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1.0 Introduction

The records of the developments and decisions of your church, whether in traditional paper form or electronic, are important sources of information about its life. These records can include minutes of meetings, membership rolls, newsletters, annual reports, programs, etc, as well as photographs and recordings. These records are important now and in the future – for example, they will be needed by church officers who are responsible for planning and decision making in your church and denomination. Researchers from historical societies, students and the community will also find them useful in analyzing the story of your church and district. These records may also be needed by the church for legal reasons and could help to protect the church and its members in cases of litigation. So it is vital that these records be properly made in the first place, then carefully stored and well managed.

You create and maintain the records of your congregation in order to have the information you need when you need it; in the format from which you can most easily retrieve it; and in such a way that partners working in your congregation, today and in the future, can readily find the information. As you set about preserving information for future reference, plan for the entire life cycle of the records you are creating. If you do this, you should never need to spend time going through old material to determine the potential administrative or historical value.

1.1 Theoretical Background

Today, most of the records of congregations begin as digital files. Your financial records and parish register may be kept in a database. Minutes, reports, newsletters, sermons, and other documents are created using word processing software. Correspondence is usually by e-mail. Much of the information you use and distribute to parishioners is created in formats to be read by a Web browser. Even the photographs of your congregation’s activities are now in digital formats. These guidelines will address the ways in which you can assure future generations that these records will still be available for their use long after hardware, software, and file formats have changed. Consistency is important in the care of records. Any records retention policy has validity, once accepted as the policy of the organization, only as it is uniformly practiced. It should be neither selectively implemented nor disregarded at the whim of the custodians of the records. Never purge records in the face of potential litigation. Information that is retained in hard copy or in electronic files is the property of the congregation. Such information is not the property of the pastor or of officers of the congregation to be removed, retained personally, or destroyed at will. All staff members are custodians of the records they maintain. Most of the records retained by a congregation for its daily operation, legal protection, financial security, and responsibility to history fit into one of the following categories. For the well-being of the congregation, each type of record has a specific life cycle and needs appropriate care.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Many churches manually maintain their records. Membership records when manually maintained makes it difficult to retrieve necessary information instantly pertaining to members of the church. In addition, the identity of the members of the church and their status in the church cannot be easily ascertained.

To avoid these problems there is need for the development of an automated membership record management system.

1.3 Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to develop an automated membership record management system with the following objectives:

To develop a system to aid easy capturing of membership record details. To develop a system to aid finding members information easily To design a system of managing church meetings records easily. 1.4 Significance of the Study

The significance of the study is that it will provide the Apostolic church with an automated system for managing membership record. It will aid easy management of information concerning church members and aid accountability of membership. The identity of members of the church can be easily confirmed. The study will also serve as a useful reference material to other researchers seeking related information on the subject.

1.5 Scope of the Study

This study covers automated membership record management system using Apostolic church, Ikot Ekpene district as a case study.

1.6 Organization of Research

This research work is organized into five chapters. Chapter one is concerned with the introduction of the research study and it presents the preliminaries, theoretical background, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, scope of the study, organization of the research and definition of terms.

Chapter two focuses on the literature review, the contributions of other scholars on the subject matter is discussed.

Chapter three is concerned with the system analysis and design. It presents the research methodology used in the development of the system, it analyzes the present system to identify the problems and provides information on the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed system. The system design is also presented in this chapter.

Chapter four presents the system implementation and documentation, the choice of programming language, analysis of modules, choice of programming language and system requirements for implementation.

Chapter five focuses on the summary, constraints of the study, conclusion and recommendations are provided in this chapter based on the study carried out.

1.7 Definition of Terms

Database: A systematically arranged collection of computer data, structured so that it can be automatically retrieved or manipulated

Member: Somebody who belongs to and participates in a particular group by birth or choice

Management: The organizing and controlling of the affairs of a business or a sector of a business

System: Is a set of things working together as part of a mechanism.

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