United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon
Microfilm reel no.: MF 1848
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Records, 1893-1961, of the former United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon (Kansas) which existed from 1872 through 1960. The church merged with the First Presbyterian Church of Lyndon in December of 1960 to form the First United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon. In 1970 the merged church re-incorporated under the name United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon. This microfilm includes the records of the former United Presbyterian church prior to the merger; they form the United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon manuscript collection, no. 5009.
Minutes of the Session, 2 v., describing types of services & instruction, co-operation with other churches, membership, elections, furnishings & equipment, clergy changes, and music; included are names of members who joined and left the church. In addition, there is an annotated petition, ca. Nov. 9-25, 1960, with conditions for union with the First Presbyterian Church of Lyndon.
1 microfilm reel
United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon (Lyndon, Kan. : 1872-1960)
United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon records
Microfilm roll no. MF-1848; Manuscript collection no. 5009
Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka)
The United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon was organized in May 1872. Though never a large congregation, the church had a loyal following of families in Lyndon and Osage County, Kansas.
Early church history is incomplete, because the first minute book of the church's governing board has been lost. The church building suffered two fires: one prior to June 1893, the other on 19 November 1927. In both instances the building was rebuilt.
After the national United Presbyterian church authorized the use of instrumental music in worship services in 1903, the Lyndon congregation purchased an organ.
The congregation merged with the First Presbyterian church, 11 December 1960, to form the First United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon. This was the first congregational merger in Kansas following the 1958 denominational union of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and the United Presbyterian Church of North America. The unified Lyndon church re-incorporated in 1970 as the United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon.
Additional information about the two component congregations may be found in the pamphlet 100 Years with the Lyndon Presbyterians (1970) in the Kansas State Historical Society's Library, call number K 285.1 Pam.v.8 no.10.
This microfilm documents the history of a small church filling the needs of its members in a rural community in eastern Kansas. In these records, a researcher will find how a congregation and its leaders over a long period of time worked to provide instruction, render assistance, and comfort each other within the practice of their faith. These records will show a healthy vitality as measured by new members received by the congregation and a loyal following of individual families in Lyndon and Osage County, Kansas.
Researchers interested in the history of Lyndon or specific families in the area will find in the minutes, and to a lesser extent in the registers at the end of the two volumes, names of individuals who united with and separated from the church, including names of those who were baptized and those members who died.
The minutes describe the types of services and instruction requested by the membership through its governing board through the years. They also show patterns of co-operation among the churches of Lyndon, particularly in the areas of joint evangelistic and summer services, attempts at merger, and aid supplied by the Methodist Episcopal church to the United Presbyterian church after the latter's building burned in November 1927.
This microfilm contains two series: (A) records of the church's governing board, the Session, 1893-1961, comprising two volumes, and (B) a photocopy of the "Petition of the First Presbyterian Church of Lyndon and of the United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon to the Presbytery of Topeka-Highland Requesting Union" [ca. 9- 25 November 1960].
In the Presbyterian tradition, the local Session is responsible for the reception and discipline of members as well as the general welfare of the congregation.(1)
The Lyndon United Presbyterian church's first Session book, presumably describing the years 1872-1892, is believed lost. The second and third volumes, 1893-1918 and 1918-1961 respectively, form series A of this collection.
As might be expected, the two volumes share many attributes. Some pages are faint and may be hard to read; sometimes individual pages have been microfilmed several times at differing exposures to produce the most legible reproduction.
The books are primarily minutes of meetings of the Session, usually held at least quarterly for a one or two-day period. The minutes chronicled additions, restorations, transfers, and removals of individual members; they also provided information about examinations of prospective members. Names of persons baptized were also listed within the minutes.
Elections of delegates to presbytery, synod, and General Assembly meetings were described. In some cases the Session instructed delegates how to vote on specific proposals.
A prominent feature was the setting of dates for communion services, held quarterly. The Session also set schedules for other services. Sometimes it suggested topics of congregational study or sermons. Proposals for union services with other churches in Lyndon were discussed and voted upon, usually favorably.
The Session also made decisions about furnishings and equipment needed for the church to operate. They resolved financial matters, scheduled special offerings, and decided on the payment of assessments to the presbytery or synod.
Changes in pastors and the election of elders were noted in the minutes.
The Session also had jurisdiction over authorized music and hymns of praise, the organ and organists, as well as "management of the choir." These activities appeared in the record, albeit relatively infrequently. Governance of the Sunday school was another topic of occasional discussion.
Preparations for presbytery meetings hosted by the Lyndon church were described. The minutes also contained memorial tributes to deceased members.
Contents specific to the first existing volume, 1 June 1893--11 August 1918, include the appointment of a committee to prepare a history of the church, 8 February 1898 (page 27); the congregational vote to allow instrumental (organ) music at services, 6 May 1903 (page 49); the increase of Session membership by three, 31 December 1907 (page 67); a request to the Presbytery of Garnett to make minor alterations in its Book of Government and Discipline, 5 October 1908 (pages 74-75); and the formation of a committee to investigate organizing a choir, 6 October 1910 (page 87). The volume concluded with the last meeting of the Session on 11 August 1918 prior to its reorganization under a new system of terms of office. Pages 130-45 are blank and were not microfilmed. Pages 147-52 consist of a list of members containing names and dates admitted to membership through July 1905.
The frontispiece of the second extant volume contains addresses. Page one is a table of contents. The third page is a "Preliminary Statement" explaining how the presbytery granted permission for the Session to adopt the "rotary system of eldership" and the formation of a new Session on that basis on 11 August 1918. Page four is a list of historical events, 1927-1929, including the second fire and the calling and installation of the Rev. Mr. L. F. Park. Records of elections of elders, 1926-1935, with citations to entries in the minutes, are on page five. A record of candidates for a ministerial vacancy, March-September 1929, appears on page six.
Pages 9 through 189 consist of minutes of Session meetings, 11 August 1918--25 November 1960. The minutes began with the first meeting of the reorganized Session and ended with the merger of the United Presbyterian and First Presbyterian churches. Besides the topics common to both volumes, enumerated above, this volume of Session meetings included permissions given for guest ministers and speakers and the scheduling of special services. Not everything discussed was always put into the minutes: The phrase "matters relating to the welfare of the congregation" appeared several times, sometimes preceding membership or other changes. On 16 October 1927, the Session rejected the proposal of the First Presbyterian church for merger; the minutes for November 1927 described the United Presbyterian congregation meeting in the Methodist Episcopal church building in the aftermath of the fire in their own structure (page 57); the restored church was dedicated on 26 August 1928 (pages 58-59); frequency of communion was discussed on 23 June 1930 (page 77); and the minutes of 26 July 1959 reflected a congregational meeting called to consider selling a portion of the church's property (page 184); on 9 October 1960 the Session made preparations for a congregational meeting to vote on the merger with First Presbyterian church (page 186); minutes for 30 October recorded that meeting, in which the congregation approved the concept (page 187); on 9 November a joint meeting was held with First Presbyterian church to prepare a petition to be sent to the presbytery requesting permission to merge (series B) (page 188); and on 25 November the petition was discussed by the United Presbyterian church at a congregational meeting (page 189). There are no minutes for 1943, November 1945--May 1947, November 1947--March 1953, June 1954--December 1958, or August 1959--September 1960.
Pages 190-219 are blank and were not microfilmed. A register--"Reception by Profession," 1925-1954 (pages 220-22)--contains the date of reception, name, and age--if a child--of those received into membership by profession of faith. A companion register--"Reception by Letter," 1925-1947 (pages 223-24)--shows the date of transfer, name of member, and the name and location of the church issuing the letter of transfer. A register of "Deaths," 1937-1957 (page 226) provides the date of death and the name of the deceased. "Letters of Dismissal," 1923-1961 (pages 227-30), is a register showing the date transferred, member's name, and the new church and its location; a few page references to entries in the minutes are also included. Pages 232-51 and 254-65 are blank and were not filmed. "Ordinance of Baptism," 1918-1954 (pages 266-68), is a register showing the name of the person baptized, date of baptism, whether the person was an adult or child, and names of parents of children; some references to page numbers of corresponding entries in the minutes are included.
Series B, the "Petition of the First Presbyterian Church of Lyndon and of the United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon to the Presbytery of Topeka-Highland Requesting Union" was probably written in a joint meeting of the two churches' Sessions on 9 November 1960. The petition contains a preamble giving reasons for the consideration of a union between the two churches and a petition proper with twelve conditions of union. This copy is annotated, presumably reflecting changes desired by the United Presbyterian congregation following its meeting on 25 November.
Organization of the Collection
Organized into 2 series; the series are arranged generally chronologically.
Detailed Description of the Collection
Microfilm is available on a self-service basis in the Research Room or may be borrowed from the Kansas State Historical Society through interlibrary loan. Please indicate the reel number when requesting microfilm.
Series A (Microfilm MF-1848)
Session [Record], 1893-1961.
v. (0.2 ft.)
Minutes and other records of the governing body responsible for membership and the general operation of the church. Names of members joining or leaving the congregation and individuals baptized as well as other membership matters are contained in the minutes. Additional topics discussed include church services, elections, financial matters & purchases, ministers & elders, music, the Sunday school, and mergers.
Volumes arranged chronologically.
A list of members through July 1905 appears at the end of the volume (p.147-52).
This volume includes a Preliminary Statement about organization of the Session (p.3); a list of historical events, 1927-1929 (p.4); records of elections of elders, 1926-1935 (p.5); a record of candidates to a ministerial vacancy, Mar.-Sept. 1929 (p.6); and minutes, 1918-1960 (p.9-189). There are no minutes for 1943, November 1945--May 1947, November 1947--March 1953, June 1954--December 1958, or August 1959--September 1960. Registers at the end of the volume include Reception by Profession, 1925-1954 (p.220-22); Reception by Letter, 1925-1947 (p.223-24); Deaths, 1937-1957 (p.226); Letters of Dismissal, 1923-1961 (p.227-30); and Ordinance of Baptism, 1918-1954 (p.266-68).
Series B (Microfilm MF-1848)
Petition of the First Presbyterian Church of Lyndon and of the United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon to the Presbytery of Topeka-Highland Requesting Union. [ca. Nov. 9- 25, 1960].
3 leaves : photocopy
Contains a preamble giving reasons for the consideration of a union between the two churches and a petition with twelve conditions of union. This copy is annotated, presumably reflecting changes desired by the United Presbyterian congregation following its meeting on 25 November 1960.
Additional information about the former United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon, as well as the First Presbyterian Church, may be found in the pamphlet 100 Years with the Lyndon Presbyterians (1970) in the Kansas State Historical Society's Library, call number K 285.1 Pam.v.8 no.10.
The Library also holds clippings, minutes, histories, and other printed records of the United Presbyterian Church of North America's synods of Kansas and the Plains. Consult the Library's catalogs for specific titles.
The manuscripts collection includes the constitution, charter, and minutes of the Session of Lyndon's First Presbyterian church, 1870-1954, on microfilm roll MS-65, available through interlibrary loan. The manuscripts collection also contains a history of the Lyndon Baptist church, accession no. 1983MS008.
The Library holds a wealth of published information on Lyndon and Osage County. Researchers should check the Library catalog under the appropriate geographical heading.
Manuscripts pertaining to the various Presbyterian denominations in Kansas and the Great Plains include materials on the incorporation of churches; presbytery minutes; reminiscences; correspondence and other papers of clergy; records of individual churches; historical information on Presbyterian churches in Kansas; papers of lay volunteers; minutes of the Board of Education in Kansas Territory relating to the establishment of Lawrence University; and information about Presbyterian missions, mission schools, and missionaries. These appear in the manuscripts catalog under the headings beginning with the words Church or Presbyterian.
The State archives holdings of the historical society contain some information about churches. Records of corporations in the records of the secretary of State, record group 622, include churches and religious organizations. Pertinent records series include the "Index to Kansas Corporation Charter Records," 1855-1938, on microfilm AR 7489-7542; "Corporation Charters," 1863-1939, on microfilm MF 1-80; and "Corporation Annual Reports," 1865--ca. 1991. Finding aids with specific roll numbers are available in the Research Room.
The archives also holds a one-cubic-foot "Survey of Church Holdings and Essays of Church Histories," ca. 1935--ca. 1942, stack location 059-06-03-02, in the records of the U.S. Work Projects Administration.
1. Frank S. Mead, Handbook of Denominations, new 7th ed. (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1980), p. 211.
The terms listed below may include names, places, subjects, occupations, titles, and other words describing this collection. These terms are used in the ATLAS online catalog used by the Kansas State Historical Society and affiliated libraries in Topeka as well as libraries and archives subscribing to OCLC, a national library/archives database. Searches on these words should produce a description of this collection as well as other books and collections that may be of interest.
First Presbyterian Church (Lyndon, Kan.) Presbyterian Church-Education-Kansas-Lyndon.
Presbyterian Church-Kansas-Lyndon-Church officers.
United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon (Lyndon, Kan. : 1872-1960)-Archives.
United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon (Lyndon, Kan. : 1872-1960). Session-Elections.
United Presbyterian Church of North America.
Church records. (Art & Architecture Thesaurus [AAT])
Osage County (Kan.)
Corporate names (other correspondents)
United Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. Presbytery of Topeka-Highland.
United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon (Lyndon, Kan. : 1872-1960). Session.
Church music-Protestant churches.
Church records and registers-Kansas-Lyndon.
The original records were lent to the Kansas State Historical Society for microfilming by Vera Bridwell in 1997.
Restrictions on access
The Kansas State Historical Society does not own literary property rights to these records.
Notice: This material may be protected by copyright law (title 17, U.S. Code). The user is cautioned that the publication of the contents of this microfilm may be construed as constituting a violation of literary property rights. These rights derive from the principle of common law, affirmed in the copyright law of 1976 as amended, that the writer of an unpublished letter or other manuscript has the sole right to publish the contents thereof unless he or she affirmatively parts with that right; the right descends to his or her legal heirs regardless of the ownership of the physical manuscript itself. It is the responsibility of a user or his or her publisher to secure the permission of the owner of literary property rights in unpublished writing.
United Presbyterian Church of Lyndon records, 1893-1961, microfilm MF-1848, Library and Archives Division, Kansas State Historical Society.
No additions to this collection are anticipated.
This collection was prepared for microfilming and the finding aid written by Robert L. Knecht, 1998. The records were microfilmed in 1998 by the Kansas State Historical Society (Topeka).