Religion Research Guide

Articles from Missouri Historical Review and Missouri Times


The State Historical Society of Missouri manuscript collections contain various papers and records related to religion and religious activities in the state. The papers of clergy and active laypersons, missionaries, and circuit riders; materials concerning religious experiences, including the occult; writings on religious subjects; and denominational and individual church records and histories can all be found within the collections. Examples include the Reverend Marguerite Shirley Kenney Papers, the Raymond Bennett Bragg Papers, and the Church Women United in Missouri, Columbia Unit, Records.

View All Religion Manuscript Collections


Religious publications are of special interest to both genealogists and historians. Many Protestant denominations, including Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, Cumberland Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Church of God, are represented by publications in the collection. Mormon, Catholic, and Jewish papers are also available. Publications in the collection date from the 1840s to the present.

Genealogists may find that these newspapers provide notices of otherwise undiscovered life events. Baptisms, marriages, and deaths are often reported. The information presented varies from informative obituaries to lists of names and local church affiliations, to beautiful eulogies that contain little family information beyond the name of the spouse and the number of children. Whether or not these papers carry information about the general membership, they almost always include obituaries or death notices for members of the clergy. Because these periodicals were often the official statewide organ of a denomination, the lists or notices were usually printed several weeks after the event.

These papers contain much information regarding church viewpoints and reactions to national and local events that will interest historians. Disagreements between various factions within churches have resulted in many provocative letters to the papers, followed by further commentary or rebuttals. These present insights into the feelings and reactions of members as well as church officials.

For a list of all digitized newspapers, visit the Missouri Digital Newspaper Project.

For a list of newspapers on microfilm at The State Historical Society of Missouri, visit the newspaper catalog.

County City Title Available On Date Range
Boone Centralia Centralia Christian Worker Microfilm 1894-1895
Boone Centralia Centralia Methodist Flash Microfilm 1894-1895
Boone   Missouri Methodist Microfilm 1969-1973
Buchanan St. Joseph The Catholic Tribune And Conception Star Microfilm 1896-1942
Cole Jefferson City Catholic Missourian Microfilm 1957-current
Cole Jefferson City Jefferson City Presbyterian Microfilm 2002-2003
Cole Jefferson City Jefferson City Presbyterianews Microfilm 1985-1999
Dade Everton General Baptist Microfilm 1903-1905
Franklin New Haven Christian News Microfilm 1968-current
Jackson Kansas City Catholic Key Microfilm 1970-current
Jackson Kansas City Catholic Register Microfilm 1903-1905
Jackson Kansas City Catholic Reporter Microfilm 1903-1905
Jackson Kansas City National Catholic Reporter Microfilm 1903-1905
  Kansas City Kansas City Deaconess   1908-1943
Jefferson   Missouri Methodist Microfilm 1961-1968
Lawrence Aurora Christian Herald Microfilm 1903-1903
Livingston Chillicothe Christian Pioneer Microfilm 1869-1870
Marion Hannibal The Baptist Bulletin Microfilm 1898
Pettis Sedalia Sedalia Weekly Conservator   1903-1908
Platte Parkville Parkville The Christian Worker Microfilm 1883
Randolph   Missouri Methodist Microfilm 1953-1954
Saline   Saline County Presbyterian Microfilm 1893
Shelby   Missouri Methodist Microfilm 1955-1957
St. Louis   Herald of Religious Liberty Microfilm 1846
St. Louis   Missouri United Methodist Microfilm 1973
St. Louis   Missouri United Methodist Reporter Microfilm 1975-1981
St. Louis   St. Louis United Methodist Reporter Microfilm 1978-1995
St. Louis Ballwin United Methodist Review Microfilm 1995-2004
St. Louis   East United Methodist Reporter Microfilm 1981-1983, 1986-1995
St. Louis   Catholic News Letter Microfilm 1845-1846
St. Louis   Church Progress and Catholic World Microfilm 1903-1911
St. Louis   Church Progress Microfilm 1911-1929
St. Louis   Central Christian Advocate Microfilm 1853, 1865-1866, 1873, 1876, 1886-1900
St. Louis   Christian Microfilm 1876
St. Louis   St. Louis Christian Advocate Microfilm 1850-1931
St. Louis   St. Louis Christian News Microfilm 1876
St. Louis   Missouri Presbyterian Microfilm 1866-1870
St. Louis   Old School Presbyterian Microfilm 1870-1872, 1874
St. Louis   Saint Louis Presbyterian Microfilm 1851, 1856-1858, 1874
St. Louis   Saint Louis Presbyterian and The Memphis Presbyterian Microfilm 1874-1878
St. Louis   St. Louis Presbyterian Microfilm 1884, 1887, 1890, 1893
St. Louis   American Baptist Microfilm 1893
St. Louis   Central Baptist Microfilm 1876, 1898-1912
St. Louis   Lutheran Witness Reporter Microfilm 1965-1975
St. Louis   St. Louis Lutheran Microfilm 1948-1960, 1975-2003
St. Louis   St. Louis Evangelist Microfilm 1875-1877, 1883-1887
St. Louis   St. Louis Evangelist and The Mid-Continent Microfilm 1887