The Archives at Eden Theological Seminary collects, preserves and makes available the historical records and manuscripts related to Eden Theological Seminary and the Evangelical Synod of North America, a predecessor denomination of the United Church of Christ.
Location and address
The Archives are located on the lower level of the S.D. Press Education Center on the Eden Theological Seminary Campus.
Archives at Eden Theological Seminary
475 E. Lockwood Ave.
Webster Groves, MO 63119
Archivist at Eden
Hours, Access & Services
Access to the Archives is by appointment only. Please contact one of the persons listed above to make an appointment. The Librarian and Archivist at Eden are also available for consultation by telephone, mail and email.
- Materials must be used on site.
- Photocopying of archival material is permitted if the original is in sound condition. Photocopies are 10 cents per page.
- Use of the archives is free of charge. Monetary donations are welcomed.
The Evangelical Synod of North America (ESNA) Collection
The Evangelical Synod of North America was founded in 1840 as Deutscher Evangelischer Kirchenverein des Westens (German Evangelical Church Society of the West) in Mehlville, Missouri, which is near St. Louis. It merged with the Reformed Church in the United States in 1934 to form the Evangelical and Reformed Church, which in turn merged with the Association of Congregational Christian Churches to form the United Church of Christ in 1957.
The ESNA Collection is comprised of the records of the Evangelical Synod of North America from 1840 to 1934, and includes records, manuscripts, publications, photographs and artifacts relating to:
• Historical antecedents
• Pastors and denominational leaders
• Church governance, including districts and general conferences
• Denominational ministries, including education, publication, mission, specialized work and charities
• Denominational institutions
• Foreign missions
The Eden Theological Seminary (ETS) Collection
The ETS Collection is comprised of materials relating to the faculty, students and staff of Eden Theological Seminary during its history in three different locations: Marthasville, Missouri, 1850-1883, Wellston, Missouri, 1883-1924, and Webster Groves, Missouri, 1924-present. The collection includes documents, papers, manuscripts, publications, photographs and artifacts pertaining to:
• Institutional development
• Academic programs
• Faculty and students
• Buildings and grounds
Inquiries about student academic records should be addressed to the Eden Seminary Registrar’s Office.
The Evangelical Deaconess Society established Deaconess Home and Hospital in St. Louis in 1889 and created a consecrated ministry of women modeled after the Kaiserswerth deaconess motherhouse near Düsseldorf, Germany. Most deaconesses were trained as nurses to serve Deaconess Hospital, although some also served in orphanages, retirement homes, in other hospitals, and as parish workers.
Materials in the Deaconess Archives cover the period from the Society’s founding in 1889 to the sale of Deaconess Hospital in 1997. The Archives consists of records, manuscripts, publication, photographs and artifacts related to:
• The Evangelical Deaconess Society of St. Louis
• The St. Louis Deaconess Sisterhood
• Individual deaconess sisters
• Deaconess Hospital
• Deaconess School of Nursing
• The Deaconess Foundation
Sources for congregational history and genealogy
The Archives has the following sources for those doing parish or family history research:
The Archives has the records of many congregations with roots in the Evangelical Synod of North America, with emphasis on those in the St. Louis metropolitan area and other communities in Missouri and southern Illinois. Please contact the Archives for holdings regarding specific congregations.
The Archives accepts requests for lookups in church records on a limited basis.
Inquiries should include the name of an individual, the church name, a specific act (baptism, confirmation, marriage, burial), and at least an approximate date. Staff will search records for up to a year from the date given.
Congregation history files
The Archives maintains files for most congregations with roots in the Evangelical Synod. Contents of files vary, but typically include written histories, membership directories and other materials of general historical interest.
Clergy biography files
The Archives can provide basic biographical data and service records for most pastors who served in the Evangelical Synod of North America.
Other archives related to the United Church of Christ
14 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 0210
Holds records of the Congregational Church and the later Association of Congregational Christian Churches from the 17th to the 20th centuries. The collection includes the records of many United Church of Christ congregations originating in the Congregational Church, especially in New England.
Elon University Archives
100 Campus Drive
Elon, NC 27244
The Elon University Archives holds records for the southern branch of the Christian Church, which merged with the Congregational Church in 1931 to form the Association of Congregational Christian Churches.
Evangelical and Reformed Historical Society
555 W. James Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
Holds the records of the German Reformed Church, 1725-1934, and of the Evangelical and Reformed Church, 1934-1957. The collection includes the records of many United Church of Christ congregations originating in the German Reformed Church (before 1934) or Evangelical and Reformed Church (after 1934), especially in Pennsylvania.
United Church of Christ Archives
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
Preserves the official denominational records of the United Church of Christ but has no records of congregations.