Salem, Massachusetts. Tabernacle Church records, 1743-1850.
Tabernacle Church in Salem, Massachusetts, traces its historical roots back to 1629 with the founding of First Church of Salem. In 1735 First Church Pastor Samuel Fisk was dismissed from his position by ecclesiastical council. A group of parishioners followed Fisk from First Church, built a new meeting house, and met also under the name First Church until 1762 when they were compelled by the colonial legislature to change their name to "Third Church of Christ in Salem". In 1774 the great fire of Salem burned the Third Church meetinghouse to the ground. A replacement meetinghouse was built in 1777 and was copied from the Tabernacle in Moorfields (London) made famous by its association with George Whitefield, leading to the nickname "Tabernacle Church".
It was during the building of this meetinghouse that strife drove a portion of the Third Church congregation to split and form South Church of Salem in 1775. Originally also referring to themselves as "Third Church", the split church later rejoined Tabernacle Church in 1924.
In 1781 the proprietors of Third Church were reincorporated as "The proprietors of the meetinghouse and Land where the Reverend Doctor Nathaniel Whitaker now preaches". Reverend Whitaker was removed from office in 1784 by ecclesiastical council. Another split occurred in 1802 when a portion of Tabernacle Church left to form a Presbyterian church.
In 1812 Tabernacle came to the fore-front of Congregational consciousness when it became the church from which the first six Congregational missionaries of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions were commissioned.
In 1834 the proprietors of the church were once again reincorporated, this time as "The Proprietors of the Tabernacle Church".
Scope of Collection
This collection contains the early records of Tabernacle Church of Salem, Massachusetts. Records include financial accountings, church meeting minutes and votes, and pew apportionments. Of particular note are records of ecclesiastical proceedings, particularly those relating to the turbulent tenure of Reverend Nathaniel Whitaker.
The design, rights, and duties of local churches : a sermon delivered at the installation of the Rev. Elias Cornelius as associate pastor of the Tabernacle Church in Salem, July 21, 1819 15.0.8 5661 1819
The diffusion of correct knowledge of the true God, a leading object of the Christian ministry. A sermon, delivered at the Tabernacle in Salem, April 20, 1803, on the occasion of the installation of the Reverend Samuel Worcester into the pastoral office over the church and religious society, usually assembling and worshipping in that place. 15.0.8 5661 1803
Salem, MA : Tabernacle Church. 17.11.1 S24.6 TABC
Samuel Worcester letter, 1805. MS 4765
A sermon delivered at the Tabernacle in Salem, Feb. 6, 1812, on occasion of the ordination of the Rev. Messrs. Samuel Newell, A.M., Adoniram Judson, A.M., Samuel Nott, A.M., Gordon Hall, A.M., and Luther Rice, A.B., missionaries to the heathen in Asia, under the direction of the Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions 15.0.8 5661 1812
A sermon, delivered in the Tabernacle Church, Salem, Mass. Sept. 25, 1823, at the ordination of the Rev. Edmund Frost, as a missionary to the heathen : and the Rev. Messrs. Aaron W. Warner, Ansel D. Eddy, Nathan W. Fiske, Isaac Oakes, and George Sheldon, as evangelists 15.0.8 5662 FR-G 1820-1829
A sermon preached in the Tabernacle Church, Salem, Nov. 5, 1818, at the ordination of the Rev. Messrs. Pliny Fisk, Levi Spaulding, Miron Winslow, and Henry Woodward as missionaries to the unevangelized nations 15.0.8 5661 1819
A memorial of the old and new Tabernacle, Salem, Mass., 1854-5 17.11.1 S24.6 TABC MW 1855
This collection is arranged in two series: Series I: Volumes and Series II: Loose Materials. Volumes are arranged chronologically according to earliest date; loose materials are grouped by topic, and then arranged chronologically. Digital arrangement reflects physical arrangement. Where there are more than two (2) blank pages in a row, only the first and last have been digitized.
Series I: Volumes
Extent: 6 volumes contained in 3 books
Arrangement: Volumes are arranged chronologically according to first date. At some point in time after the volumes' keeping, smaller volumes were bound together into a single larger book. Each original volume is described here separately and in chronological order. They are also presented digitally as distinct volumes. Locational information in the right-hand column indicates volume location within the larger book.
|Church records||1743-1775||Book 1.1|
|This record book contains records of membership, church meeting minutes, church discipline and baptisms. Of particular note are a series of charts documenting pastoral visits to parishioners. These charts contain census-like data on the household, including number and age of people living there.|
|Church records||1778-1796||Book 2|
|These records contain meeting minutes, pew valuations, membership lists, calls to church meetings, and records pertaining to Dr. Nathaniel Whitaker, then-pastor of Tabernacle Church, mostly records discussing ministerial salary.|
|Church records||1783-1805||Book 1.2|
|This volume was created in 1833 when loose-leaf records from 1783-1805 were transcribed into it. These records contain meeting minutes, correspondence, membership records, and records of church discipline.|
|Church records||1783-1833||Book 1.3|
|This volume contains records of church membership, church covenant, and meeting minutes. Of particular note in this volume are historical accounts pertaining to the church’s difficulty with Dr. Nathaniel Whitaker.|
|Church records||1795-1832||Book 3.1|
|This record book contains records of meeting minutes and votes, copies of warrants, pew valuations, and records pertaining to the sexton’s and minister's salary.|
|Church records||1832-1849||Book 3.2|
|Records in this volume include lists of donations, financial accountings, pew taxes, expenses, records of a standing committee and meeting minutes.|
Series II: Loose Materials
Scope: 1 document case
Arrangement: Loose materials are grouped by type and then arranged chronologically. In the online interface, each document is presented separately in accordance with this arrangement. In the locational information below, B/F indicates box and folder numbers.
|"A plan or scheme for erecting a Tabernacle or house of divine worship…"||1774, November 4||B1/F2|
|Financial and land records||1773-1796 (gaps)||B1/F3|
|Oversize financial record||1774||Pamphlet Binder|
|Church records||1775, 1784-1785, 1788-1789, undated||B1/F4|
|Oversize list of subscribers (vellum)||1768||Pamphlet Binder|
|Real Estate dispute||1772, 1773||B1/F6|
|Whitaker controversy records||1772, 1773, 1781-1785||B1/F5|