Boston, Massachusetts (Brighton). Faneuil Congregational Church, Records, 1903- 1976

Processed: April 1990. By Sandra A. Sudak. 2 records storage boxes.

 

 

Introduction

Miscellaneous memorabilia of the Faneuil Congregational Church were received by the Congregational Christian Historical Society per instruction of Rev. Harry W. Mason Jr. The clerk's records were received in early 1976 upon the dissolution of the church from Roy B. Stewart.

Eight cubic feet of material was reduced to 2 cubic feet, through elimination of duplicates and disposal of a large amount of financial items (bank deposit slips, statements, and paid bill receipts.)

Access is open to researchers, and permission for use should be sought from the librarian.

 

Scope and Content Note

The records of the Faneuil Congregational Church cover the period of the organized church from 1903-1975/76. Records of constitution, by-laws, minutes and annual meetings are missing for the period 1950-1970. There are no records in the collection from the period of the earlier Faneuil Sunday School, founded 1877, nor from the Faneuil Chapel of 1900. Church vital statistics of baptisms and membership are present for the period 1903-1975/76. The Women's Association is well represented in its records, with miscellaneous items from the Pilgrim League, Men's Club, and Missionary Auxiliary. Memorabilia include anniversary and dedication programs, photographs, a 50th anniversary film, and history of Faneuil.

 

History

The earliest inhabitants of the Oak Square and Faneuil section of Brighton were the Nonantum Indians. It was under the Old Oak, on the trail to the river, where John Elliott preached to the Indians. Faneuil probably derives its name from the French Huguenot family that settled in the Boston area and built the Faneuil Hall Market.

Faneuil was a part of Brighton, which was itself a section of Cambridge. Divided from the main part of Cambridge by the Charles River, the people of Brighton established the First Parish in Brighton in 1730, and after the Revolutionary War petitioned the legislature for a parish independent from Cambridge, which was granted. Political and theological dissent resulted in the formation of the Brighton Congregational Church in 1827.

The nearest church of those in Faneuil was the Brighton Congregational Church. In 1877 The Faneuil Sunday School was organized for the religious instruction of the children of the Faneuil area. After meeting in a home and then in store fronts, it was decided to build a chapel in 1900. With this came informal church services and the organizational of a Women's Association. In 1903 the Church was organized on Congregational principles and regular Sunday Services began on Feb. 1, 1903. Ground was broken for a new building in 1913, and continued as the meeting place until declining membership led to dissolution in 1976.

 

Ministers of Faneuil Congregational Church

Andrew H. Mulnix May 1, 1903 - Dec. 1, 1935
Floyd Buckland (acting pastor) Dec. 1, 1935 - Jan. 1941 (emeritus)
Aaron Meckel May 1, 1936 - Feb. 1, 1941
Earl Douglas May 1, 1941 - Dec. 1, 1942
Charles L. Atkins Oct. 1, 1943 - June 1, 1945
Charles H. Davis June 1, 1945 - Sept. 1, 1948
George R. Tolson Sept. 1948 - Sept. 1959
Henry W. Kimball (interim) Feb. 1941 - June 1941, Jan. 1943 - July 1943, Oct. 1948 - July 1949
Malcolm Davie Sept. 1955 - April 1958
Ernest H. Woodworth Jr. Sept. 1958 - Feb. 1962
Merle G. Steva April 1962 - 1963
J.B. De Laurentis 1965 - 1969
Harry W. Mason Jr. 1969-1975

 

Description

Series I: Church records; series II: Church vital statistics; series III: auxiliary organizations; series IV: correspondence; series V: financial records; series VI: historical items.

 

Box and Folder List

Box 1

Series I: Church records; 1903-1949, 1971-1975.

    Arranged chronologically. Contains church records, including constitution, by-laws, minutes and annual reports from founding in 1903 to dissolution and sale of assets in 1975. The records are missing from 1950-1970.
  Records of the Faneuil Congregational Church of Boston, Mass. Book no. 1. Minutes, organization, constitution, by-laws. Jan. 10, 1903 to Jan. 1, 1914.
(Bound Volume)
  Record of meetings. Faneuil Cong. Church. Minutes. Jan. 12, 1914 to Feb. 2, 1931.
  Faneuil Congregational Church. Book 3. Minutes. March 2, 1931 to May 1, 1935.
  Records. Faneuil Congregational Church. Book no. 4 May 8, 1935 to April 26, 1949
  Annual reports 1971-1974; separate folders
  Correspondence and reports. Dissolution of church. 1975
  Property settlement. Dissolution of church. 1975
  Laws of government n.d., 1907, revised and amended May 15, 1956, Jan. 10, 1961, Jan. 11, 1967
     

Series II. Church vital statistics.

    1903-1976. Arranged by subject, then chronologically. Church register and file cards cover the span of 1903-1976 for membership and baptismal lists. Marriages and officers lists are incomplete.
  Church register. Pastors, deacons, delegates, officers, baptisms, members received, members removed, marriages; 1903-1914 (Bound Volume)
  Church register. Pastors, baptisms, members received. 1914-1937. (Bound Volume)
  Membership lists (folder). Charter members; membership Jan. 7, 1935; signatures to by-laws Jan. 8, 1935; membership April 4, 1936; New members Easter 1939; 1935; 1936; 1939
  Membership (?) file and former members file. 3x5 cards. (1 foot); no date
  Membership file; duplicate. 3x5 cards. (2 inches, envelope); As of Feb. 1, 1976 at time of dissolution.
  Baptismal records, duplicate; 3x5 cards; (3 inches, envelope); 1937-1976
  letters of dismission; 1957, 1969-1976;
  mailing lists 1975
     
Box 2

Series III: Auxiliary organizations, 1910-1976.

    Arranged by subject, then chronologically. Records are representative of the two women’s
groups, the Pilgrim League and the Women’s Association, plus records of the Men’s Club,
and the Treasurer’s Book only of the Missionary Auxiliary.
  Pilgrim League of the Faneuil Congregational Church. Minutes, constitution, by-laws 1924-1925
  Missionary Auxiliary Treasurer’s Book 1914-1931
  Faneuil Men’s Club. (envelope) Minutes 1938-1956. Constitution and by-laws. N.d., 1949. Membership list. Charter list n.d., 1928, 1939, 1951-52  
  Women's Association  
    Record Book, minutes, constitiution, by-laws no date
    Minutes; separate bound volumes 1922-1938; 1938-1950; 1950-1962; 1963-1975
    Annual Reports; includes some Pilgrim League reports for some years 1903-1953
    History of the Women's Association (with annual reports) 1901-1913
    Treasurer's Account Book (2 volumes) 1908-1913; 1914-1940
       

Series IV: Correspondence. 1935-1968 with gaps.

    Arranged by subject. Correspondence is minimal and related to ministers calling and
resignation, compensation from the city of Boston for property damange and concerning
the sale of the parish house and mortage payments.
  Ministers 1935; 1941; 1943; 1949; 1969
  City of Boston - property damage 1968
  Sale of Parish house and mortgage. Edward P. Long 1963-1968
     

Series V: Financial Records. 1948-1976

    Arranged Chronologically. The ledger books give dates, but have no identifying titel page
as to source, but appear to be those of the chruch (as opposed to auxiliary groups). The
legacies pertain to moneys left to the church in the wills of named persons
  Ledger Books, receipts and disbursements (3) 1948-1964; 1965-1975; 1934-1969
  Treasurer's report 1950-1951; 1953-1976
  Legacies  
    Emelia B. Bolles 1948
    Naomi G. Tingley 1963
    Sarah Cushing Parker 1964
    Anna E. Sowles 1967
    Helen M. Calef 1973
       

Series VI: Historical Items 1902-1960

    Arranged by Subject. Included are programs of special services: dedications,
groundbreaking, anniversaries. 50th anniversary items contain the history of the chruch
and a reel of film. Newspaper clippings relate information concerning some ministers and
church events. A sampliing of sermons in 1937 are from Rev. Aaron Meckel. Photographs
(some identified) are primarily of the 1913 groundbreaking and building the new house
of worship, plus some individuals.
  Service programs  
    Faneuil Sunday School 25th anniversary 1902
    Chapel improvement 1902
    Laying Cornerstone 1913
    Dedication new house of worship 1914
    Organ dedication 1925
    25th anniversary 1928
    Dedication of chancel window 1938
  50th Anniversary: correspondence, list of members, events, reports, historical sketch, service program 1953
  Service programs for special services 1911-1960
  Clippings conceringni church and ministers no date; 1913-1951
  Aaron N. Meckel. Sermons 1937
  Photographs: chapel, groundbreaking and construction, men's club, groups and individuals no date; 1913
  50th anniversary film; 8 mm; 350 feet  
  Gavel - wood taken from first pulpit, preserved by Granville A. Fuller 1909

 

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