Beacon Street Diary blog

CCHS Annual Awards

The Frederick Fagley Awards

presented May 24, 2007

The Congregational Christian Historical Society established the Fagley Award in 1965, in honor of Frederick Fagley, one of the organization’s founders. The first awards, given in 1966, went to the Asylum Hill Congregational Church in Hartford and to the Kiantone Congregational Church in New York, which belonged to the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.

The award falls into two categories, for churches with a membership over 350 members and those under 350. I’m happy to report that this year we have three wonderful recipients.

The Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota (350 and above) -- This congregation marked its 150th year with a beautifully produced historical book, “Walking Together in All God’s Ways", written by Dave Kenny, who was very ably assisted by the church’s sesquicentennial book committee. The richly narrated text is supplemented by many color illustrations and topical insets. The various materials they produced included most notably a CD of music and narration, entitled “Music and Thanksgiving".

Trinity United Church of Christ, Columbus,Ohio, (350 and below) –- Annette O’Stroske compiled and edited a bound volume of memoirs and stories from this congregation’s first fifty years together. Written reminiscences from a wide range of church members make this a very personal and historically interesting look back over a remarkable time of growth and development.

Honorable Mentions

Ripley United Church of Christ, in Traer, Iowa, celebrated its first 150 years together through a variety of creative projects, including a historical booklet, a stained glass window project, a play ("Vintage Views"), and a driving tour of historical points of interest.

Mayville Congregational United Church of Christ in Mayville, North Dakota, marked 125 years together with a beautifully produced booklet entitled "From Our Roots", compiled by Dorothy Enger. The booklet included a bookmark complete with acorn and oak leaf motifs.

Congratulations to all of our hardworking and creative award winners!


The Nathanael M. Guptill Award

presented May 24, 2007

The Guptill Award was established in 1997, in honor of Nathanel M. Guptill, past president of the Congregational Christian Historical Society, to be given to institutional histories, typically state conferences or associations. The first winner of the award was John E. Nutting, for his history of the Vermont Conference.

This year’s winner is our own Rick Taylor for his magisterial history of the Rhode Island Conference, "Embracing God’s Hospitality: Celebrating Over Two Hundred Years of Ministry Together". Like all of Rick’s historical work, this one is deeply grounded in the larger story of Congregational Christian history, but also alert to the telling details of local church life. And again, like so much of Rick’s research, this history breaks new ground with primary sources, including the fascinating story of African-American composer Newport Gardner and a prophetic stand on gender-inclusive language in 1869 when the Christians ordained Ellen G. Gustin.

Congratulations to Rick on a tremendous labor of love, and a solid scholarly achievement.