Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists: Annual Meeting
Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists


Annual Meeting

The annual meeting of the Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists is open to all who wish to attend. The meeting is held during the Church of the Brethren's Annual Conference. It starts with a short business session and every even year, an election for a Vice-President, who will then succeed the President. The remainder of the scheduled meeting time is given to a presentation on a genealogical subject by a guest speaker.

The next meeting will be 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday 28 June 2017 at the DeVos Convention Center in Grand Rapids MI. The program will be "A Renewed Vision for Brethren Roots," a powerpoint presentation by the journal's newly appointed editor, D. B. (Dave) Eller, reflecting on the mission, challenges, and opportunities for publishing genealogical and historical material related to the Brethren movement. Announcements of the meeting are posted on the Brethren list, announced on the Fellowship's Facebook page, and noted in the quarterly journal. Information about the Annual Conference, with which the Fellowship's meeting is associated, can be found at the Church of the Brethren's official site, brethren.org.

Informal meetings among Fellowship members and interested church and family historians take place at the Fellowship's exhibit booth throughout the week in the Annual Conference exhibit hall.

Following is a selective review of some recent annual meetings followed by a list of the dates and locations of all the Fellowship's annual meetings and those scheduled in the near future.

Selective Review of Annual Meetings

2013 FOBG Meeting

[The 2013 Annual Meeting] The 2013 annual business meeting of the Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists was called to order at noon Monday 01 July 2013 in Room 202 of the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Tom Crago chaired the meeting, reading the Minutes of last year's meeting, giving a very complete Treasurer's Report, and positive report on membership increases. Gerald Rhoades was elected Vice President and the position of Treasurer remains open. A discussion of the First Brethren Families Project (FBFP) explained procedures, costs, the Verification Committee, and its reorganization.

Tom presented his view of the past and future for the Fellowship in his address, "Re-Focusing the FOBG for the Future." A period of questions and answers completed the program before adjournment.

Video of the meeting is again posted on the Fellowship's Facebook page.

[The 2013 exhibit booth] The Fellowship had a display at a booth in the Exhibit Hall in the Charlotte Convention Center with back issues of the Newsletter and Journal. Also, brochures from the Historical Committee, the Brethren Heritage Center, and the South Central Indiana District Historical Committee, advertisements for a European Tour, and the Nigerian published biography of Rev. Filibus Kumba Gwama, all of which were being freely distributed.

The new Membership Directory was distributed to FOBG members attending conference. (Copies were to be mailed to other members after conference). Also available was the CD Bundle, a scan of the first twelve years of the FOBG Newsletter on two compact disks, and which includes the printed two part Surname Index 1969-1980. The first two issues of Brethren Roots already published this year were available for new members.

Work was done in the exhibit booth by members of the Verification Committee on recent applications for the First Brethren Families Project (FBFP).

2012 FOBG Meeting

[The 2012 Annual Meeting] The Fellowship's 2012 meeting was held at 4:00 Saturday afternoon July 7th,  in Room 126 of America's Center in St. Louis MO.  The meeting was opened by the FOBG President, Becky Young, who chaired the meeting. The business session discussed the membership and the treasurer's report. Ron and Bert McAdams are retiring as membership services coordinator and treasurer. They explained their responsibilities for anyone wanting to volunteer to fill these positions. Tom Crago will become membership secretary and treasurer. The position of vice-president remains open. Other subjects mentioned were the Brethren Digital Archives, the Membership Directory, storage of back issues, and tax-exempt status for the FOBG.

Tom Crago had two presentations. He explained the proposal of a 'First Families' initiative, in which the Fellowship would recognize those members who could trace their heritage back to First Century Brethren, 1708-1807, Second Century Brethren, 1808-1907, or Third Century Brethren, 1908-2007. His second presentation was a clear, understandable, and interesting explanation of "Genealogy and Genetics," how DNA can be used in genealogical research. Using his own surname as the example, he showed how the traditional approach to family history research can be supplemented by genetic testing.

Video of the meeting is again posted on the Fellowship's Facebook page.

[The 2012 exhibit booth] The Fellowship maintained a booth in the Exhibit Hall in the St. Louis convention center displaying back issues of the Newsletter and Journal and brochures from the Historical Committee.

2011 FOBG Meeting

[The 2011 Annual Meeting] The Fellowship's 2011 meeting was held at 3:00 Saturday afternoon July 2nd,  in Grand Valley Overlook E of DeVos Place in Grand Rapids MI.  The meeting was opened by Ron McAdams, who chaired the meeting. Emmert Bittinger, our invited speaker, was unable to attend because of health reasons, but sent a twenty-seven minute video of his presentation.

Larry Heisey discussed the status of the project of the Brethren Digital Archives and the need for immediate help by volunteers to proofread the searchable digital imaging of all Brethren periodicals from 1851 to 2000. Brochures about this project can be obtained from the Brethren Heritage Center, 428 N Wolf Creek St, Suite H1, Brookville, OH  45309
or by writing using their e-mail address of: [email protected]
and checking their website at: www.brethrendigitalarchives.org

A five part video of the meeting is posted on the Fellowship's Facebook page. [One fun part is added to include an answer to a question.]

[The 2011 exhibit booth] The Fellowship's booth in the Exhibit Hall in Grand Rapids attracted new members who subscribed to the quarterly journal and provided a convenience to current members to renew their memberships. Back issues of the periodical were available for perusal and photocopying of pages of particular interest was done.

An informative thirty-two minute video, Widow Pence's Farm, was available for viewing at the booth.

2010 FOBG Meeting

[The 2010 Annual Meeting] The Fellowship's 2010 meeting was held at 3:30 Monday afternoon July 5th,  in Room 331 of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh PA.  The well-attended meeting was introduced to our new journal editor, Bonita Rogers, by Ron McAdams, who chaired the meeting. Merle Rummel, the invited speaker showed an indepth Power Point presentation on the early Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana churches, not only identifing them but tracing the associated families' migration into the area and also their movement out of the churches. He included the theological context and ecclesiastical history of the covered periods by discussing the universalist, pietist and anabaptist beliefs of key individuals. Links to the online version will be provided to the cob-net.org site after Merle sends his presentation materials and are posted by Ron Gordon.
  An overly clipped video of most of Merle Rummel's presentation is posted on the Fellowship's Facebook page.

[The 2010 exhibit booth] The Fellowship had a booth in the Exhibit Hall at Pittsburgh. It attracted new members and was a convenience to current members to renew their memberships. Free copies of a nicely bound family history, HYLTON GENEALOGY   From Castle to Cottage   Hilton  Hylton  Helton by Hazel S. Moore and a supplement compiled by Wanda Hylton Almgren were available at the table.

2009 FOBG Meeting

Members and the genealogically-minded traveled to San Diego CA to meet at the Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, which provided the Le Sommet Room at the top of the Regency Tower as our location. Ron McAdams chaired the meeting and reported that we had a volunteer to be the editor for our quarterly journal. She anticipates publishing the next issue in October. Alberta McAdams distributed copies of her Treasurer's Report.

A new feature in addition to photographic records of our annual meeting was provided by Thomas Liby with the use of a camcorder to record the meeting. See the Fellowship's Facebook page for segments on the business and presentation this year. Because of his ineptness, again no photographs were taken this year.

Karen Garrett and Neal Fitze from the Brethren Heritage Center gave a tag team presentation on the collections, work, and volunteers of the Center in Brookville Ohio. Penetrating questions followed the report on their activities, goals, and projects. Ken Shaffer contributed a compare/contrast view of what he can and cannot do at the Brethren Historical Library and Archives vis a vis the Brethren Historical Center in selling and giving away different classes of books. If interest is generated after watching the videos of their presentation, more information can be obtained from the Center's website at brethrenheritage.org or by contacting them directly (428 Wolf Creek St, suite H1, Brookville OH 45309 / (937)833-5222 / [email protected]).

In consideration of the financial status of the Fellowship and the anticipated low attendance at a West Coast conference, Ron decided not to have an exhibit booth at this year's Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren. Thomas Liby mentioned his hope that we could have an exhibit at other Brethren groups' meetings. There will be an exhibit booth at next years' conference in Pittsburgh PA.

2008 FOBG Meeting

This year's meeting was held on Saturday the 12th of July 2008 at 1:00 p.m. in the Dominion Room of the Marriott Hotel in Richmond Virginia.

Informal meetings among Fellowship members and interested church and family historians took place at the Fellowship's exhibit booth throughout the week in the Annual Conference exhibit hall from Saturday 12 July 2008 through Tuesday evening 15 July 2008.

2007 FOBG Meeting

The annual meeting for 2007 was scheduled for 1:00 to 3:00pm Saturday 30 June 2007 in the Cleveland Convention Center. Twenty interested individuals were in attendance. Ron McAdams introduced our new President Becky Young Hoatland, who then chaired the meeting. Bert McAdams gave the financial report which was accepted. Thomas Liby was elected Vice-President. After the business meeting A. Wayne Webb presented an article on Burial Records of Elder Joseph Myer, discussed his proposed Brethren Newspaper Initiative to solicit funds to digitize old periodicals, and offered for sale his republication of the History of the Church of the Brethren Southern Ohio District. Numerous small group conversations filled the remainder of the time.
[No photo was taken of the 2007 business meeting.]

The Fellowship did not have an exhibit booth at the Cleveland Conference due to financial reasons.

2006 FOBG Meeting

[The 2006 Annual Meeting] The Fellowship's 2006 meeting was held on Saturday afternoon July 1st,  in the Marriott Hotel, Iowa Ballroom, Salon C prior to the start of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference.  A notably large group came to hear the speaker Jane Davis talk about the Brethren in Missouri 1795 - 1865. However, the first order of business was an announcement from Paul Roth, pastor of the Linville Creek Church of the Brethren near Broadway VA, concerning the historic home and ten acre farm of Elder John Kline, a significant Civil War period church leader.  The current Mennonite owners are wishing to sell now and are giving the Brethren first right of refusal on the property. Developers are wanting the property to build townhouses, which if happens, all the historic structures would be destroyed. Interested people must act quickly to purchase the farm and save this precious rich heritage from demolition.

In other business, Bert McAdams gave the Fellowship's financial report and Dwayne Wrightsman announced the slate of candidates, which was approved by those attending. Continuing as President is Dwayne Wrightsman, continuing as Vice-President is Becky Allen, and Bert McAdams was elected for a two year term to the new position of treasurer.

[The 2006 exhibit booth] The Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists again maintained an exhibit booth at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines during the 220th Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren from July 1st through July 5th, 2006.

2005 FOBG Meeting

[The 2005 Annual Meeting] The Fellowship's 2005 meeting was held on Saturday afternoon July 2nd,  in the Peoria Illinois Holiday Inn City Centre prior to the start of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference.  Ron McAdams, the Membership Services Coordinator, gave a financial report and Wayne Webb, the journal editor, and Dwayne Wrightsman, the speaker, were introduced.  Dwayne Wrightsman gave a very informative presentation on his working paper, "Related Brethren Families   Botetourt County, Virginia   1799."  He discussed its subtitle "Family Relations Among the 42 German Baptists of Botetourt County Whose Names Appeared on the 13 December 1799 Petition to the Virginia Legislature Seeking Exemption from Fines for not Attending Muster."  His well-researched study listed the families in this Brethren community and indicated the various interpretations of the signatures on this historical document, of which a copy was included.

To fill vacancies, Dwayne Wrightsman was elected President of the Fellowship of  Brethren Genealogists and Becky Allen was elected Vice-President.

[The 2005 exhibit booth] The Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists was again represented in the Exhibit Hall of the Peoria Convention Center, site of the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference. The FOBG exhibit booth was open throughout the Conference from July 2 - 6, 2005.

1999 FOBG Meeting

[Ronald Hollinger chairing 1999 meeting] The 1999 meeting was held in Milwaukee Wisconsin at 2:30 Saturday afternoon July 3rd in "Lakeshore B" at the Hyatt Regency. Ronald Hollinger, as President of the Fellowship, chaired the meeting. Ron McAdams gave the treasurer's report and discussed the Membership Directory. It was agreed that the directory will now reflect the 1982 directory format: the front section will include the researchers' name, address, and E-mail address along with a right column listing the surnames submitted by individual researchers; then, the back section will be the comprehensive alphabetical listing of surnames and the code identifying the researchers listed in the first section. It will be a surname index including the researched surnames of all past and current members of the Fellowship. The next directory will be published in December 2000, the fourth quarter of each even year, and will be mailed with the Winter issue of Brethren Roots.

Ken Shaffer reported on the progress of the Gospel Messenger Obit Index saying that it never was in a database, but was originally intended as an in-house document using a word processing (WP 5.1) format. The 3700 pages still will comprise less that 20 percent of a CD. So, the CD will also include a RTF format, ascii, and/or WordPerfect 8.1 format.

Thomas Liby noted his lack of progress on the cemetery survey as part of the FOBG Homepage. The consensus of the meeting is that he should be free to transcribe cemetery records published in back issues of the Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists NEWSLETTER and upload copies to the internet as part of this project.

Discussion of the time for next year's meeting considered the changed schedule for the Church of the Brethren Annual Conference running from Saturday evening to Wednesday noon. It will be announced here, on the mailing list, and in Brethren Roots when a decision is made.
To be presented at next year's annual business meeting of the Fellowship will be a proposed Constitution and By-Laws. Two items pertaining to it were agreed upon by the meeting: a Life Membership (with the "Comp" - complimentary, and regular annual membership) will be available; and if the FOBG would dissolve, any remaining assets would go to the Brethren Historical Library and Archives.

[Ronald Hollinger staffing 1999 exhibit booth] Ronald Hollinger, the president of the Fellowship, brought his personal genealogical library for the exhibit booth for interested visitors to peruse throughout the week in the Annual Conference exhibit hall (Midwest Express Center).

1998 FOBG Meeting

[Ronald Hollinger chairing 1999 meeting] Ronald Hollinger, the Fellowship of Brethren Genealogists president, chaired the meeting in the huge Orlando convention center at 12:30 Friday 3 July 1998.

[Ronald Hollinger staffing 1998 exhibit booth] The 1998 Annual Conference was at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida (home of DisneyWorld). The exhibit booth for the week provided materials for those interested in genealogy and Brethren history. Adjacent to the Fellowship's booth, again this year, was the popular Brethren Encyclopedia exhibit.

1997 FOBG Meeting

[Lorraine Frantz Edwards staffing 1997 exhibit booth] The 1997 Annual Conference was in Long Beach, California (with Disneyland nearby). Exhibit booth assignments placed the Fellowship's book adjacent to that of the Brethren Encyclopedia, Inc.
Lorraine Frantz Edwards brought her massive materials on the Frantz genealogy and shared conversation with visitors to the booth throughout the week.
[No photo of the annual business meeting is available.]

List of Annual Meetings
25 June 1965   Ocean Grove NJ

24 June 1966   Louisville KY

22 June 1967   Eugene OR

28 June 1968   Ocean Grove NJ

27 June 1969   Louisville KY

26 June 1970   Lincoln NE

25 June 1971   St Petersburg FL

30 June 1972   Cincinnati OH

27 June 1973   Fresno CA

26 June 1974   Roanoke VA

26 June 1975   Dayton OH

01 July 1976   Wichita KS

25 June 1977   Richmond VA

21 June 1979   Indianapolis IN

05 July 1980   Seattle WA

25 June 1981   Indianapolis IN

21 July 1982   Wichita KS

29 June 1983   Baltimore MD

28 June 1984   Carbondale IL

04 July 1985   Phoenix AZ

27 June 1986   Norfolk VA

02 July 1987   Cincinnati OH

29 June 1988   St Louis MO

09 July 1989   Orlando FL

06 July 1990   Milwaukee WI

04 July 1991   Portland OR

02 July 1992   Richmond VA

24 June 1993   Indianapolis IN

20 June 1994   Wichita KS

29 June 1995   Charlotte NC

04 July 1996   Cincinnati OH

04 July 1997   Long Beach CA

03 July 1998   Orlando FL

02 July 1999   Milwaukee WI

17 July 2000   Kansas City MO

30 June 2001   Baltimore MD

29 June 2002   Louisville KY

05 July 2003   Boise ID

03 July 2004   Charleston WV

02 July 2005   Peoria IL

01 July 2006   Des Moines IA

30 June 2007   Cleveland OH

12 July 2008   Richmond VA

26 June 2009   San Diego CA

03 July 2010   Pittsburgh PA

02 July 2011   Grand Rapids MI

07 July 2012   St. Louis MO

01 July 2013   Charlotte NC

05 July 2014   Columbus OH

11 July 2015   Tampa FL

02 July 2016   Greensboro NC

05 July 2017   Grand Rapids MI
4-8 July 2018	Cincinnati OH
3-7 July 2019	San Diego CA
1-5 July 2020	Grand Rapids MI


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