Austin History Center

Metro-Ministries of Austin Records

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Metro-Ministries of Austin
Title: Metro-Ministries of Austin Records
Inclusive Dates: 1969-1987
Abstract: The Metro-Ministries of Austin (M-MA) began in 1967 as the Austin Urban Council (AUC), a coalition of Presbyterian churches bearing witness to their faith with service programs to the poor, elderly, and handicapped. By 1980, M-MA had grown to forty congregations, including other Christian denominations. Minutes, correspondence, reports, printed materials, financial records, and legal documents document the activities of the organization from 1969 to 1987.
Identification: AR.1993.06
Quantity: 8.5 linear feet (9 boxes)
Location: Archives Stacks and Outer Vault
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Administrative History

The Metro-Ministries of Austin began in 1967 as the Austin Urban Council (AUC), a coalition of Presbyterian churches bearing witness to their faith with service programs to the poor, elderly, and handicapped. Services included transportation for medical needs, emergency food and funds, legal aid, welfare assistance, and children's programs. In 1974, the AUC Presbyterian churches recognized that many Methodist churches ran similar service programs and, after a year of deliberations, the churches joined efforts, changing the organization's name to United Urban Council of Austin Inc. (UUCA). Officially in 1982, the organization became known by a more church-connected name, the Metro-Ministries of Austin (M-MA). The coalition continues in 1993 as Austin Metropolitan Ministries.

In 1970 M-MA was an organization of eight churches and the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. By 1980, M-MA had grown to forty congregations, including other Christian denominations. M-MA performed its services through volunteer task forces that investigated the human needs in Austin and designed services to address these needs. The organization also funded outside agencies, running a well-funded grant program (59,000 in 1982) soliciting proposals and performing site evaluations.

M-MA changed organizational arrangement several times in its history, but always emphasized arrangements that encouraged volunteer involvement by lay and clerical individuals from the involved churches. These representatives from member churches formed a delegate assembly, from which the board of directors was elected and an executive committee was named. Volunteers comprised the issue task forces. Divisions, comprised of delegate assembly members, worked on organization cohesiveness through a focus on program development and evaluation.

Leadership in the AUC years, 1967-1974, was voluntarily offered by different lay and clerical people. In 1974, M-MA and the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary hired a much needed Metropolitan Missioner to serve as the M-MA administrator and seminary faculty member. That person was Carl Siegenthaler, who was a prominent figure in the organization from 1974 forward. Different administrative secretaries assisted Siegenthaler, maintaining an office and carrying out daily functions.

Scope and Contents

Minutes, correspondence, reports, printed materials, financial records, and legal documents created and maintained by Metro-Ministries of Austin (M-MA) in the Governance series document the governance of the organization and its activities in response to issues of social justice, political action, economic inequalities, and ethnic diversity, 1969-1987. Records of the organization bulk with financial records (1970-1987) and with minutes of the various governing bodies: the Delegate Assembly (1969-1987), the Executive Committee (1970-1981), and the Board of Directors (1974, 1982-1987). The minutes of the Executive Committee and Delegate Assembly and the records of the Joint Interim Committee (1974-1975) contain information regarding the merger of the Austin Urban Council (Presbyterian) and the United Methodist Church to form the United Urban Council of Austin.

The Operations series includes the records of the Divisions (1975-1983), Task Forces (1972-1987), and Agency Applications and Evaluation (1974-1987). Their careful organization suggests that community service was a primary interest. The variety of local interests addressed is wide, but the bulk of the material focuses on providing services to older adults (1974-1982) and children (1975-1986). Records documenting services to the Hispanic community during a time of unrest cover two politically significant years (1974-1975). Although a relatively small body of material, four files, the Ad Hoc Task Force on Church and the Homosexual (1976-1977), the Task Force on Conscientious Differences and Christian Community (1977), the minutes of the Executive Committee (1977), and a correspondence file in the Financial Records provide interesting documentation of M-MA's controversial relationship with Austin's gay community.


The collection is arranged into 2 series.
I. Governance, 1969-1987
General, 1970-1986
Governing Bodies, 1969-1987
Metropolitan Missioner, 1974-1978
Correspondence, 1972-1979
Financial Affairs, 1970-1986
Events, 1972-1986
Printed Materials, 1973, 1976-1977, 1985-1986, no date
Associations, 1973-1987
Assorted, 1969-1978, 1982-1986
II. Operations, 1972-1987
Divisions, 1974-1987
Task Forces, 1972-1987
Agency Applications and Evaluations, 1974-1987
Photographs, undated


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

Executive Committee minutes closed to 2050.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Siegenthaler, Carl
Austin Metropolitan Ministries.
Austin Urban Council (AUC).
Metro-Ministries of Austin (M-MA).
United Urban Council of Austin, Inc. (UUCA).
Austin (Tex).
Presbyterian Church--Texas--Austin.

Related Material

Austin Files: Churches-Austin Metropolitan Ministries C3400 (49)

Periodicals: Metro-Ministries Newsletter

Separated Material

Separated newspaper clippings and church brochures have been placed in the repository's Austin File.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Metro-Ministries of Austin (AR>1993.06). Austin History Center, Austin Pubic Library, TX.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1993/016

Donation Date: 1993

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Carol Zamonski, Margaret Schlankey, Tessa Periman, Colleen Nunn, and Ethel Hellman, encoded by Rusty Heckaman.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Governance, 1969-1987

General, 1970-1986
Arranged chronologically, the sub-series contains minutes, typewritten materials, and notes documenting the history, purpose, and organization of Metro-Ministries of Austin and legal documents pertaining to incorporation and dissolution of the various configurations of the group. The files Joint Interim Committee documents a fundamental development in the organization --the merger of the founding organization, Austin Urban Council, with the United Methodist Church.
Box Folder
1 1 General, 1970-1986
2 Joint Interim Committee, 1974-1975
Governing Bodies, 1969-1987
Minutes of the meetings of the Delegate Assembly, the Executive Committee, and the Board of Directors of the Metro-Ministries of Austin records the financial status of the organization, task force activities, programs, funding applications of outside agencies, and division actions. Agendas and handouts on meeting topics accompany much of the minutes. Of special interest are the minutes of both Executive Committee and Delegate Assembly meetings during 1974 when the Presbyterian churches merged withe the United Methodist Church to form the United Urban Council of Austin, Inc. (UUCA). Also of note are the Executive Committee Minutes form 1977 detailing the efforts of the UUCA to work with the Gay Community Services on projects related to Austin's gay community, which efforts met with opposition from several church members of the Urban Council.
Box Folder
1 3-23 Delegate Assembly-Minutes and Agendas, 1969-1987
24-25 Delegate Assembly-Attendance, 1974, 1979-1986
26 Delegate Assembly-Survey, undated
27 Delegate Assembly-Indications of Intent, undated
28 Delegate Assembly-Nominating Committee, undated
29 Delegate Assembly-Mailing Lists, undated
30 Delegate Assembly-Delegate Appointments, undated
Box Folder
2 1-15 Executive Committee-Minutes and Agendas, 1970-1981
16 Executive Committee-Assorted, 1979-1981
17 Executive Committee-Executive Sessions-Minutes (*Restricted Access to 2050, 1976-1977
18-24 Board of Directors-Minutes and Agendas, 1987
Metropolitan Missioner, 1974-1978
Materials related to the negotiations between the Metro-Ministries of Austin and the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary regarding hiring a Metropolitan Missioner comprise the bulk of this series. Also included is specific information on hiring Carl Siegenthaler for this position.
Box Folder
2 25 Metropolitan Missioner-Joint Covenant Committee, 1974-1978
26 Metropolitan Missioner-Carl Siegenthaler, 1974
Correspondence, 1972-1983
Routine inter- and intraorganizational correspondence concerning meetings, policies, affiliations and events comprise these materials.
Box Folder
2 27-30 Correspondence, 1972-1983
Financial Affairs, 1969-1987
Ledger sheets, audit reports, financial records, correspondence and various other financial papers document the daily workings of M-MA. Arranged chronologically, the ledger sheets represent a third of this series and cover most of the years (1969-1971, 1975-1982, 1984-1987) of M-MA's existence. The audit reports completely cover the years 1975-1987, however, the audit of 1976 is in a closed file due to financial irregularities. Monthly financial statements are a fourth of the records and are fairly complete, covering the years 1969-1983 and 1985-1987. Organizational budgets and church pledges (1970-1984) are two files that also range most of the years of M-MA's existence. The correspondence file holds controversial exchanges in 1977-1978 surrounding the funding of a gay community phone service. Other assorted documents hold tax exemption items, personnel records, and bank signature cards. Files are arranged as received with a few exceptions. The Articles of Incorporation were moved from the Official Documents folder to the General folder since the show in name changes the organization's developments over the years. A final report of the 1981 Self Study was moved to a Research and Planning Division folder as it is a product of that division's work.
Box Folder
3 1 Admin. Secty. and HCDTF worker, 1975-1983
2 Official Documents, 1975-1986
3 Tax Exemption, 1974-1987
4 Financial Affairs of Carl Siegenthaler, 1974-1980
5 Request of Funds from Presbytery Del Salvador , 1981
6 Correspondence Regarding GAy Community Services, 1977-1978
7 Assorted Financial Items, 1976-1986
8 Budget and Pledges, 1970-1981
9 Budgets, Pledges, and Financial Statements, 1982-1984
10 Financial Statements, 1969-1974
11 Financial Statements, 1975-1979
12 Financial Statements, 1980-1981
13 Minutes and Financial Statements for Auditor, 1985
14 Financial Statements, 1986-1987
15 Audits, Letters, Minutes Regarding the Treasurer (Closed to 2050), 1977
16 Audit Reports, 1975, 1977, 1978
17 Audit Reports, 1979-1984
17 Audit Reports, 1979-1984
18 Audit Reports, 1985-1987
19 Austin Urban Council Ledger Sheets, 1969-1971
20 M-MA Ledger Sheets, 1975-1976
21 M-MA Ledger Sheets, 1977-1978
22 M-MA Ledger Sheets, 1979-1980
23 M-MA Ledger Sheets, 1980-1981
24 M-MA Ledger Sheets, 1982
25 M-MA Ledger Sheets, 1984
26 M-MA Ledger Sheets, 1985
27 M-MA Ledger Sheets, 1986
28 M-MA Ledger Sheets, 1987
Events, 1972-1986
Printed material, correspondence, worship services, and notes document material collected on events that the M-MA took part in planning or attending. Bulk of material contains information on retreats sponsored by the M-MA (1972-1977, 1983-1986). An assorted file contains worship services relevant to the history of M-MA.
Box Folder
4 1 Board/Delegate Retreat, 1983-1986
2 UUCA Retreat, 1972-1977
3 Covenant Players, 1974-1976
4 Events, Assorted, 1974
5 Tenth Anniversary Celebration, 1985
Printed Material, 1973, 1976-1977, 1985-1986, undated
Flyers, brochures, and newsletter layouts created by Metro-Ministries of Austin make up this sub-series. A brochure for the Austin Urban Council (undated) is of special interest.
Box Folder
4 6-8 Printed Material, 1973, 1976-1977, 1985-1986, undated
Associations, 1973-1987
Printed material, agendas, and correspondence illustrate the M-MA interest in other organizations. The records of Presbytery Del Salvador and Mission Union Presbytery document M-MA requests for funding from other organizations.
Box Folder
4 9 Local Churches (University Christian, St. Michael's Episcopal, Wilshire Presbyterian), 1973-1984
10 Mission Union Presbytery, 1979-1982
11 Presbytery Del Salvador, 1977-1978
12 Summer Camping Program Mission Presbytery, 1981-1985
13 Texas Alliance for Human Need, 1987
14 Texas IMPACT, 1978-1986
Assorted, 1969-1978, 1982-1986
Correspondence, task force and agency reports, study materials distributed at meetings or received from outside agencies, comprise this sub-series. Of special interest is a report concerning economic migrants.
Box Folder
4 15 Assorted Program Materials, 1984-1986
16 David Bierschwale-Economic Migrants, 1982
17 Pat Parham-UUCA Intern, 1976
18 Austin Urban Council, 1969-1975
19 Austin Urban Council, 1970-1978
20 Austin Urban Council, 1973-1976
21 United Urban Council of Austin, 1975-1978

II. Operations, 1970-1987

Divisions, 1974-1987
Minutes, reports, correspondence, agency evaluations, organizational proposals and requests for funds form the bulk of the materials in these series. Materials generated by the divisions illustrate programmatic and structural long range planning. The Program and Evaluation Division and the Social Issues Division are especially well documented. A 1981 Self Study performed by the Research and Planning Division indicates the structural concerns of M-MA and resultant organizational changes. Newsletters produced by M-MA and various local and statewide organizations were removed and placed in the Austin file in the repository.
Box Folder
5 1 Current Programs Division, 1975-1981
2 Economic Resources Division, 1976-1981
3 Human Resources Division, 1976-1981
4 Human Resources Division-UUC Retreat, 1974-1975
5-6 Management Division, 1982-1986
7-10 Membership Involvement Division, 1983-1986
11-13 Program and Evaluation Division, 1983-1987
14-16 Research and Planning Division, 1974-1981
17-20 Social Issues Division, 1976-1986
Task Forces, 1974-1987
Correspondence and printed materials, arranged as received, with task force titles in alphabetical order and printed materials in chronological order, document the concerns and activities of each task force. The records bulk in three subseries: The Older Persons Task Force (1974-1982), concerned with nursing home ministry, community-based alternatives, and community education and action; Hispanic Community Development (1974-1975), formed in response to a much-publicized confrontation between Mexican-Americans and the Austin police; and Children (1975-1986), primarily focused on child-care issues, abuse, and neglect. Although small by comparison, the documentation of the Ad HOc TAsk Force on Church and the Homosexual (1976-1977) and the related Task Force on Conscientious Differences and Christian Community (1977) is of special interest as these task forces were created to examine controversial issue within the organization. Newsletters, brochures from local churches, and clippings from local newspapers, unless referring specifically to a task force, were separated and placed in eh Austin in the repository.
Box Folder
6 1 Ad Hoc on Church and the Homosexual, 1976-1977
2 Aging, 1976
3 Black Community Development, 1976-1979
4-8 Children, 1975-1986
9 Church Askings, 1975
10 Conscientious Differences and Christian Community, 1977
11 Death Penalty, 1987
12 Elections, 1984-1985
13 Emergency Assistance, 1976-1980
14 Emergency Food and Shelter, 1984
15 Health Care, 1975-1977
16-20 Hispanic Community Development, 1974-1975
21-22 Housing, 1982-1986
23 Hunger-Food Policy (1 of 2), 1982-1987
Box Folder
7 1 Hunger-Food Policy (2 of 2), 1982-1987
2 Hunger-Senate Interim Commission, 1984
3-4 Indigent Health Care, 1984-1985
5 Legislative Process, 1982-1983
6-12 OPTF [Older Persons Task Force], 1974-1981
13 OPTF Alternate Care, 1981-1982
14 OPTF, "Growing Pains", 1978
15 OPTF, Hospice, 1978-1980
16 OPTF, New Eyes, 1977-1979
17-18 OPTF, Nursing Home Ministry, 1977-1982
19 OPTF, Representative Payee(s), 1977-1978
20-22 OPTF, Telephone Reassurance, 1977-1980
23 Shalom (Apartment Ministry), 1976
24-25 Voter Participation, 1980-1985
26 Young Adult, 1976-1977
27 Surveys, 1976, 1983
Agency Applications and Evaluations, 1970-1987
Correspondence, printed material and notes were collected by the M-MA to document the activities, purposes and performances of agencies that applied for funding. The records illustrate the funding process through application and evaluation and correspondence is primarily letters of conveyance. The agencies funded reflect the M-MA's interests in serving children, senior citizens, and the poor. Records were organized in three subseries: general, agencies, and applications and evaluations. agencies are arranged in alphabetical order, while applications and evaluations are arranged in chronological order. The bulk of material documents agencies that applied for funding from 1983-1987; the records for previous years are incomplete and scattered.
Box Folder
8 1 Procedures for Applicants and Outline for Requests, 1975-1978
2 Austin Community Gardens, 1984
3-4 Capital Area Food Bank, 1981-1986
5 CEACO, 1979-1987
6 Community Bound, 1983-1986
7 DOMI, 1985-1986
8 El Buen Pastor Child Development Center, 1974-1985
9-11 Extend-a-Care, 1974-1986
12 Faith Food Pantries, 1983-1986
13 Family Eldercare, Inc. , 1985
14 Family Emergency Fund Caritas, 1980-1986
15 Friendship Community Center, 1978-1987
16-17 Meals on Wheels, 1977-1986
18 Parents Warmline, 1983-1985
19 Pebble Project, 1983-1986
20 South Austin Neighborhood Youth Bureau, 1982-1987
21 Special Friends-Mental Health Association, 1985-1986
22-23 Telephone Reassurance, 1983-1985
24 Volunteer Transportation, 1983-1985
Box Folder
9 1 West Austin Caregivers, 1985-1986
2 UUC Hispanic Concerns, 1970-1979
3 AUC-New Programs Committee, 1971-1972
4 AUC-New Projects, 1974
5 Agencies, Assorted, 1974-1978
7 UUCA-Agency Requests, Evaluations, 1975-1977
8 Other Agencies, 1975-1978
9 Evaluations, Assorted, 1976-1981
10 UUCA-Agency Evaluation, 1977
11 UUCA-Agency Evaluation, 1977-1979
12 East Austin Community Development, 1978-1979
13 UUCA-Agency Reports, 1978-1980
Photographs, undated
Location ArchivesCollection
Outer Vault Shelf Photographs, undated