By Jennifer Taylor
In the fall of 2009, Pepperdine University opened the Churches of Christ Heritage Center on its campus in Malibu, CA. Today the collection of books, photographs, congregational histories, speeches, and other documents fills a room in the school’s library.
“Many of these ‘artifacts’ are connected to Pepperdine, like the catalog from the school’s first year in 1937,” says Jerry Rushford, director. “But there are also unusual pieces like a device from the 1920s used to fill Communion cups. A church in Idaho donated it to us.”
In fact, the collection was created primarily with donations from the western United States and Canada and countries in the Pacific Rim. In addition to the items donated by Rushford, many of the resources were donated by Motoyuki Nomura, a Pepperdine alum living in Japan. (Rushford visited Nomura, sorted the materials, and shipped more than 800 pounds of them back to California.)
Rushford knows other notable collections exist and he connects regularly with the Disciples of Christ Historical Society (Nashville, TN) that features items from all three “streams” of the Restoration Movement.
He currently has more than 100 boxes of material to add to the collection, and the library always welcomes additional contributions, especially out-of-print books, unique photographs, and rare archival items. To donate or learn more, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.