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

Archives & Special Collections: Christ United Methodist Church [1949-1988]

The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center

Descriptive Summary

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

Language: English

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

Information on Use

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: 
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, Christ United Methodist Church Papers, The Monroe Fordham Regional History Center, Archives & Special Collections Department, E. H. Butler Library, SUNY Buffalo State.

Biographical Note:
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.

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