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Avondale United Methodist Church records

Identifier: MSS-124

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the records of the Avondale United Methodist Church, including annual reports, attendance records, board minutes, budgets and financial reports, correspondence, directories, a history of the church, membership lists, officers, programs, publications and scrapbooks from various years ranging from 1891 to 1991.


  • Creation: 1838-1991

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Archives and Special Collections.

Administrative History

The Avondale United Methodist Church was established in Muncie, Indiana in 1891, as the first church to be located in Muncie's south side. South side churchgoers often found it difficult because of the lack of sidewalks, streetcars or buses to attend services at the mother church, High Street Methodist. Dr. C.U. Wade, pastor of the High Street Church, helped the south side residents form a society of Methodists. Canvassing the neighborhood, Dr. Wade located 20 persons who formed the church's original charter and he served as the church's first pastor.

During the summer of 1891, a church building was erected at the corner of Tenth Street and Samson Avenue. Dedicated November 8, 1891, the church was a two-room frame structure; the larger north room was the auditorium, which was separated from the smaller room by a series of folding doors. The seven foot square entrance was equipped with two sets of double swinging doors, one set leading into each room. The belfry extended over the entrance and terminated in a tall four-sided pyramid to a point. Two large stoves heated the building. It had gaslights and a seating capacity for 200. In 1892, baptisms were conducted in White River near the High Street Bridge.

In April 1892, the Rev. J.A. Ruley became the second pastor and Rev. Thomas Sells followed a year later. A smallpox epidemic and the Panic of 1893 left the Avondale Church incapable of supporting a full time minister, so the Church became a mission of the High Street Church until 1895. In 1904, male church members began to dig a basement for the church, mainly doing the work in the evenings and nights after they finished their office and factory jobs.

In 1920, the growing congregation realized that more space was needed. Under the supervision of the pastor, Rev. J. Walter Gibson, who had some building experience, the Church built a new two story brick structure with a seating capacity of 600 on the site of the old church. The first church building was moved to the back of the lot and rebuilt into the north part of the present building. Most of the building material was retrieved from the old Tabor church southeast of Muncie, which was torn down. The cost of the new building was $30,000. In the fall of 1929 a two-story brick parsonage was added.

The Avondale Church survived the desressed economy of the 1930s and the war years of the 1940s. New Sunday School classrooms were added in the 1950s and adjacent property was purchased for parking. The Church continued to remodel its facilities using materials and volunteer labor from congregants. In April 1991, the congregation celebrated its 100th anniversary.


3.4 Cubic Feet (4 boxes)


Arranged in the following series:

Series 1: Avondale United Methodist Church annual reports, 1951-1957

Series 2: Avondale United Methodist Church attendance records, 1951-1975

Series 3: Avondale United Methodist Church board records, 1913-1974

Series 4: Avondale United Methodist Church budget records, 1919-1992

Series 5: Avondale United Methodist Church charge conference, 1970-1985

Series 6: Avondale United Methodist Church directories, 1896-1991

Series 7: Avondale United Methodist Church histories, 1960-1991

Series 8: Avondale United Methodist Church membership records, 1950-1972

Series 9: Avondale United Methodist Church minutes, 1940-1975

Series 10: Avondale United Methodist Church programs, 1896-1968

Series 11: Avondale United Methodist Church publications, 1914-1984

Series 12: Avondale United Methodist Church secretarial records, 1914-1984

Series 13: Avondale United Methodist Church reports, 1940-1965

Series 14: Avondale United Methodist Church records, 1911-1991


No further additions are expected.

Related Archival Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Archives and Special Collections, Ball State University Libraries, Muncie IN:

OVA.035: Avondale United Methodist Church oversize collection

Processing Information

Finding aid revised 2007/07/17 by Maren L. Read. EAD finding aid completed 2011/05/11 by Helen Boyer. EAD finding aid revised 2011/05/11 by Bethany Fiechter.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
OVA.035 is apart of this collection as well - J

Repository Details

Part of the Stoeckel Archives of Local History Repository

Alexander M. Bracken Library
2000 W. University Avenue
Muncie Indiana 47306 USA