 18: Alternative School, 1973
Folder 19: Anavox Concert, 2001
Folder 20: 75th and 125th Anniversaries, no date
Folder 21: Annual Super Bowl Subs, 2003
Folder 22: Babyville, 2006
Folder 23: Babyville Coordinator, 1991
Folder 24: Boiler Fund Campaign, 1972
Folder 25: Boy Scout Ministry, 1967-1968
Folder 26: Camp Sunday, May, 1999
Folder 27: Celtic Cross, 1994
Folder 28: Christmas Celebrations, 1990-2001
Folder 29: Christian Education Volunteer, no date
Folder 30: Church Retreat, February 2004
Folder 31: Church Service Programs, 1905, 1939, 1942
Folder 32: Coffee House, 1971-1972
Folder 33: Community Outreach, 1969
Folder 34: Community Resources, no date
Folder 35: Concert Series, 1998
Folder 36: Cow Island Mission Trip, 2006
Folder 37: "Dance with the Son"Ministry Yearbook, 2005-2006
Folder 38: Daughter Banquet, 2009
Folder 39: Demonstration Area Approach to Presbytery Mission, no date
Folder 40: Third and First Camp Out, 2002
Folder 41: Choral Pentecost Readings, no date
Folder 42: Christmas Tree, no date
Folder 43: FPC Cookbook, 1954-1979
Folder 44: Downtown Mainline Ministry Union Team Meeting, 2006
Folder 45: Dramas, 1988
Folder 46: Educable Mentally Handicapped, 1972-1973
Folder 47: Faith Comes by Hearing, 1999
Folder 48: 30 Hour Famine, |2000, 2001, 2003
Folder 49: Family Advocate, 1990-1994
Folder 50: First Dance, no date, no date
Folder 51: First Hands Puppet Troop, 1995-1996
Folder 52: First Light Breakfast, 1984-1991
Folder 53: First Light Lunch|, 1994-1995
Folder 54: First Mystery Dinner, 2002
Folder 55: Second Mystery Dinner "Presidential Mystery", 2003
Folder 56: Third Mystery Dinner "Gangster", 2004
Box 23
Folder 1: First Updates, Notes of Interest, Prayers and Calendar, 2006
Folder 2: Halloween, 2000
Folder 3: Halloween Fun House, 1992
Folder 4: House Church Training Institute, no date
Folder 5: Junior High Fellowship Information Correspondence, 1984
Folder 6: Junior High Workcamp, 1992-2004
Folder 7: Kemmerer Village, 1988-1989
Folder 8: Ken Dobson, Thailand, 1989
Folder 9: Kiwanis Club Recognitions, 2002-2004
Folder 10: Lay leaders, 1993
Folder 11: Lent "The Way of the Cross", no date
Folder 12: Lenten Devotions, 1978, 1980
Folder 13: Making Time for the Soul, no date
Folder 14: Mariners, 1991-2004
Folder 15: MELD, 1992-1998
Folder 16: Memory Work, 2012
Folder 17: Mendelssohn Club, 1884, 1959-1971
Folder 18: Men's Breakfast, 1970-1972
Folder 19: Mentor Training, September, 1999
Folder 20: Mentors and Mentees, 1999
Folder 21: Mentoring, no date
Folder 22: Mission Possible, 1995
Folder 23: Mobile Meals, 1995-2001
Folder 24: Moonlight Egg Hunts, no date
Folder 25: Mothers Day Day Out, no date
Folder 26: Noon Lenten Sessions "Self-Care Soul-Care", 2001-2003
Folder 27: Outdoor Ministry, 1990-1994
Folder 28: Christmas Caroling, 1940-1945
Folder 29: Passover Seder, 2005
Folder 30: Pause-to-Pray, 1971-1972, 1975
Folder 31: Planning Retreat, 1995
Folder 32: Pollard Memorial Library, no date
Folder 33: Prayer Partners, 1995-1996
Folder 34: Preschool, 1962-1994
Folder 35: Primary Gathering, 1993-1994, 1996
Folder 36: Publicity Packet Ghana, 2003
Folder 37: Puppets, 1997-1998, 2011
Folder 38: Quarter A Dip and Stock Exchange, 1994
Folder 39: Quarter A Dip, 1988, 1994
Folder 40: Quarter A Dip, 1996
Folder 41: Rally Day, 1986-1991
Folder 42: Rally / Kick Off Ideas, no date
Folder 43: Reason for the Season Play, 2005
Folder 44: Rockford Homeless, 1985, 1987
Folder 45: Rockford YMCA, 1987-1989
Folder 46-47: "Self Care Soul Care", 2002-2004
Folder 48: "Self Care Soul Care" Lenten Lunch, 2003-2008
Folder 49: Senior Citizens, 1975-1976
Folder 50: Shelter Care Ministry, 1994-1995
Folder 51: Sinnissippi Tree Decorating Program, 1994
Folder 52: Snow Camp, 2007
Folder 53: Soup Kitchen, 1995-2001
Folder 54-58: Souper Bowl, 1999-2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007
Folder 59: Spanish American War Resolution on Temperance, 1898
Folder 60: Sub-Sale, 2005
Folder 61: Summer Camps, 2006
Folder 62: Teacher Recognition, 2000
Folder 63: Toddler Town Attendant, no date
Folder 64: Vacation Bible School, 1991-1999
Folder 65: Various Groups, 2006
Folder 66: Washington DC trip, 2004
Folder 67: Wednesday Night Infant-Toddler, no date
Folder 68: West Side Community Organization Prospectus, 1968
Folder 69-70: Workcamp, 1988-1992, 1996
Folder 71: Workcamp Photo CD, Teen Workcamp, Ellington (MO), July 2005
Box 24
Folder 1: Youth and Confirmation, 1984-2002
Folder 2: Youth, 1987-2005
Folder 3: Youth Group, Work Camp, 1991-1993
Folder 4-6: Church Scrapbook, 1954-1960, 1961-1967, 1965-1971
Folder 7: Newspaper Articles, 1960s, 1970s
Box 25: Scrapbooks (2), no date

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Historical and Administrative Records],
[Series II: Membership Information],
[Series III: Financial Records],
[Series IV: Church Groups and Committees],
[Series V: Audio-Visual],
[Oversize Drawer 29],

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