Letters From Service Members to Trinity Methodist Church, 1942-1945
In response to the Reverend Jack Anderson’s instigating in the spring of 1942 for Trinity to send a monthly newsletter to the Church’s members in uniform, the project immediately took on a new dimension when so many of the recipients of the Monthly Service Bulletin returned to Trinity their own personal response. The broadcast of the newsletter quickly expanded to anyone who wrote to the Church asking for their name to be put on the mailing list. From the beginning of the project “Brother Jack” had encouraged dissemination of the Bulletin beyond the sphere of only Trinity members.
Some of the letters were in the handwriting of the individual, while others (probably those with desk jobs) were typewritten. Letters were on note paper, some were on colored stationery, and others were on letterhead stationery giving the name and the logo of their unit. Of interest on each letter was the constant mark of its having had a stamp of censorship. Several letters had lines of writing removed all together with the use of a razorblade or some other means of cutting statements from the body of the document.
Beyond the Church’s saving the intact letter, most of the communications had the accompanying envelope. These envelopes were particularly important because some of the letters had no date or no address of the service member. The envelope furnished this information. Some letters were from family members giving an update of their servicemembers’ address. A few letters have not been located but their envelopes have been scanned to identify the serviceman’s location with the date of the postal mark.
The contents of each letter were to thank the Church for having the individual on the mailing of the Monthly Service Bulletin, for sharing information of local happenings, and for forwarding the most-recent addresses of their Tallahassee friends who were also being mailed the “Bulletin”.
Several letters have been found to be of Trinity service members who were killed in action soon after their communication, and their names are on the In Memoriam board located in the Yates Center of the Church Archives. Conversely, we find names of individuals who returned to postwar Tallahassee to realign themselves with their previous jobs and direction in life.
These letters are presently in two large photo albums in the Church Archives’ Yates Center. Two letters have a date in the heading but are only signed by the first name. We ask for help in identifying these individuals.
The letters have recently been scanned and they are now being shared online with the congregation and the public.
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