Massachusetts Conference. Old Colony Ministerial Association. Records, 1827-1997

Collection Information
Title:

Old Colony Association (Mass. Conference) records

Creator(s):

General Association of the Congregational Churches of Massachusetts, Old Colony Conference
Massachusetts Congregational Conference, Old Colony Association
Massachusetts Congregational Conference and Missionary Society, Old Colony Association
Massachusetts Congregational Christian Conference, Old Colony Association
United Church of Christ, Massachusetts Conference, Old Colony Association

Dates:

1827-1997

Extent:

2 linear feet, 2 boxes

Collection ID #:

RG 0117

Conditions Governing Access:

None

Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Old Colony Association (Mass. Conference) records, RG 0117. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.

Language:

English

Processing information:

Processed by archive staff, June 1997

Revision History:

Updated by Virginia Hunt, January 1999

Acquisition Information:

Majority of records received in deposit 11244 in 1981.

Historical Note

The Old Colony Ministerial Association was organized in 1827 "embracing the orthodox Congregational clergymen of New Bedford, Mass. and vicinity" (series II-A, folder 1). The original association covered the towns of Plymouth, Plympton, Middleboro, Carver, Berkley, Freetown, Dartmouth, New Bedford, New Haven, Rochester, Wareham and Martha's Vineyard; the organization consisted of ordained Congregational clergymen from these towns. Bylaws were repealed in 1849 and in 1920 the Old Colony Ministerial Association or Old Colony Association of Congregational Ministers dissolved. The organization transferred its funds to the Old Colony Association of Churches and Ministers; remaining members transferred their membership to this organization. In 1914 the Old Colony Ministers' Union was organized; by 1949 the organization began referring to itself as the Ministers' Union of Old Colony United Association of Congregational Christian Churches and Ministers in its minutes.

The Old Colony Conference of Churches was organized in 1856; the conference was to consist of the church pastor and two delegates for each of the churches connected with it and was to "promote Christian fellowship and activity" (series II-B, folder 1). Initially Congregational churches in Middleboro, Middleton, Lakeville, Marion, Mattapoisett, South Dartmouth, New Bedford and Fairhaven were active in the conference. Ca. 1890s the organization began referring to itself as the Old Colony Conference of Congregational Churches in its minutes.

Old Colony United Association of Congregational and Christian Churches was founded in 1930 from the previous Old Colony Conference of Congregational Churches; in 1970 this organization was renamed the Old Colony United Association of Congregational and Christian Churches and Ministers of the United Church of Christ. Old Colony Association, Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ extant in 1997; in 1997 the association included churches in Assonet, Attleboro, Attleboro Falls, South Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Fall River, Lakeville, Mansfield, Marion, Mattapoisett, Middleboro, New Bedford, Norton, Raynham, Rehoboth, Somerset, Swansea, Taunton and Wareham, Mass.

 

Scope and Content Note

The records were processed as one record group, since the organizations mentioned in the finding aid had a close relationship from the beginning of their history. An attempt was made to divide the series by organization, although the researcher should note that the aforementioned organizations were closely affiliated.

20th century annual reports contain reports from the moderator, Committee on Church and Ministry, Committee on Christian Education, Missions Committee, Women's Fellowship of Old Colony District, treasurer and Nominating Committee and a directory of churches and ministers; some years also contain reports from the Southeast Area Council, Committee on Church and Community, and Committee on Church and Mission. Early records of the scribe are likely to contain financial records, constitutions, bylaws, membership records and committee records; in the late 20th century, these records can be found in the annual reports.

Council records (including ordination, installation, recognition and dismissal councils) were maintained by the registrar and were originally housed in acidic binders, subdivided by divider tags. The original binder labels were preserved, as were the original dividers. These records contain information about ministers transferring in and out of the association.

 

Description

Series I. Old Colony Ministerial Association Records, 1827-1920
Series II. Old Colony Ministers' Union Financial Records, 1915-1936
Series III. Old Colony Association / Old Colony Conference Records, 1856-1996
  Subseries A. Annual and Semi-Annual Reports, 1930-1996
  Subseries B. Clerk / Registrar / Scribe
  Subseries C. Treasurer
  Subseries D. Committees and Departments
    1. Massachusetts Congregational Laymen's Organization
    2. Committee on Ministerial Standing
    3. Church and Education Committee Interchange Newsletter
  Subseries E. Old Colony Mission Sabbath School Secretary's Records, 1866-1867
  Subseries F. Photographs and etchings
  Subseries G. Miscellaneous

 

Container List

Box 1

Series I. Old Colony Ministerial Association Records, 1827-1920

Folder 1. Articles of faith, constitution, membership and meeting minutes;
index in back of volume.
1827-1902
Folder 2. Minutes, 1902-1920
      and membership 1878-1909
         

Series II. Old Colony Ministers' Union Records, 1914-1949

Folder 1. Minutes, 1914-1949
      and membership records  
Folder 2. Account book 1915-1936
       

Series III. Old Colony Association / Old Colony Conference Records , 1856-1997

  Subseries A. Annual and Semi - Annual Reports
Folder 1. Executive board reports 1930-1969
Folder 2. Semi-annual and annual reports and constitution of Old Colony United Association of Congregational and Christian Churches and Ministers 1957-1964
Folder 3. Semi-annual and annual reports and constitution of Old Colony United Association of Congregational and Christian Churches and Ministers 1964-1969
Folder 4. Annual reports 1961-1966
(gaps; missing 1962)
Folder 5. Annual reports 1967-1971
Folder 6. Annual reports 1972-1975
Folder 7. Annual reports 1976-1980
Folder 8. Annual reports 1981-1986
Folder 9. Annual reports 1987-1993
Folder 10. Annual reports 1995-1997
  Subseries B. Clerk / Registrar / Scribe
Folder 1. Minutes 1856-1879
Folder 2. Minutes 1880-1901
Folder 3. Minutes 1901-1915
Folder 4. Minutes 1915-1930
Folder 5. Minutes; includes bylaws 1930-1955
         
Box 2
Folder 6. Councils 1940-1949
Folder 7. Ordination councils 1951-1957
Folder 8. Ordination councils 1959-1962
Folder 9. Ordination councils 1964-1973
Folder 10. Installation councils 1956-1954
Folder 11. Recognition councils 1951-1963
Folder 12. Dismissal councils 1953-1964
Folder 13. Dismissal councils 1958-1973
Folder 14. Correspondence with Claude A. Butterfield, transferring ministerial standing to Woburn Association 1924-1926
  Subseries C. Treasurer
Folder 1. Account book ca. 1930 - 1950
  Subseries D. Committees and Departments
    1. Massachusetts Congregational Laymen's Organization
Folder 1. Formation of Layman's Department / Massachusetts Congregational Laymen's Organization 1946
    2. Committee on Ministerial Standing
Folder 1. Minutes 1943-1953
Folder 2. Minutes 1954-1964
    3. Church and Education Committee Interchange Newsletter
Folder 1.
Interchange newsletter 1972-1974
  Subseries E. Old Colony Mission Sabbath School Secretary's Records, 1866-1867
Folder 1. Secretary's record book 1866-1867
  Subseries F. Photographs and etchings
Folder 1. Bushnell, Samuel. Pastor at Acushnet from Dec. 1878 for 11 years;
Nott, Rev. Samuel, 1829-1845
 
  Subseries G. Miscellaneous
Folder 1. Stearns, George Warren / Two Hundredth Anniversary of the First Congregational Church in Middleboro, Massachusetts. Middleboro, Mass. : First Congregational Church 1895
Folder 2. Programs 1905, 1912-1948,
1950, 1959-1960
Folder 3. Necrology. Cook, Charles H.  
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