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Church Women United in Houston Records

Identifier: 2001-001

The collection arrived at the archives in good order and in general the original order has been maintained. Although primarily concerned with Church Women United in Houston, the collection also contains material from the state and national levels. Information in the collection includes material on the history of the organization, business and financial records, materials from the three annual celebrations, and programs from area worship services. It also includes yearbooks, photographs, and scrapbooks. The collection is divided into eight series: History, Administrative, Activities, Yearbooks, Holly Hall, Community Resource and Development, Photographs, and Ephemera. All of the series are arranged in alphabetical order, except for History, Yearbooks and Ephemera, which are in chronological order.


  • 1911-2011
  • Majority of material found in 1989-2006


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


6.00 linear feet

Historical Information

Church Women United is a national ecumenical organization dedicated to bringing together religious women in order to celebrate and expand their faith, to promote peace and prayer, and to join together as a community to encourage spirituality and advocacy. Church Women United is divided into four levels: national, regional, state, and local. At the national level, the United Council of Church Women was formed in December 1941, when delegates from three inter-denominational women's groups approved a constitution and established an office in New York City. This Council represented women from seventy Protestant denominations. In 1950, the Council became one of twelve interdenominational agencies that comprised the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States. In 1966, the organization's name was changed to Church Women United in order to encourage the participation of non-Protestant women, such as Roman and Orthodox Catholics.

In 1911, a group of Houston women of different denominations formed the Houston City Federation of Missionary Society; by 1946 the organization was known as the Houston Council of Church Women. The name was changed to Church Women United of Houston in 1966, and to Church Women United in Houston in 1968. At the local level, groups are organized into committees that administer programs and projects; in Houston, the women hold meetings at the many Houston area churches that are members of CWU. Church Women United in Houston participates in worship services at area churches and works with other Houston organizations to promote awareness of a number of issues, including the elderly, women and children, and the environment. Members of the Houston group also participate in the three annual Church Women United celebrations: World Day of Prayer, May Fellowship Day, and World Community Day.


Church Women United, Information Handbook and Directory, September 1999 through August 2000, p. 11, located in Box 1, Folder 3.

Acquisition Information

Originally acquired from Mabel Cavanagh in 2000. Additional materials were acquired in 2011 as part of a donation by Mabel Cavanagh.

Related Materials

For further information on women and religious activity in Houston, please see Brigid's Place Records. (

Guide to the Church Women United in Houston Records
Under Revision
Joanie South-Shelley, June 2001; Timothy Wyatt, 2012
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA