The Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society was formed in 1934 when the Reformed Church in the United States merged with the Evangelical Synod of North America.
The mission of the Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society is to stimulate and cultivate interest in the continuing legacy of the Evangelical and Reformed Church.
To accomplish this, we will:
- Collect and preserve historical material;
- Make information and resources accessible to all;
- Provide engaging educational opportunities;
- Foster cooperation with other interested organizations;
- Ensure the Society has the optimal infrastructure and funding to support its ongoing mission.
Holdings of the Lancaster Archives
From the former Reformed Church, the ERHS collection includes minutes of synods, classes, congregations; records of all boards, committees, and commissions; hymnals; liturgies, and important publications such as the Reformed Church Messenger and the Mercersburg Review.
Most records from former branch archives at Catawba College in NC (North Carolina Classis and Southern Synod), Heidelberg University in OH (Ohio Synod and classes) and Lakeland College formerly Mission House in WI (northern classes) are now housed at the Lancaster Archives on the second floor of the Library Building at Lancaster Theological Seminary 555 W. James St. Lancaster, PA (717) 290-8734 firstname.lastname@example.org
Especially noteworthy are original manuscripts of the Mercersburg theologians, John W. Nevin, Philip Schaff, Henry Harbaugh and Emanuel Gerhart. Also valuable are the manuscripts and transcriptions of records of early German Reformed churches and ministers in America which the society received from the library of William J. Hinke in 1947.
Holdings of the Archives at Eden Theological Seminary
The records of the Evangelical Synod of North America, which include records from the Conference and districts, boards and committees, local church records, and papers of important denominational leaders and clergy, are housed at Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves, MO.
The resources of the Society are available without charge to researchers. Local churches celebrating anniversaries or wanting information concerning their history may receive assistance from the Society’s staff. Confirmation classes and other church groups are welcome to visit the archives.
While the Society is open Monday through Thursday, visitors are encouraged to call or email and make an appointment.
Lancaster Archives Phone: 717-290-8734
Lancaster Archives Email: email@example.com
Evangelical Synod of North America Archives Phone: (314) 252-3140
Evangelical Synod of North America Archives Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Administrator: Alison Mallin
Archivist at Lancaster Seminary: Alex Torchio
Archivist at Eden Seminary: Scott Holl
The Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society receives support from donations, contributions, grants and investment income. Churches and individuals are encouraged to add to the society’s endowment to help assure the continuance of its mission. They are invited to contact ERHS for further information.
All current donors receive two newsletters a year, an annual journal, and are welcome at public programs and are entitled to research help from and tours of the archives
The Society holds an annual meeting at which lectures are presented and business is conducted. All are invited to participate in these programs and share in the work of the Society.
If you are unable to visit in person, ERHS staff can perform limited genealogical or general historical research. The fee is currently $35 an hour with a one hour minimum for non-annual donors. Pre-payment of the research fee is required. Fees are non-refundable.