Today was my last day at Disciples of Christ Historical Society in Nashville. June 1, 2011 would have marked five years at the Society. I visited DCHS for the first time as a researcher in March or April 1992. I was working on a high school history project and Uncle RD Ice suggested I might find there some new information about Dr. K. C. Ice. I did, and remember vividly the sights and even the smells as May Reed gave me a tour and assisted me with several volumes of Disciples’ Yearbooks. A few weeks later I attended a lecture, perhaps the first Reed Lecture, and there met Eva Jean Wrather (who was very kind to me) and Carisse Berryhill (Carisse do you remember that?). Carisse was also very kind and, indicating that if I ever needed assistance to please call her, gave me her card. I caught very little of what was said that evening in the lecture hall, but I caught enough to know that I wanted to know more about and spend more time in this place. Little did I ever imagine then that I would later be working in Spencer’s office at Eva Jean’s desk.
I am grateful for the many opportunities of the last five years: opportunities to process primary source archival materials, to provide research assistance for (by my best count) well over 2000 requests and to have met many fine people. I am certainly much more familiar with the breadth and depth of Stone-Campbell universe; I likewise feel like a novice because of how much material is available for research and how many gaps there are in our collective published history.
Though we do not yet know what the future holds, we are grateful for many friends and family who are walking with us and who have come alongside us in the last month. Very likely some who read these lines are among those who have supported or comforted us in any number of ways. Please let me tell you again how much we appreciate it. Pray for those of us who suffer from “unavoidable budgetary constraints.”
If you contacted me at ice (at) discipleshistory.org please note that I can be reached at icekm (at) aol (dot) com. I am eager to assist in your research in any way I can, but reallize that I no longer have the Society’s collection at my fingertips. I expect to resume more substantive stone-Campbell historical posts to this blog in the coming days.
Grace and peace.