The ACA’s Collections Overview
The All Christian Archive grew out of the personal collection of Pastor Pa*l Wheelhouse. In establishing the All Christian Archive, the collection has been sub-divided into the following collections:
- Holy Land/Israel/Middle East
- Churches, Ministries, & Ecclesiastical Organizations
- Parachurch Humanitarian & Social Organizations
- Topical Files
- Christianity in Relation to World Religions
- Personal Papers of Rev. Pa*l Wheelhouse
Below, you may find a synopsis on each collection.
Holy Land/Israel/Middle East
This collection started with his 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.
Churches, Ministries, & Ecclesiastical Organizations
This collection started in the early 1980’s when he started to save church worship bulletins. When he finished seminary and was ordained and began to serve in the ministry, 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. Along the way, he also happened on more than one occasion to be where “history” was happening. He received some parish and diocese commemorative historical books/booklets ranging from the RCC to the Episcopal church to the Lutheran church to the Presbyterian church.
Parachurch Humanitarian & Social Organizations
The collection grew out of his pastoral files on various organizations from Bible translators to mission organization and then also humanitarian and social organizations.
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.
Christianity in Relation to World Religions
Because he also taught a college World Religions course a handful of years, he has several files and materials from this. It would be too impractical to start an Archive for each and every one of these religions. Instead, all these materials are placed in the All Christian Archive with the intellectual understanding that they are all related to and subjected to Christianity, in truth, supreme, most glorious, and superior in faith, grace, and love.
Personal Papers of Rev. Pa*l Wheelhouse
His personal papers includes many teaching notes and binders, his life career and other life records which preserves the context for his life’s work. This includes book manuscripts, and all his religious writings and also his websites and business endeavors records (but his business records and business property is considered intellectually distinct from the All Christian Archive. They are joined in the management and legal since in that the ACA is currently owned and managed by his A USA Preservation LLC business. You can read more on the About page.
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.