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.