The Cain Archives is the repository for historical records of the Mississippi Conference, United Methodist Church, and its antecedent groups. The conference was established in 1813 as the Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, following Tobias Gibson's appointment from South Carolina to the Natchez Territory in 1799.
We also welcome you to schedule a visit to enjoy the many manuscripts, photographs and memorabilia available in the collections.
Housed in the Millsaps-Wilson Library of Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi, the J.B. Cain Archives Collection is named for Rev. J.B. Cain, long-time historian of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church. The collection is operated in conjunction with the Millsaps College Archives and is funded jointly by the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church and Millsaps College, an institution of the United Methodist Church.
Millsaps College has been a depository for Mississippi Methodist historical material ever since the establishment of the Mississippi Conference Historical Society in 1898. The Society was organized under the direction of Bishop C.B. Galloway for the purpose of "gathering and preserving by printing or otherwise writings, prints, papers and books pertaining to the history of the Methodist Church in Mississippi or elsewhere." Although each Conference was to have its own semi-official or official Historical Society, Millsaps became the depository for both Mississippi and North Mississippi Conferences, and the successor Mississippi Conference combining the two. The Archives were established in 1982 and dedicated to J.B. Cain, their curator for over fifty years.
The J.B. Cain Archives comprise books and printed material relating to Mississippi Methodism, Church registers and records (1829-1996), a Manuscript Collection (1789 to present), the records of both Conferences' Historical Societies (1898-1977) and Commissions on Archives and History (1968-present), and the archives of the United Methodist Women (1954-2000).
The books have been cataloged in the general catalog of the Library. They cover general history of Methodism, history of the Mississippi Conference and its antecedent conferences, history of other conferences, local Church histories and biographies. The Methodist publications include Conference Journals, the New Orleans Christian Advocate and the Mississippi Methodist Advocate.
The Archives themselves have been arranged according to origin:
Each series is processed and inventoried. A general index (index box) and inventory notebook will facilitate research.
Please contact us if you have any questions.
The Archives are open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during the regular sessions of the College.
Appointments are strongly recommended.
The library provides reference service during those hours and personal visits are encouraged for the most effective research. The manuscript collections may be used only under the supervision of the College Archivist. Some private papers are available to the public only with specific, written permission of the author or his estate. Some faculty, student and clergy records remain confidential. Simple requests for information received by mail will receive prompt attention. Inventories and indexes for the collections have been, or are being prepared.
The purpose of the J.B. Cain Archives of Mississippi Methodism is to collect, organize, maintain and promote the use of records and artifacts of importance to the history of the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church and its antecedents. The goal of the Archives is to continue the work of Rev. J.B. Cain, longtime church historian and archivist for the Mississippi Conference, who collected the historical material which serves as the nucleus of the Archives. In 1982 the archives was dedicated to Rev. Cain's honor when the current joint organizational arrangement was adopted.
The J.B. Cain Archives is operated in conjunction with the Millsaps College Archives within the organization of the Millsaps-Wilson Library. The College Archivist serves as a member of the library staff and library staff assists in the collecting and processing of materials, as well as use of the joint archives resource. The Mississippi Commission on Archives and History, an arm of the Mississippi Conference, UMC, serves as advisory body to the College Archivist.
The J.B. Cain Archives is dedicated to promoting the effective use of its holdings to promote general knowledge of the the history of Methodism and to the broader education and knowledge which its resources may support.
The staff of the J.B. Cain Archives and the Millsaps-Wilson Library are happy to assist genealogists in their quest for information regarding ancestors; however, we are unable to perform extensive searches for searchers. Rather, we are happy to make available our resources for those who are able to search records for themselves. It should be noted that genealogy is not a priority mission for the J.B. Cain Archives and the collection is not built for this purpose. Nevertheless, some holdings are particularly useful in genealogical searches: a careful study of collections and finding aids noted on this web site may be useful in determining whether this archive will be beneficial to your work.
What we can do
Genealogists are welcome to use the collections in the Archives during regular hours, and the College Archivist will assist. Prior arrangements are strongly encouraged, due to schedule variations.
For a fee of $20 per name, the College Archivist will conduct a general search of basic resources in the collection and advise on the likelihood of further information, providing photocopies when appropriate and possible. Requests of this nature may be by U.S. Mail, using a Genealogy Request Form (below).
Primary resources may be used under the supervision of the College Archivist during regular hours.
What we can not do
We are unable to perform extended genealogical searches.
We are unable to extend primary resource services beyond regular hours, but the use of secondary materials may be arranged after meeting with the College Archivist.
What we have and do not have
The J.B. Cain Archives holds many records of the United Methodist Church in Mississippi, including general material and in some cases information about specific churches; however, in the Methodist Church active churches hold their own records. Records of discontinued churches are transferred to the Archives by the District Superintendent's Office.
The Archives does not normally have cemetery records.
To make a request please fill out and mail one of the following forms:
Interlibrary loan requests, when made through a public or private library or archive, for printed sources will be honored when possible. Photocopies of manuscript items will be made available for Interlibrary Loan if their condition and ownership permits such handling. The Millsaps-Wilson Library has photocopy facilities for public use.
There is no charge for reference service to persons who come to the Millsaps-Wilson
Library to use the Archives collections.
There is no fee for searches of church history relating to the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church or its antecedents.
Detailed searches regarding genealogy are available for a minimum fee of $20.00 for each name researched.
The Millsaps College Archives welcome gifts of materials which supports it's mission. The Millsaps College Archives accepts materials and memorabilia generated by or related to College activities. The library is unable to provide evaluation of gifts for tax reporting purposes but will be happy to acknowledge accepted donations
Resources Available from the MISSISSIPPI METHODIST HISTORICAL SOCIETY
History books of the Mississippi Conference and its antecedent bodies, churches:
|Detailed Index to A Complete History of Methodism in the Mississippi Conference, Vol. I & II, 1799-1845, compiled by James Earl Price||$10.00|
|Methodism in the Mississippi Conference 1846-1870 by J.B. Cain||$15.00|
|Detailed Index to Methodism in the Mississippi Conference 1846-1870 compiled by James Earl Price||$7.00|
|Methodism in the Mississippi Conference 1870-1894 by W.B. Jones||$25.00|
|Methodism in the Mississippi Conference 1894-1919 by J.A. Lindsey||$5.00|
|Methodism in the Mississippi Conference 1920-1939 by J.A. Lindsey||$5.00|
|Mississippi United Methodists 200 Years of Heritage and Hope by W.L. Jenkins||$10.00|
|The Mississippi Methodists 1799-1983 A Moral People Born of Conviction by Ray Holder||$10.00|
|William Winans Methodist Leader in Antebellum Mississippi by Ray Holder||$10.00|
|Our Heritage, Historical Highlights of United Methodism in North Mississippi
|Methodist Women: A History by Winnie Phillips||$5.00|
|Methodism in Natchez 1799-1937 by Henry G. Hawkins||$10.00|
|Galloway Memorial Methodist Church 1836-1956 by A. Hamilton||$5.00|
|Magnolia Methodist Church 1856-1956 by J.B. Cain||$5.00|
|The Port Gibson Female Academy, compiled by J.E. Price||$15.00|
|History of the Methodist Children's Home, by J.H. Morrow, Jr., transcribed by J.E. Price with index||$20.00|
|The Cradle of Mississippi Methodism, by J.B. Cain, copy by J.E. Price, indexed||$15.00|
|'Tents and Tabernacles' pamphlet, by J.B. Cain, copy by J.E. Price, indexed||$15.00|
|1.||Tents and Tabernacles, Methodist Camp meetings in the Miss. Conference||$1.00|
|2.||The Christian Sacraments, The Lord=s Supper, by J.B. Cain||50¢|
|3.||Life Sketch of Rev. Tobias Gibson, by H.G. Hawkins||50¢|
|4.||Washington Methodist Church, by J.B. Cain||50¢|
|5.||Historic Sites of Mississippi Methodism, by Cain and Hawkins||50¢|
|6.||Souvenir Book Methodist of Mississippi 1922||50¢|
|7.||Clara Chrisman Centennial, 1960||25¢|
|8.||Beginnings of Churches and Christian Work in Mississippi, by H.G. Hawkins||25¢|
|Our Bicentennial, Claiming the Past, Celebrating the Present, Challenging the Future 1784-1984, Bicentennial Vignettes by J.A. Lindsey and Bob Anding||$1.00|
|10.||The Spread of Methodism in the Delta 1832-1870, by Claude Johnson||50¢|
|11.||Madison County, Mississippi, Seedbed for Early Methodism, by C. Johnson||50¢|
Mississippi Conference Bicentennial Commemorative Items:
To purchase these materials, make check payable to Mississippi Methodist Historical Society.
These books and pamphlets are available to visitors at the J.B. Cain Archives in the Millsaps-Wilson Library, 1701 North State Street, Jackson, MS.
Selected Methodist Archives websites in the United States:
Selected Methodist Archives websites Outside the United States:
The information for the basic histories of Methodism in Mississippi has come from the annual Journal of the Mississippi Conference and its antecedents and from correspondence and diaries of prominent Methodist ministers. Most of these are indexed.
A Complete history of Methodism as connected with the Mississippi Conference of the
Methodist Episcopal Church, South (1799-1845) / by John G. Jones. 1887.
A Complete History of Methodism as Connected with the Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (1846-1869) / by John G. Jones. 2015.
Methodism in the Mississippi Conference, 1846-1870 / by John B. Cain. 1939.
Methodism in the Mississippi Conference, 1870-1884 / by W.B. Jones. 1951.
Methodism in the Mississippi Conference, 1884-1919 / by J. Allen Lindsey. 1964.
Methodism in the Mississippi Conference, 1920-1939 / by J. Allen Lindsey. 1980.
A History of North Mississippi Methodism, 1820-1900 / by Gene Ramsey Miller. 1966.
Our heritage, historical highlights of United Methodism in North Mississippi/compiled by the North Mississippi Commission on Archives and History. 1986.
The Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church, 1829-1939 / by William Lee Hamrick. 1957.
Mississippi circuit riders, 1865-1965 (Upper Mississippi Conference) / by John Graham. 1969.
Mississippi Conference, Journal, 1845-1988.
North Mississippi Conference, Journal, 1871-1988.
Upper Mississippi Conference, Journal, 1891-1972.
Mississippi Conference, former Central Jurisdiction, Journal, 1865-1972.
Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church, Journal, 1871-1938, 1944.
North Mississippi Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church, Journal, 1867-1930
New Orleans Christian Advocate, 1850-1946; index.
Mississippi United Methodist Advocate, 1947- , Index: 1947-1981.
|Box 1: 1978-81|
|Women's Society of Christian Service- 1968-73|
|Special Readings, 1893-1966|
|Box 2: 1978-81|
|UMW minutes, 1937-78|
|Women's Society of Christian Service, 1968-73|
|Wesleyan Service Guild, 1969-70|
|UMW Directories, 1978-81|
|Box 3: 1978-81|
|Annual meeting programs|
|Conference special programs|
|Box 4: 1990's|
|Various newsletters, 1998-2000|
|Candle Burning Celebration- history, program|
|District / Committee reports|
|Women's Society of Christian Service, 1940-68|
|Woman's Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1888-1939|
|Annual Conference Meetings, 1994-2000|
|MS Conference Directory: 1990-97, 1999-2000|
|School of Christian Mission, 1994, 1996-2000|
|Reports submitted for mission studies, 1998-99|
|1997 Picture Album|
|2 video tapes|
|UMW Annual Meeting- Crossgates UMC, Brandon, East Jackson District;|
|running time: 1:50; Videographer- Susan Weatherholt; 11/7/92|
|Vicksburg / Jackson|
|2 video tapes|
|Meridian District UMW|
|Local officers training- 1/30/93; Meridian district at Decatur|
|District retreat- 4/17/93|
|District Exec. Committees meeting at Quitman UMC, 1993 (includes detailed list of contents taped and speakers)|
|Miscellaneous UMW papers|
|Box 10 (oversized)|
|Original layout papers for Winnie Phillips's book Rural Electrification in MS, 1934-1970|
|Box 11 (oversized)|
|Original layout papers for Winnie Phillips's book Methodist Women: A History|
|Box 12: Woman's Society of Christian Service, 1961-68|
|Town and Country work|
|Box 13: Woman's Society of Christian Service, 1961-68|
|Town and Country Work|
|Box 14: Woman's Society of Christian Service, 1961-68|
|Indian Mission Project|
|Record books, 1956-60; 1960-64|
|Evaluation Report of the Local Secretary of Membership Cultivation, 1963-67|
|Box 15: Woman's Society of Christian Service|
|Annual Conference Materials, minutes, Records of the Recording Secretary, correspondence 1955-68|
|Arlean Hall, 1962-67|
|Scholarship Fund, 1967|
|Box 16: Woman's Society of Christian Service|
|Engraving dies/stamps for various programs, symbols, and individuals- no dates given c. 1950's?|
|Box 17: Woman's Society of Christian Service|
|Engraving dies/stamps for various programs, symbols, and individuals- no dates given c. 1950's?|
|Box 18: WSCS records and correspondence, 1965-71 (?)|
|Meridian district (?)|
|The Missionary Voice, 1913-21|
|The Young Christian Worker, 1918|
|The Council Bulletin, 1928-31, 1935, 1937-38|
|Books in collection:|
|Woman's Missionary Conference, 1902-69|
|UMW directories, 1968-78|
|Woman's Society of Christian Service, 1968-73|
|Charter certificates- Woman's Society of Christian Service, 1940|
|Programs, Annual Meetings- WSCS, 1940-68|
|Annual Reports of the Woman's Missionary Society, 1927-30|
|20th Annual Report of WSCS- 1960|
|1978 directory- UMW|
|Toward Understanding the Bible- Wesleyan Service Guild, 1953|
|Our Golden Jubilee- Women's Missionary Society- 1878-1928|
|WSCS- Record and Report Books, 1945-50|
|WSCS scrapbooks: 1940-50; 1968-72|
|UMW scrapbooks: 1972-78; 1981-88|
Memoirs in Annual Conference Journals
Memoirs are obituaries published in the Annual Conference Journals the year following the death of a clergy member of Conference or his/her spouse. Memoirs are written by a fellow minister or family member and contain information concerning the minister's service to the denomination, church appointments, and some family information.
If no Memoir is published, it is possible the minister transferred out of the Mississippi Conference or its antecedent prior to his death. If he was not a member of the annual conference, but served as a Local Preacher, no memoir is published in the Journal, although an obituary may have been submitted to the Methodist Advocate.