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Felicity United Methodist Church (New Orleans, La.) records

Identifier: LACUMC-2013-022

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the activities of Felicity United Methodist Church (New Orleans, La.) as well as some of its predecessor congregations. It includes membership records, administrative records, financial records, committee records, historical records, legal records, and guest registers.

Membership records consist of church register books as well as member lists. The church registers (1861-1954) include names of pastors, members, baptisms, and marriages. A photocopy facsimile of the earliest membership record book (1849-1852) includes a church history, list of members, statistics, and obituaries for the following predecessor congregations: Lafayette Charge, Andrew Chapel Charge, and Elijah Steele Chapel Charge.

Administrative records consist of meeting minutes of the following groups: Members and Friends of the Elijah Steele Charge (1846-1850), Board of Trustees (1848-1918), Board of Stewards (1853-1898), and Official Board (1955-2003). Also included are the congregation’s church conference records (1875-1884), quarterly conference records (1887-1942), and charge conference reports (1975, 1989). Some early record books contain minutes of multiple administrative groups within the church. The quarterly conference record book (1935-1937) also contains reports from Chalmette Methodist Episcopal Church South (Chalmette, La.).

Financial records primarily consist of assessment books (circa 1869-1910) and general fiscal records (1882-2006). The assessment books document donations from members, collections for specific funds, and expenditures.

Committee records document the activities of groups within the church, such as: Epworth League (1908-1919), Sunday School (1893-1909), Temperance Society (1877), and the Woman’s Missionary Society (1917-1931). The Building Committee (1849-1852) oversaw funds for the McGehee Church, Moreau Street Church, and the Elijah Steele/Lafayette/Andrew Chapel Charge.

Historical records include bulletins (1948-2002), church histories (1950-1996), photographs (1950-1992), and printed items (1888-2004).

Legal records include insurance policies (1998-2002) and property records (1849-1970).

Guest registers (1942-1994) document visitors to the church.


  • 1846 - 2006


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Physical rights are retained by the Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.

Biographical / Historical

Felicity United Methodist Church (New Orleans, La.) traces its history to the merger of multiple predecessor congregations in 1848. At that time, the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South united the following charges: Lafayette Charge (Saint Mary Street Church built circa 1830 at the corner of Saint Mary and Fulton Streets), Andrew Chapel Charge (Andrew Chapel founded 1835 at the corner of Dryades and Felicity Streets), and Elijah Steele Chapel Charge (also known as the “Flatboat Church” founded early 1840s on Magazine Street between Robin and Race Streets).

In 1849, this unified group built a chapel at the rear of their property located at the intersection of Felicity and Chestnut Streets. After purchasing adjoining lots, the congregation built a new brick church building in 1850. Early records appear to interchangeably identify the congregation using two names -- Elijah Steele Church as well as Felicity Church.

In 1887, a fire destroyed much of the church; it was rebuilt in 1888. In 1906, members from the Dryades Street Methodist Episcopal Church (formerly the First German Mission) merged with Felicity. Felicity was damaged by hurricanes in October 1915, September 1965, and August 2005. In 2007, Felicity United Methodist Church was discontinued and abandoned.


6.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Arranged in the following series and sub-series:

Series 1. Membership records, 1849-2006 Sub-Series 1: Church registers, 1860-1954 Sub-Series 2: Other membership records, 1849-2006

Series 2. Administrative records, 1846-2003 Sub-Series 1: Members and friends, 1846-1850 Sub-Series 2: Board of Trustees, 1848-1918 Sub-Series 3: Board of Stewards, 1853-1898 Sub-Series 4: Official Board, 1955-2003 Sub-Series 5: Conference records, 1875-1989

Series 3. Financial records, circa 1869-2006

Series 4. Committee records, 1849-1931

Series 5. Historical records, 1888-2004

Series 6. Legal records, 1849-2002

Series 7. Guest Registers 1942-1994

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Collection consists of multiple accessions. The first transfer of material occurred circa 1969 by the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church Commission on Archives and History. In 1978, a photocopy of Membership records, 1849-1852 (accession 1978-77) was added from Tulane University Library Special Collections. In 1982, the Quarterly Conference record book, 1935-1937 (accession 1982-41) was transferred from Rayne Memorial United Methodist Church (New Orleans, La.). In 2013, accession 2013-022 was transferred by the Administrative Assistant to the Provost of the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Existence and Location of Originals

Original manuscript volume of Box 2, Folder 1, Membership records (1849-1852) in Lafayette Chapel records, Manuscripts Collection B-352, Louisiana Research Collection, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Related Materials

Mary Jane Peace's research paper "The Establishment of the Elijah Steele Chapel or the Felicity Street Church, 1846-1864" appears in the following collection -- Folder: Felicity Methodist Church (New Orleans, La.). Methodist Church Louisiana Conference - Church Histories collection, Coll. 4. Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections, Shreveport, Louisiana.

Finding Aid to the Felicity United Methodist Church (New Orleans, La.) records
Chris Brown
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Centenary College of Louisiana Archives and Special Collections Repository

2911 Centenary Blvd.
Shreveport LA 71104 US
(318) 869-5462