Collection Spotlight: Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd papers

Yesterday, for the first time in months, I got a chance to actually process a collection!

The collection I processed, MSS-356, is the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd papers. Good Shepherd was a parish in Saint Ignace, MI. It opened in 1882 and closed in 2011 due to low attendance.  The contents of the collection span almost the entire history of the parish: 1890-2011!

It mainly consists of ledgers documenting events at the parish: baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and funerals. There are also registers of parishioners and guests beginning in 1890 and ending in 1967. There are financial records from the altar guild, records of donations, and a survey of the land held by the parish in 2008. Finally, there is a prayer book from 1929. A few of the ledgers are from Saint Andrew’s Church in Moran, MI and an Episcopal Mission in Chippewa County, MI.

The Good Shepherd Episcopal Church on Prospect Street in St. Ignace. The building is 127 years old, and was moved to its current location in 1889.

Image Source: Saint Ignace News

We have several other collections related to the Episcopal church for those interested in the history of the Episcopal church in the UP or in religious history more broadly (or in ancestors who attended Episcopal churches!). There is a small collection of parish registers from Saint Stephen’s in DeTour Village, MI. Our collection from Saint Paul’s in Marquette is much more vast. It includes the typical parish registers but also contains histories of the parish, records and photographs from various bishops, financial records, records from clubs within the parish, and annual reports and minutes.

The collection that would perhaps be of most interest, however, is our collection from the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan. It includes newsletters and newspapers from the 1970s to the present, audio and video of synods and camps, records from the annual diocesan convention starting in 1893, bishops’ correspondence, a history of the diocese, several boxes of photographs, financial and property records, a few scattered registers from around the UP, and records from clubs, committees, and commissions within the diocese.

About a year ago, we received the personal papers of Thomas K. Ray, the last bishop of the Diocese of Northern Michigan. His papers are due to be processed in the fall, so you can look forward to another addition to our vast number of Episcopal church sources!

Interested in seeing any of these collections? Stop by the archives anytime during our new summer hours, 10 AM-4 PM Monday through Friday.

Written by Annika Peterson

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