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E. H. Butler Library, Buffalo State, The State University of New York

Archives & Special Collections: Ripley Memorial United Methodist Church [1868-1998]

The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center

Descriptive Summary

Title: Ripley Memorial United Methodist Church

Date Span: 1868-1998

Acquisition Number: N/A

Creator: Ripley Memorial United Methodist Church

Donor: Ripley Memorial United Methodist Church

Date of Acquisition: 1998

Extent: 2 reels

Format: Microfilm; 16mm filmed with a 34X lens

Language: English

Locations: The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State

Processed: Reprocessed 2017, Hope Dunbar

Information on Use

The Ripley Memorial United Methodist Church Papers Collection is open for research. Materials are only available on microfilm for access within the department. Appointment required.

Reproduction of Materials: 
See Archivist for information on reproducing materials from this collection, including photocopies, digital camera images, or digital scans, as well as copyright restrictions that may pertain to these materials. 

Even though all reasonable and customary best-practices have been pursued, this collection may contain materials with confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the SUNY Buffalo State assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation: 
[Description and dates], Box/Item/Reel number, Ripley Memorial United Methodist Church Papers, The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State.

Biographical Note:
Over the past me hundred and twenty-eight years, congregations have changed; the world has transformed. From 1870 to 1960, the Ripley Church grew to 250 families. As the City of Buffalo grew, so did the appeal of Ripley Memorial. Peoples resettling from areas outside of the city, found a cultural, economic, and religious sanctuary within the neighborhood limits of Ripley. In the 1960's, most United Methodist Churches in Buffalo city neighborhoods were readily affected by the rapid growth of suburban communities. Consequently, United Methodist fellowships like Ripley Memorial were challenged by the Methodist migration.

In spite of that fact, members of Ripley Memorial experimented with diverse methods and ministries to conquer the disturbing pressures of the empty pews- sometimes successful, most times not! The ones who are still here today are the truly dedicated. Many have commuted many miles over the past thirty years in hopes of saving Ripley. They have remained courageous until the end. Through self- examination and study, Ripley developed a powerful hand in the missionary duties. This type of outreach has enabled the congregation to keep faith in their missionary spirit, and to accept what is happening today.

Unwilling to be paralyzed by the anticipated end, members of Ripley found encouraging paradigms in Scripture that described journeys in faith as time lines, (i.e. the lives of Moses, King David, Queen Vashti, and St. Paul). Applying this faith to the spirit of Ripley, members understood this to mean that the Ripley spiritual legacy was to be passed on.

One never rejoices when a people of faith elects to disband and to become disciples for Christ in other cost-effective ministries. However, it is noteworthy and commendable that the wisdom of Ripley transcended the temptation to be territorial and to be self-absorbed in their decision. Instead, they transcended territories and came to the realization that their time at Ripley had been commendable and that their stewardship had been a reward to the community. A more detailed history can be found below in the inventory.

Scope and Contents:
Church directory; financial records; histories; membership lists; programs; and record books


Church Status

Ripley Memorial United Methodist Church is permanently closed.

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