September 28, 2016 Marston Memorial Historical Center

Visiting Archives

by Cathy Robling

In the time I have been director of the Marston Memorial Historical Center, I have had the privilege of peeking at various Free Methodist collections on the local level.

On a daily basis I use the denominational archive and work within this great collection to assist World Ministries Center staff, inquiries from other general conferences, local churches, conferences and individuals.

I have viewed the collections at Wabash Conference, Southern Michigan Conference, Heritage Village, Peach Orchard Camp and Retreat Center, the Pacific Northwest Conference, Roberts Wesleyan College, Genesis Conference, Greenville College, and Asbury Seminary. Each collection is unique in telling a portion of the Free Methodist story in its own way.

This fall, as we drove from Indianapolis, IN to Jackson, KY, my husband and I enjoyed reading excerpts from The School in the Vale: A History of Oakdale Christian High School by Myrtle Anderson and Grace Guthery.

Oakdale Christian Academy is a pleasant mix of older buildings (the first chapel) still being used and beautiful modern facilities such as The Inn (the girl’s dormitory).

Since 1921, students from the Appalachia area, across the U.S. and now across the world are gaining a great scholastic and Biblical education.

Further telling of how the Free Methodist Church has made a difference in the hills of Kentucky can be found in the basement of Anderson Hall at Oakdale Christian Academy.

They have material going back to the early days of the Mission school in Oakdale. Recently volunteers organized the Acorn yearbook collection. They have journals, ledgers, files and photographs that have been collected over the years. If you read the “Monday Memo” sent out by Oakdale’s president, Dan Fisher, you are being kept up-to-date on the happenings at Oakdale and can even view testimonies of the students.

History is being recorded and preserved so future generations can also learn about Oakdale’s history.

Whatever Free Methodist group or institution you are involved with, I encourage you to keep good records. We have a good story to tell. All of our stories together make up the story of how God is using the Free Methodist church for His Kingdom; yesterday, today and in the future.

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