The North Carolina Conference Historical Society was organized in December 1893 "to collect and preserve information in regard to the rise and progress of Methodism within the bounds of the North Carolina Conference." The Society met throughout eastern North Carolina, conducting its business during the regular sessions of the North Carolina Conference. The records, published materials, and papers collected by the Society were to be deposited at Trinity College, Durham, N. C. The Society was organized with a Board of Managers, officers and a body of members whose only requirement was payment of dues.
According to the minutes of the first meeting the Society was founded due mainly to the efforts of Rev. W. S. Rone, Presiding Elder of the Wilmington District. The first annual meeting was held December 3, 1894 in Trinity Church, Durham, N. C., and the format of the meetings remained basically unchanged throughout the Society's history. Following the invocation and regular business session, an address on some aspect of Methodist history would be presented by a member or visiting speaker. The meeting would end with the benediction.
The Society made itself responsible for publishing in an annual the addresses presented at the meetings and other pertinant historical material. In 1897 the Society selected Dr. W. H. Moore to prepare a Bibliography of N. C. Methodism and this responsibility changed every few years. It was ordered in 1899 that the Society should try to work in unison with the Historical Society of the Western North Carolina Conference. Such co-operation continued throughout the Society's history. The Society attempted to make individual churches aware of the need to preserve their own records and history. In 1930 the Society ordered that "proper markers [be] placed at churches and other points of interest in the history of Methodism."