Wendell, Massachusetts. Congregational Church. Records, 1783-1953.
The Congregational Church of Wendell was formed in Wendell, Mass. on November 29, 1774. The first meeting house was built in 1783, and a second in 1846. Throughout the collection the church is referred to by several names, including Church of Christ, First Church, Central Congregational Church in Wendell, and the Congregational Church of Wendell. The Trustees of the Ministerial Fund of the First Congregational Society in Wendell were incorporated in 1823 to carry out their function for the church. A copy of the articles of their incorporation is pasted inside the front cover of their minute book. On December 2, 1874 the church and the town of Wendell celebrated their centennial with a joint event.
Even though the church was relatively small throughout its life, it contributed to foreign missions as well as domestic, assisting in the mission work in China. The church belonged to the Franklin Association of Congregational Churches and worked closely with the Massachusetts Home Missionary Society to call and fund its ministers. In later years the church shared its minister with a church in the nearby town of Erving. In the course of its history, the Congregational Church in Wendell had many different ministers. Rev. Edmund Blackmer is documented more thoroughly than any other minister that served the church because of a nervous disorder that forced him to delay accepting the church’s call for almost two full years, from the fall of 1918 to the spring of 1920. Another minister of note is Rev. Harlan P. Metcalf , who died in the office of minister, leaving behind the text of a sermon intended to be preached on Mother’s Day, included in this collection. Also worthy of note is Mrs. Effie Bowen, who served as the clerk of the Congregational Church in Wendell for more than 30 years in the early 1900s.
This collection contains no documents dated after 1953.
Scope and Content
Series I: This collection includes financial material in many forms, including ledger and treasury books, account books, receipts and correspondence from individuals and agencies. Whenever possible, the material is arranged chronologically.
Series II: Records of church business and personnel are preserved in formal record books, minute books, loose records and correspondence. The bulk of this series is correspondence, including letters of dismissal and acceptance of congregants, letters from ministers accepting and relinquishing their posts and letters to the church clerk. These papers are sorted into broad subject categories and arranged chronologically within subject folders.
(Note: Due to oversize ledgers and record books, items from both series are in Box 1 and Box 2. All loose materials are in Box 4, with Series I items placed before Series II.)