E-Net News

O'Kelly Chapel records now available for online research

Two record books from the early years of the Christian Church are now available online through Elon University’s web site for researchers to access anywhere in the world.

A page from one of the books from O'Kelly Chapel.

The books, which originated in the O’Kelly Chapel and were restored at Etherington Conservation in Browns Summit, N.C., have had their contents made into PDF digital files. Elon University archivist Katie Nash is currently working on getting the books transcribed.

“It’s great to finally have these historic record books from the O’Kelly Chapel available online,” Nash said. “I have had a number of people use these record books when conducting research about genealogy, conference and church meeting minutes, integration of churches in the South, and much more.”

The books are important in relation to the history of Elon for the connection the university has with James O’Kelly. O’Kelly founded the Christian Church and the O’Kelly Chapel. Ministers from the Christian denomination founded Elon in 1889.
The record books include membership lists, conference meeting minutes, meeting minutes of the local church congregation, and some reports on various issues taken up with the church and Christian denomination.

Researchers and genealogists can benefit from the books by tracing relatives and their role in the church, having access to unpublished conference minutes, and understanding church life in the 19th and 20th centuries.

“People have visited the Archives and Special Collections from all over North Carolina and other places such as Arkansas and California,” Nash said. “I just can’t imagine how many more people will now be able to benefit from these record books now that they are online.”

To see the records, click on the link to the right of this page. PDF files on the Belk Library site require Adobe software to view.

Eric Townsend,
9/12/2008 10:56 AM