The ACA’s Collections Overview

The All Christian Archive, once developed from a collection of one minister, has been arranged into the following collections, in part reflecting the Pillars of the Christian Faith and Life and also common sense collections organization in harmony with the purpose of the All Christian Archive. The collections, which are rapidly growing, are arranged as follows:

  • Lives and Legacies
  • Discipleship/Education/Christian Life Growth
  • Worship and Music
  • Sermons
  • Topical Files
  • Churches, Ministries, & Ecclesiastical Organizations
  • Parachurch Organizations (Missions, Humanitarian, Social)
  • Holy Land/Israel/Middle East
  • Christianity in Relation to World Religions
  • Personal Papers of Rev. Pa*l Wheelhouse

Below, you may find a synopsis on each collection.

Lives and Legacies

In God’s eyes, we are all loved and valued. God does not esteem the famous and known ones in the world but ignores those not known. So the goal is to collect on every Christian’s life. Starting with one’s testimony is a great place to begin. In the Lives and Legacies, we collect on the “known” and the “unknown” according to the world.

Discipleship/Education/Christian Life Growth

This is a vitally important pillar to the Christian faith and life. Without being nurtured in the faith, we are in ignorance and salvation has not come to us yet. This collection includes Sunday School curriculum, Bible study courses of all sorts and for all ages and various denominations, Discipleship programs, Bible conferences and seminars, Evangelism trainings, Christian educational materials in print, records, on CDs, DVD’s, VHSs, etc.

Worship and Music

This collection includes tangibles of worship bulletins (but many contemporary churches in our age do not produce bulletins in print but have gone all digital), worship service and music recordings in audio and video, on CDs, DVDs, cassettes, worship studies, music planning records musical scores, books, worship gathering events, and papers on worship theology, etc.

Sermons

This collection is also expansive in collecting sermons not only on renowned preachers and evangelists and televangelists but also the “unknown” small parish pastor. The practical collection goal is to obtain a sampling of key message of ministers especially on highlight festivals such as Christmas and Easter but may be good messages brought on any Sunday of the year. And the goal is to collect on notable published sermon series and Advent and Lenten mid-week sermon series.

Topical Files

The collection also grew out of his pastoral files. It began for topics for sermon ideas and thoughts but the need was present also for in teaching Bible classes but also in counseling members. All three of these needs still applies but now as an apostolic ministry to the Body of Christ through this site, particularly in the CIRC Information page on this site.

Churches, Ministries, & Ecclesiastical Organization

This is an ever growing, expanding collection from churches from A to Z, from Adventist churches to Zwinglian and Zenzendorf Brethren churches. The core of the current collections are main Protestant and RCC materials. A key focus of this collection, strategic in preserving Christian heritage, are church and cathedral commemorative, anniversary, and souvenir books. A focus collection goal is to collect on cathedral souvenir books and/or brochures from cathedrals throughout Europe, the Americas, and beyond.

This collection started in the early 1980’s when he started to save church worship bulletins. Then as a pastor, it quickly expanded to pastoral records, congregational minutes, reports, ministerial associations, correspondence, etc. And as his ministry expanded to an ecumenical outlook and visiting many churches in various denominations, it expanded to the Body of Christ-at-large.

Parachurch Organizations (Missions, Humanitarian, Social)

This collection began as practical reference files for a parish pastor and expands to the organizational brochures, newsletters, magazines, correspondence, etc.

Holy Land/Israel/Middle East

This collection started with the ACA founder’s first study trip to Israel in 1992. It includes maps, original photographs, about 200 color slides, course materials, study notes, journals, “From Mt. Zion” newsletters, Institute of Holy Land Studies/Jerusalem University College program materials, correspondence, and newsletter, tour itineraries, and souvenirs.

Christianity in Relation to World Religions

The founder taught a college World Religions course a handful of years. Even though they are on other religions (except Christianity of course), its teaching materials, notes, and records are considered to be a part of the ACA since it seems impractical to start a new Archive for a small collection. Placing these materials in the All Christian Archive gives them a distinct relationship of being subjected to Christianity, in truth, supreme, most glorious, and superior in faith, grace, and love.

Personal Papers of Rev. Pa*l Wheelhouse

The portions of his personal papers deemed a part of the All Christian Archive are his Christian schooling (primary to secondary to seminary to Jerusalem U) notes and records, his Christian service records, his Christian writings, and his religious and Christian teaching notes and records. His life career and other life records provides the wider context for his life’s work . Finally, the business he set up to manage the All Christian Archive, its records are co-joined to his papers relevant to the ACA.

Summary of the Main Kinds of Archived and Archiving Materials

Church records: worship bulletins, newsletters, congregational meetings, committees
Church and pastors conferences
Church leadership conferences
Seminary convocations and symposiums
Missions, Evangelism, and Witnessing seminars and workshops printed materials
Files on Churches, Organizations, Topics, and Subjects
CD’s (Bible and pastoral teachings, seminaries, workshops
DVD’s (Bible and Christian documentaries, docu-dramas, Biblical and Christian drama movies, Church services, Bible teachings and Seminars)
Personal papers (correspondence, writing manuscripts, sermons, ministry notes, journals, etc)

Digital Collections: Photographs, PDFs, and a planned are Audio and Video (e.g. MPEG) files. Photographs will range from churches to people. And the PDFs may almost parallel many of the documents above from church worship bulletins, newsletters, discipleship materials, correspondence, art, etc.

How This Collection Started, Grew, and Was Organized

Pa*l Wheelhouse actually started collecting information/resources in college with clipped newspaper articles of interest of various subjects. He created a picture file for one of his Education courses. And he experienced his church body’s Great Commission Convocation in St. Louis in 1984, attended by thousands converging on St. Louis. It was a very impactful experience and so he saved the convocation materials. After college, he saved every Bible study, seminar, and evangelism/witness workshops, Christian/church conference he attended before seminary. His collecting continued in seminary, saving all his seminary course notes in. And his collecting “stepped up” during his pastoral ministry years in a Protestant body. It was during his first two years in the pastoral ministry that he discovered he had a passion for preservation as well as spiritually caring for and ministering to his people and saving lives for Christ.
After his career shifted to administrative and government work, and teaching and writing, he began to pursue studies and experience in preservation. After earning a Museum Studies certificate from a state university, he then went on to earn an MSLIS degree with a Special Collections certificate from the top library science program in the nation in a Midwest university.

After he returned to Florida then started self-employment work, the vision for the All Christian Archive became clear. Then he became even more pro-active and strategic in collecting for the All Christian Archive. Initially, the Christian Archive was not planned to be an “All,” but after getting this domain since christianarchive.com (or .org) was not available, it then did have a directing effect on the Scope of Collections of this Christian Archive to be most broad, “to preserve Christian heritage in all forms from individuals, families, churches, and organizations.” And thus it needed to be independent, not controlled by an one or association of denominations.
Having thus committed the ACA to this broad path, he knew his collection was very small, representing but a small number of church bodies regarding church records except for church bulletins which represents most church bodies but it nonetheless still a fairly small sampling. It was thus a challenging goal to set to be representative of the “whole of Christian heritage” and of the Body of Christ. Adding the Christian Information and Resource Center (CIRC) to this site while greatly facilitating this also creates a significant greater challenge as a ministry to the whole Body of Christ. The CIRC in fact has a different purpose than the ACA mission. Read about this on the About page.
It is also necessary to state the obvious that the ACA does not make a claim on any “Christian” records, photographs, objects, or heritage in any form (e.g. art, architecture, etc.) that is preserved in any other Christian institution be it higher education, denominational, or ecclesiastical. This is why “individuals and families” are placed first in the list in the mission statement. There is, I believe, a “Sea of Christian heritage” out there that is not in a Christian institution or community archive and much of this will be eventually thrown out or lost.
Everyone who is a Christian has a Christian heritage including one’s stories how they came into the Faith and many other stories.

Overview