An often overlooked, but excellent resource for studying the history of the Church is the previously defunct magazine, Christian History & Biography.
It ended with issue #99 a couple years ago, to the dismay of many, including yours truly, but in honor of the 400th year of the KJV, it is making a comeback! Even better... for free. You can sign-up for a free copy of issue #100, on the making and spread of the King James version here.
CH&B has been established as an accurate and accessible primer on major people and movements in the growth of Christianity. You can search their on-line archives (be sure not to pass-by issue #77, Edwards!)
Christianity did not begin when we came to the Savior, so let's not act like it by overlooking the doctrines, traditions, people, movements, and, yes, the errors, that have preceded us. CH&B is an interesting way to do that. With pictures and brief summaries, its really a great tool.