Title: Christ United Methodist Church Papers
Date Span: 1949-1988
Acquisition Number: N/A
Creator: Christ United Methodist Church
Donor: Christ United Methodist Church
Date of Acquisition: 1988
Extent: 7 reels
Format: Microfilm; 16mm filmed with a 34X lens
Locations: The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State
Processed: Arranged and indexed 1988, Clarence E. Spitzer; reprocessed 2017, Hope Dunbar
The Christ United Methodist Church Papers is open for research. Materials are only available on microfilm for access within the department. Appointment required.
Reproduction of Materials:
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[Description and dates], Box/Item/Reel number, Christ United Methodist Church Papers, The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State.
Christ United Methodist Church is located at 350 Saratoga Road in Amherst, NY. The church was founded in 1945 by Pastor Glenn Alty Crafts who was a former Navy Chaplain during WWII. Crafts served as senior minister until 1965 when he was appointed to Grace Methodist Church in Rochester, NY. From humble beginnings, the church grew exponentially within the 1950’s as Buffalo’s suburban community expanded; the congregation expanding by ten times within ten years. In 1962, after years of planning, the church incorporated a new sanctuary and bell tower. The bell was cast by Buckeye Bell Foundry in Cincinnati, OH in 1867. The sanctuary was a designed space for mothers of young children allowing them to listen to the sermon while simultaneously care-giving. Together, the sanctuary and bell cost a substantial $368,585.
1964 saw the church expand its services to include three on Sunday; the 5 P.M. mass being the first of its kind in the area. On 4/13/1966, the churches Women’s Society for Christian Service hosted an original satire, “Drive out the Devil.” The successful event included 200 members of the church. In addition to the church sponsoring Hungarian and Czechoslovakian refugee families, they also hosted Swedish exchange students and donated a bell to a church in Kocki, Japan.
Although now there are only two Sunday services, the church still plays an important role in the community. As of 2017, in addition to a place of worship, the church serves as a venue for achieving personal growth. For example, Christ United holds meetings for ‘food addicts in recovery.’ Moreover, the church incorporates various programs into their mission that include: the annual ‘Make a Difference Day,” SPCA Collections, and Electronic Recycling Drives.
In addition, the church’s lower east wing now serves as a Cooperative Preschool, “Amherst Nursery School.” Originating in 1938 as a study group by mothers of preschool children and one teacher, it would become Western New York’s first cooperative nursery school. The NYS accredited school currently consists of five classrooms, a large playroom, a music room, an outdoor playground and an office.
-Composed and researched by Mat Crissey, Museum Studies Graduate Program, 2017
Scope and Contents:
Administrative records; Church leger; church membership; church programs; committee records; conference reports and materials; ephemera; event programs; financial reports and records; funeral programs; guidelines; letters; minutes; newspaper clippings; personal letters; photographs; planning reports; printed programs; records of marriages, deaths, and baptisms; reports of the pastor; scrapbooks; and tax records.