Haverhill, Massachusetts. First Congregational Church records, 1719-2012.

Collection Information
Title:

Haverhill, Massachusetts. First Congregational Church records, 1719-2012.

Creator(s):

First Congregational Church (Haverhill, Mass.)
Centre Congregational Church (Haverhill, Mass.)
North Congregational Church (Haverhill, Mass.)
North Parish Congregational Church (Haverhill, Mass.)

First Parish Church of Haverhill (Haverhill, Mass.)

Dates:

1719-2012

Extent:

5 record boxes and 23 document containers (13.98 linear feet)

Collection ID #:

RG 5027

Conditions Governing Access:

The digital surrogate is the preferred user's copy for Subgroup I: First Parish Church of Haverhill. Please consult with the archivist or librarian to access original copy. No access restrictions on the rest of the collection.

Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the First Congregational Church (Haverhill, Mass.) records, RG 5027. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.

Language:

English

Processing information:

Collection initially processed by Cristina Prochilo using DACS in May 2012.

Revision History:

Additional materials received and processed in February 2013.

Abstract:

This collection consists of the records of First Congregational Church, organized in 1939. Also included are the pre-existing congregational churches that are historically related to First Congregational Church, including the founding church, First Parish Church of Haverhill, or merged together with it in the 20th century. The records document the functions and history of the church, including church governance, finances, church organizations, leadership, and membership. Additionally, the collection includes 18th century Relations and records from First Parish Church.

Acquisition Information:

Donated by First Congregational Church of Haverhill, MA in May 2012.

Accruals:

Additional records were transferred from the Haverhill Public Library in 2012.

Organizational History

First Congregational Church was organized in 1939, though its history dates back to the First Parish Church of Haverhill first gathered on October 24, 1645. Rev. John Ward was the first minister of the First Parish. In 1832, the First Parish congregation split over issues of doctrine and piety. First Parish became a Unitarian Church and those that left formed Centre Congregational Church in 1833. North Congregational Church split from Centre Congregational Church in 1859 and built a new church building that would come to be the First Congregational Church in the future. In the early 20th century Rev. James S. Williamson proposed Tiffany Windows as memorials. The first window called "The Ascension" placed over the altar was given by the Women's Guild in 1904. In 1939 the Centre Congregational joined the North Congregational Church and the name was changed to the First Congregational Church. In 1963 the North Parish Church joined with First Congregational Church and in 1964, the First Congregational Church joined the United Church of Christ. After years of diminishing membership, the First Congregational Church sold its 1859 building while continuing worship services with an interim pastor through August of 2010 when First Congregational Church as it was known closed. The remaining members deliberated on the future of the church and determined to part ways. The two groups split the proceeds of the sale of the church; one donated the proceeds to area Congregational Churches and non-profit organizations, the other plans to build a new progressive UCC congregation in Haverhill in the future.

 

Scope of Collection

The First Congregational Church records document the activities and history of the church organization. Records document church governance, finances, church organizations, leadership, and membership. Included are calendars, correspondence, reports, minutes, registers, annual reports, membership records, pew rents, records of Sunday schools, publications, directories, clippings, photographs, slides, videos, and other records. Also included are the pre-existing congregational churches that are historically related to First Congregational Church (First Parish Church of Haverhill, Centre Congregational Church and North Congregational Church) or merged together with it in the 20th century (North Parish Congregational Church).

 

Arrangement

The First Congregational Church records are arranged in five subgroups, each related to the iteration of that church within the First Congregational Church's history. The series within the subgroups highlight the church's records, vital statistics, church life, and church activities. Each subgroup's series differs slightly based on the materials related to that series. The records are arranged chronologically and alphabetically, generally. Some of the files are in reverse chronological order.

Subgroup I: First Parish Church of Haverhill (est. 1645)
  Series I: Relations and Records
  Series II:  Financial Records
Subgroup II: Centre Congregational Church (est. 1833) Church Records
Subgroup III: North Congregational Church (est. 1859)
  Series I: Church Records
  Series II: Financial, Building
  Series III: Church Activities
  Series IV: Sunday School
Subgroup IV: First Congregational Church (1939)
  Series I: Church Records
  Series II: Vital Statistics
  Series III: Church Life
  Series IV: Church Activities
Subgroup V: North Parish Congregational Church (1929) Church Records

 

Related Materials

At the Congregational Library:

Sermons by Harvey Joyner (2000-2001)

 

Access Terms

First Congregational Church (Haverhill, Mass.).

Congregational churches - Massachusetts - History.

Congregational churches - Massachusetts - Haverhill.

Massachusetts - Church history.

Haverhill (Mass.) - History.

Centre Congregational Church (Haverhill, Mass.).

First Parish (Haverhill, Mass.).

North Church (Haverhill, Mass.).

Registers of births, etc. - Massachusetts - Haverhill.

Church buildings - Massachusetts - Haverhill.

Congregational churches - Relations.

Massachusetts - History - Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.

New England - History - Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.

Barnard, Edward, 1720-1774.

 

Detailed Description and Container List

Subgroup I: First Parish Church of Haverhill (est. 1645)

 

Series I: Relations and Records

  The Relations and Records series include Relations from First Parish Church of Haverhill members dating from 1719-1742. In addition to Relations, there are a small number of membership related records and testimonies, depositions, confessions, and votes related to disciplinary cases. The digital surrogate is the preferred user's copy. Please consult with the archivist or librarian to access original copy.
Box 1 and Box 2
  For a full container list, please see the Relations and Personal Records index and Disciplinary Case Records index pages.
   
 

Series II: Financial Records

  This series includes account records and a list of presents from First Parish Church's clergy.
Box 2
  1 Deacon White's Accounts June 1732 - April 1734;
1737-1738
      Online interface
  2 Rev. Edward Barnard, Account Book 1748-1750
      Online interface
  3 Rev. Edward Barnard, List of Presents 1752-1756
      Online interface
 

Subgroup II: Centre Congregational Church (est. 1833) Church Records

The Church Records series includes records related to the early life of life of Centre Congregational Church as well as church activities. Because there are so few items from Centre Church, it was decided to keep them all in one series.
Box 3
  1 Two dismissal letters from Centre Church to North Church 1859
  2 Centre Church Membership and Officer Reports 1890-1920s
  3 Centre Church Membership and Officer Reports 1890-1920s
  4 List of Church Members 1862-1917
  5 Parish List Centre Congregational Church 1908
  6 Anniversary (75th) 1908
  7 Financial Book 1916
  8 List of Members of Ladies' Society 1926-1930
 

Subgroup III: North Congregational Church (est. 1859)

 

Series I: Church Records

  The Church Records series includes records related to the foundation and administration of North Congregational Church from its establishment. Included are Annual Reports, Council Records, Clerk's Records, and Membership related information. The membership information includes records related to the church's vital statistics, such as lists of members, admissions and dismissions from the church, as well as membership transfers.
Box 4
  1 North Church Society Records 1859-1932
  2 North Church Society Records 1900
  3 North Church Society Records 1917-1954
Box 5
  1 Ecclesiastical Council Records 1894-1913
  2 Annual Reports 1894-1902; 1910
  3 Annual Reports 1936-1938
  4 Council Records 1940-1948
Box 6
  1 Clerk's Records 1859-1880
  2 Clerk's Records 1880-1916
  3 Clerk's Records 1896-1898;
1904-1905; 1910
Box 7
  1 Register 1860-1923
  2 Admissions 1894-1916
  3 Dismissals – Olive Snow 1877
  4 Dismissals 1894-1915
  5 Membership Report (including Baptisms and Funerals) 1898
  6 Covenant 1866
  7 Directories 1892; 1902; 1914
  8 Manual (including Articles of Faith and Covenant) 1875; 1882
   
 

Series II: Financial, Building

  The Financial records document both the church and the church building. Included are Treasurer's reports, financial and building committee records, property information regarding the building of North Congregational Church, and a pew chart.
Box 8
  1 Treasurer's Reports 1895-1899; 1910
  2 Pledge Book [n.d.]
  3 Pledge Book [n.d.]
  4 Records of the Trustees of the Carleton, Flint, and Other Trust Funds of North Church 1904
  5 Investments Account Book 1904-1930
  6 Cash Book 1914-1919
  7 Cash Book 1926
  8 Financial Records 1904-1928
  9 Financial Records 1930s
Box 9
  1 Pew Chart (photocopy) 1860s
  2 Pew Deeds 1860s-1870s
  3 Pew Fund Book 1913
  4 Cost of Building North Church 1859-1862
  5 Building Committee 1859-1860
  6 Building Fund 1916-1917
   
 

Series III: Church Activities

  This series includes the records of church organizations, committees, and related correspondence.
Box 10
  1 Bethany Committee 1894-1898
  2 Birthday Offering Society 1895; 1899
  3 Boy Scout Troop 1911-1926
  4 Chinese Mission Sunday School 1896; 1898-1899;
1901
  5 Concord Club 1895
Box 11
  1 Correspondence 1890s
  2 Correspondence 1911-1915
  3 Guild 1899-1902
Box 12
  1 Industrial Society 1888; 1894-1898
  2 Library Committee 1895
  3 Men's League [1890s]; 1898
  4 Pastors' Correspondence
  Includes: Reed, Boynton, Bipler, Williamson, and Derbyshire
1890-1911
  5 Pentucket Mission Band 1894-1896; 1899
  6 Prudential Committee 1880
  7 Reading Room Committee 1894-1895
  8 Sickness Committee 1900
  9 Standing Committee 1896
  10 Visitation Committee 1897
  11 Women's Missionary Society 1894-1901; [n.d.]
  12 YPCE / YPCA 1890s
   
 

Series IV: Sunday School

  This series specifically includes North Congregational Church's Sunday School related records. These were given their own series due to the scope and amount of material, otherwise, they are related to the Church Activities series.
Box 13
  1 School Records 1859
  2 Cash of North Congregational Sabbath School 1870
  3 Records of Year Ending April 1872 1871-1872
  4 North Church Sabbath School Records of the Year Ending 1873 1872-1873
  5 North Congregational Sunday School Records 1879-1884
  6 North Church Sunday School Treasurer's Book 1881-1891
Box 14
  1 North Congregational Sunday School Records 1886
  2 North Congregational Church Sunday School Classes and Alphabetical List of Scholars December 1891 1891
Box 15
  1 Sunday School Reports 1890s
  2 North Church Sunday School Records and Reports 1892-1898
  3 North Church Sunday School Records and Reports 1898-1910
  4 John Ward School Records c.1900
  5 Sunday School Reports 1900-1910
 

Subgroup IV: First Congregational Church (1939)

 

Series I: Church Records

  The Church Records series includes records related to the foundation, governance, and administration of the First Congregational Church. Included are Annual Reports, Council Records, bylaws, financial, special bequests and memorial funds, as well as building related materials such as insurance information, property records, and materials related to renovations and repairs and the church's Tiffany stained glass windows.
Box 16
  1 Annual Reports / Meetings 1947-1952
  2 Annual Reports 1950s
  3 Annual Reports 1960-1964
  4 Annual Reports / Meetings 1964-1969 (gaps)
  5 Annual Reports / Meetings 1970-1974
  6 Annual Reports / Meetings 1975-1979
  7 Annual Reports / Meetings 1980-1984
  8 Annual Reports / Meetings 1985-1989
  9 Annual Reports 1990-1994
  10 Annual Reports 1995-1999
  11 Annual Reports / Meetings 2000-2004
  12 Annual Reports / Meetings 2005-2009
  13 Church Council Records 1960-1971
  14 Church Council Records 1971-1980
  15 Church Council Meeting Minutes 1980-1983
  16 Church Council Meeting Minutes 1984-1986
  17 Church Council Meeting Minutes 1987-1988
  18 Church Council Meeting Minutes 1989-1990
  19 Church Council Meeting Minutes 1991-1992
  20 Church Council Meeting Minutes 1993-1996
Box 17
  1 Church Council Meeting Minutes 1997
  2 Church Council Meeting Minutes 1998
  3 Church Council Meeting Minutes 1999
  4 Church Council Meeting Minutes (January – June) 2000
  5 Church Council Meeting Minutes (July – December) 2000
  6 Church Council Meeting Minutes (January – June) 2001
  7 Church Council Meeting Minutes (July – December) 2001
  8 Church Council Meeting Minutes (January – June) 2002
  9 Church Council Meeting Minutes (July – December) 2002
  10 Church Council Meeting Minutes (January – June) 2003
  11 Church Council Meeting Minutes 2004 (gaps)
  12 Church Council Meeting Minutes 2005 (gaps)
  13 Church Council Meeting Minutes 2006 (gaps)
  14 Church Council Meeting Minutes 2007
  15 Church Council Meeting Minutes 2008 (gaps)
  16 Church Council Meeting Minutes 2009 (gaps)
  17 Church Council Meeting Minutes 2010 (gaps)
  18 Church Council Meeting Minutes 2011 (gaps)
  19 Bylaws 1939-2010
  20 Moderator (Richard Stearns) 1970
  21 Moderator (Robert Coppola) 1998-1999
  22 Financial 1971-1973
  23 Finance Committee 1982-1987
  24 Finance Committee 1988
  25 Finance Committee (Includes Invested Funds) 1989
  26 Finance Committee 1991-1992 / 1994
  27 Finance Committee 1997
  28 Finance Committee 1999-2000
  29 Finance Committee 2001-2004 (gaps)
  30 Financial 2005
  31 Financial 2008
  32 Bequests 1992
  33 Memorial Fund 1960-1985 (gaps)
  34 Tibbetts Fund 1947-2004 (gaps)
  35 "A Book of Remembrance" 1960-2001
  36 William S. Webster Memorial Chapel 1962
  37 Gifts and Bequests  
Box 18
  1 Building Records 1960-1975
  2 Building Records 1981-1998
  3 Building Records – Capital Repairs 1994-1998
  4 Building Records – Tiffany Windows  
  5 Renovations - Reroofing 1998
  6 Plot Plans  
  7 Architectural Drawings – Renovation Plans 1956
  8 Architectural Plans 1980s
   
 

Series II: Vital Statistics

  This series includes records related to First Congregational Church's vital statistics, such as lists of members, admissions and dissmissions from the church, and membership transfers. This series also includes some baptismal information, church registers, wedding applications, and funerary services.
Box 19
  1 Attendance Records 1960s-1970s
  2 Baptisms 1959-1972
  3 Dismissions 1951-1962
  4 Dismissions 1962-1974
  5 Transfers 1953-1961
  6 Transfers 1962-1975
  7 Confirmations 1991-1994;
2001-2002; 2003
  8 Membership Cards (three bundles)  
  9 Membership Lists 1972-1999
  10 Membership 2001
  11 Copies of Transfers, Baptisms, Fifty Year Membership 1990s
  12 Clergy Records of Death 1970s
  13 Clergy Records of Death 1980s
  14 Clergy Records of Death 1990s
  15 Funerals and Memorial Services 1997-2005
  16 Wedding Applications 1991
  17 Church Register 1951-1979
  18 Church Register 1980-1996
  19 Church Register 1997-2010
  20 Ledger
  (Includes information pertaining to both Membership and Church Council)
1953-1960
   
 

Series III: Church Life

  This series includes the records of church life, specifically related to sermons preached and The Church Life newsletter. There are existing gaps in The Church Life Newsletter collection. Due to the scope of sermons, some of Pastor Harvey Joyner's sermons were removed from this archival collection and added to the Congregational Library's sermons collection. Please contact the Congregational Library for more details.
Box 20
  1 Sermons – Dewey Peterson (inc. 1959 Anniversary Sermon) 1959-1961
  2 Sermons – Anniversary Sermon 1994
  3 Sermons – Harvey Joyner (sample) 1999
  4 Sermons – Lois Coppola 2000
  5 Newsletters 1946-1949
  6 Newsletters 1949-1951
  7 Newsletters 1953-1958
Box 21
  1 Newsletters 1960-1961
  2 Newsletters 1962-1963
  3 Newsletters 1964-1965
  4 Newsletters 1966-1971 (gaps)
  5 Newsletters 1972-1975 (gaps)
  6 Newsletters 1976-1978 (gaps)
  7 Newsletters 1979-1980 (gaps)
  8 Newsletters 1981-1983
  9 Newsletters 1984-1986
  10 Newsletters 1986-1989
  11 Newsletters 1990-1991
  12 Newsletters 1992
  13 Newsletters 1993-1994
  14 Newsletters 1995-1996
  15 Newsletters 1997-1998
  16 Newsletters 1999
  17 Newsletters 2000-2002 (gaps)
  18 Newsletters 2005
  19 Newsletters 2006
  20 Newsletters 2007
  21 Newsletters 2008
  22 Newsletters 2009 (gaps)
  23 Newsletters 2010-2011
   
 

Series IV: Church Activities

  This series includes the records of church organizations, committees, and related correspondence and materials pertaining to First Congregational Church's activities. Note some correspondence found in this series overlaps with membership related materials in Subgroup IV / Series II, Vital Statistics. It is recommended that patrons look in both series to be sure they have found all related materials.
Box 22
  1 Children's Christmas Cards (Y2K Themed) 1999
  2 Correspondence 1953-1958
  3 Correspondence 1959-1966
  4 Correspondence 1967-1974
  5 Correspondence 1975-1976
  6 Correspondence 1980s
  7 Correspondence 1990s
  8 Dedication Committee 1951; 1957
  9 Diaconate 1957-1970
  10 Diaconate 1971-1973
  11 Diaconate 1979-1986
  12 Diaconate 1987-1991
  13 Diaconate 1992-1995
  14 Diaconate 1996-2000
  15 Girl Scout Sponsorship 1998-1999
  16 Long Range Planning Committee 1970s
  17 Long Range Planning Committee 1980-1984; 1991
  18 Olive Maynard Society  
  19 Outreach Committee 1970s
  20 Outreach Committee 1980s
  21 Outreach Committee – Parish Profile Inventory 1983
  22 Pastor's Perch 1987-1988
  23 Religious Education Committee 1970s-1980s
  24 Sunday School 1978-1980
  25 Sunday School Lists 1989-1990
  26 Sunday School – Youth Fellowships 1981
  27 Survey & Evaluation 1998-2003
  28 The Thoughtful Circle 1922-1950
  29 Website 2003
  30 Distribution of Inventory (post sale) 2008-2012
Box 23
  1 Guild Annual Reports 1950-1967
  2 Guild Annual Reports 1991-1993;
1996-2004
  3 Guild Bylaws 1973; 1988; 1991
  4 Guild Rosters n.d. [1950s] - 1991
  5 Guild Minutes 1957-1960
  6 Guild Executive Board Committee 1967-1976 (gaps)
  7 Guild Records 1977-1985
  8 Guild Records 1988-1995
  9 Guild Records 1995-2000
  10 Guild Records 2001-2004
  11 Guild Bicentennial Quilt 1976
  12 Guild Room Rededication 1989
  13 Guild International Child Sponsorship 1994-2010
  14 Guild Special Projects 1996-2009
Box 24
  1 Guild History and News clippings 1933-1994
  2 Guild Cash Book 1946-1950
  3 Guild Cash Book 1944-1946
  4 Guild Cash Book 1950-1955
  5 Guild Cash Book 1951-1952
Box 25
  1 Centennial Anniversary 1959
  2 110th Anniversary 1969
  3 135th Anniversary 1994
  4 150th Anniversary 1984
  5 Historian 1893-1986
  6 News clippings 1968-1972
  7 News clippings 1999-2002
  8 Photographs of Dr. H. J. Whitney and Mrs. Laurie Ann Whitney
  Foochow, China
1900
  9 Photographs (many undated) c.1950s-1990s
  10 Slides c.1950s
  11 Plays and Skits 1946-1951
Box 26
  1 Video – 1987 Christmas Pageant 1987
  2 Video – First Congregational Church Auction 1988
  3 Video – Santa Parade, Christmas Pageant, and Children's Day Cantata 1988-1989
  4 Video – 1989 Guild Auction 1989
  5 Video – First Congregational Church 135th Anniversary Tape 1 1994
  6 Video – First Congregational Church 135th Anniversary Tape 2 1994
  7 Video – Christmas Pageant, "Would it Still Be Christmas?" 1996
  8 Video – Children's Pageant, "Benjamin's Top" 1998
  9 Video – Christmas Pageant, "The Creche" 2001
 

Subgroup V: North Parish Congregational Church (1929) Church Records

The Church Records series includes records related to North Parish Congregational Church as well as its church activities, and merger with First Congregational Church in 1963. Because there are so few items from North Parish Church, it was decided to keep them all in one series.
Box 27
  1 Annual Reports 1925-1963
  2 Records 1927-1947
Box 28
  1 Records 1951-1957
  2 Membership 1955-1957
  3 Council 1959-1960
  4 Committee Reports
  Includes Finance, House, Men's Club, Religious Education, Deacons and Deaconesses, Women's Guild
1957-1961
  5 Church Study 1962
  6 Merger with First Congregational Church 1963-1970

 

Become a Member