For many years now the archives of the CBWC (and its predecessor the BUWC) have been graciously kept and preserved at McMaster Divinity College at the Canadian Baptist Archives. I would like to thank the Archivist in charge, Gordon Heath, for his professionalism and care in preserving this important legacy of our church communities and denominational family. For financial and spatial reasons this arrangement has been terminated and the CBWC archives have been returned to Calgary and housed in an archive/record specific facility for a nominal amount under the direction of our current archivist, Colleen Schneider, who works out of the Calgary office with David Holten. I would like to thank Colleen and David for their excellent work in transporting and in the ongoing assessment and preservation of these materials. I would also like to thank Don Anderson, Brian Stelck, Axel Schoeber, Callum Jones and Jonathan Wilson for their work, interest and encouragement in this area.
Archives recount the presence and continuity of God amongst His people. The evidence of God’s faithfulness is a sacred inheritance which we preserve to prompt us in our adoration and worship of God, not to mummify religious relics as it were. Archives will be used for:
Fiduciary responsibilities in legal, ethical and financial matters
A record of story, narrative and the faithfulness of God and His people
I have asked Colleen some questions that are listed below. I have asked her to provide a link to a Southern Baptist website that helps us organize our thoughts or archives at a congregational level and I encourage you to ask Colleen questions and begin your own record gathering.
As the Atlantic Baptists and ourselves are no longer part of the archives and there is a need to distribute evenly the national and regionally significant items of interest there will be an ongoing discussion of regional and national policy in the years ahead. Once again thank you Gordon, Colleen, and David.
1. What has your work entailed in setting up CBWC’s archives so far?
When we received word that McMaster Divinity College could no longer house the CBWC archives I began working with McMaster to plan for the long trek of our archives to be shipped to an archive storage facility here in Calgary. In late January three pallets of material arrived at Calgary Archives and my work then involved pouring through every box and cataloguing and repacking the items. All of the denominational archives and the archives of CBWC churches that have closed are now catalogued and securely stored at Calgary Archives until needed. I am now working on making a listing to put on the website so that we can all see the types of valuable material that has been preserved over the last 100 plus years.
2. What are ways in which a church can set up its own archives and use the link you have provided?
I think at times it is difficult to appreciate the importance of storing documents for the purposes of future generations. It was a profound experience for me to catalogue our material and to see the faces and handwriting of those who have gone before us and given us the freedom and strong faith that we have today.
There is a Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives website (www.sbhla.org/articles.htm) that has extensive information on what type of material should be kept for archive purposes and how to carefully store the material so that it is readable for generations to come. Churches can set up their own archives or send their material to us for cataloguing and storage at Calgary Archives. The denominational office is willing to be a trustee for individual CBWC church archives and I would be happy to discuss this with interested churches.
3. How might we contact you for more information?
I work at the Calgary office and can be reached by phone 403-228-9559 ext 308 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.