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SUGGESTED RECORD RETENTION GUIDE FOR NORTHWEST BAPTIST CONVENTION CHURCHES
Legal and Property Related Documents
These are permanent records and should be deposited in the church’s safe or in a bank safe-deposit box.
Minutes and Reports
These minutes and reports are permanent records with historical value. The minutes of the church business meetings also may contain the record of actions that have legal importance.
After termination, only biographical history and duration of employment should be retained. If information relates to a worker’s compensation or other claim by the employee, this should be retained. Similarly, if information relates to a possible claim or lawsuit by others involving the employee’s conduct or duties, that also should be retained.
The pastor’s correspondence on behalf of the church should be kept for the tenure of the pastor; the files then should be appraised for permanent value. Only letters with historical or legal significance need to be kept with the church archives. The pastor’s personal correspondence and notes should be maintained separately and removed from the office by the pastor at the end of the pastor’s tenure.
Manuscripts and notes of sermons are the property of the pastor, not the congregations.
Historical Materials: Printed Materials, Photographs, Videotapes, Audio Tapes
Materials produced the church to assist its programs and promote its activity document the life of the congregation.
Copies of all of the above should be placed in the congregation’s archives as a permanent record of its history. Photographs, and negatives, properly identified (date, event, names of persons) should be stored in a manner that respects their fragility. These types of items should be culled annually with items of little historical value being discarded.