The Data Services Department at GCFA uses a number of resources to complete research requests from scholars, journalists, general agency researchers, annual conference leaders, and local church pastors. We have access to a great amount of data from the following sources:

  • 10 years of Annual Conference journals
  • Local church statistics dating from 1974 to the present
  • Annual Conference Minutes of the Methodist Episcopal Church (1839-1927)
  • General Conference Minutes of the Episcopal Evangelical Church (1902-1942)
  • General Minutes of the Methodist Church (1931-1963)
  • General Minutes of the United Methodist Church (1964-2008)
  • "Daily Christian Advocate" (the daily publication during the quadrennial General Conferences from 1939-present)
  • The Book of Discipline (1890s-present)
  • Central Conference (International) history and statistics (1964-2012)

The staff of the Data Services’ research team compiles reports on ethnicity, church giving, membership trends and other topics as requested. Recently we have conducted research on the history of conference mergers as well as an in-depth profile of 40 Years of UMC Diversity.

The Data Services department also participates in several ecumenical surveys including Faith Communities Today (FACT) and the U.S. Congregational Life Survey.

If you would like to make a research request, please email and provide as much detail as possible, as well as a deadline. While we can complete most requests within a few business days, please allow up to two weeks to receive your data. (You will, however, receive a confirmation from a staff member immediately.) Please view our Data Policy if you have questions about what information is available.