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Joel Duncan McDavid papers, 1908-2002, undated

Emory University

Pitts Theology Library

1531 Dickey Drive, Suite 560

Atlanta, GA 30322


Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/gj1fg

Descriptive Summary

Creator: McDavid, Joel Duncan, 1916-2003.
Title: Joel Duncan McDavid papers, 1908-2002, undated
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 240
Extent: 19.00 cubic ft. (48 boxes)
Abstract:Contains correspondence and official papers related to the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church from 1980-1984, as well as the personal and professional papers of Bishop McDavid.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: material in Box 34 is restricted in accordance with Emory University Archives access policy which stipulates that records of the Board of Trustees are closed for a period of 25 years from the date of creation.

Stored off-site. Forty-eight hours advance notice required.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Series 1 was transferred to Pitts Theology Library from Woodruff Special Collections at Emory in 2002. Series 2 was donated to Pitts Theology Library in 2009.

Custodial History

Formerly MSS683, Special Collections, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University.


[after identification of item(s)], Joel Duncan McDavid Papers, Archives and Manuscript Dept., Pitts Theology Library, Emory University.


Processed by Special Collections Archivist, 1986; Clayton McGahee, 2015.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Born in Georgetown, Alabama in 1916, Joel Duncan McDavid was ordained deacon in the Alabama-West Florida Conference in 1944 and admitted to full connection in 1946. He served as pastor of the Dauphin Way Church in Mobile, Alabama, and from 1968 to 1972 was secretary of the Committee on Restructure of Boards and Agencies for the Alabama-West Florida Conference. He was elected Bishop of the United Methodist Church by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in 1972, and was appointed to the Florida area where he was active in church extension and establishment of Spanish-speaking churches to fill the needs of South Florida's Hispanic population. In 1980, McDavid moved to Atlanta where he served as bishop of the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church from 1980-1984; he also served on the Board of Trustees at Emory University and was the Churchman in Residence at the Candler School of Theology from 1984-1992. Following his time at Emory, in 1992 McDavid retired to Mobile, Alabama where he served as the Bishop in Residence at the Dauphin Way United Methodist Church.

Joel Duncan McDavid died on January 8, 2003.

Scope and Content Note

Series 1 consists of correspondence and official papers relating to the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church from 1980-1984. The correspondence found in subseries 1 is between the Bishop, District Superintendents, and Pastors within the districts of the conference. The folders are arranged alphabetically by district and the letters chronologically within the folders. Subseries 2 contains subject files from McDavid's office.

Comprising most of the collection, Series 2 contains correspondence, writings, visual materials, research notes, course materials, conference and subject files, memorabilia, and audiovisual materials spanning McDavid's life and career as a Methodist minister and educator. An extensive collection of McDavid's writings including eulogies and sermons is included, as well as research notes compiled by McDavid which he used to compose his sermons and lectures. A wide range of memorabilia is also present, including certificates, diplomas, various objects, and textiles including his hoods and stolls.

Arrangement Note

Organized by accession and then alphabetically by title. Series 2 files are in original order from when they were acquired.

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Description of Series