Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award: Judi Fergus

Judi Fergus, the director of the Arthur Moore Methodist Museum, Library and Archives in St. Simons Island, Georgia, is the 2014 recipient of the Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., Memorial Award.

The award honors an archivist who has made a significant contribution to the field of religious archives. Fergus is responsible for preserving the history of the United Methodist Church and the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. In this position, Fergus has gathered local church histories of more than six hundred local churches. Fergus also helps welcome more than twenty thousand visitors to the museum each year, directs educational programs for groups of all ages, and is in charge of a reference library of more than five thousand volumes. In addition, she has developed exhibits depicting the role of women in the United Methodist Church, life in colonial Georgia, coins of the Bible, and other topics. To raise funds for the museum, Fergus has been instrumental in hosting a murder mystery dinner event for the past four years.

“All of these activities would seem enough in themselves to qualify [Fergus] for any award,” one supporter wrote. “However, perhaps most important is the attitude and manner in which she does them.” Fergus never loses site of the importance of what she calls the museum’s “Ministry of Memory,” the supporter noted.   

Created in 1974, the award is funded by the Society of Southwest Archivists and honors Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P., a Dominican nun who was the first professionally trained archivist at the Catholic Archives of Texas in Austin. Recent past recipients include the late Audrey Newcomer, former director of archives and records at the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and Mark Duffy of the Archives of the Episcopal Church.