Congregational Board of Pastoral Supply. Records, 1893-1975

Collection Information

Congregational Board of Pastoral Supply records


Congregational Board of Pastoral Supply


1894-1974 (bulk)


25.5 linear feet, 26 boxes

Collection ID #:

RG 0693

Conditions Governing Access:


Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Congregational Board of Pastoral Supply records, RG 0693. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.



Revision History:

Reprocessed by Jessica Steytler, March 2009

Historical Note

Established in 1894 by the Congregational Conference of Massachusetts, the Board gathered discriminating reports concerning a large majority of the Congregational ministers in the United States by the 1920s. The Board was established primarily to supply pastors to Massachusetts churches; ca. 1910s this service was in demand by churches outside of Massachusetts in the New England states. In 1915 the by-laws were amended to accommodate this change; the area of service was gradually enlarged to include New York, mid-Atlantic, eastern Pennsylvania and Florida; during the 1930s the Board began providing pastors to Congregational and Christian churches.  In 1966 the area served was reduced to the New England Conferences and New York Conference. The Board encountered financial difficulties ca. 1947 and Dr. Horace F. Holton, executive secretary from 1943-1950, took out a personal note to meet the Board's current expenses. In 1974 the Board voted an interim operation from 1974-1976 with reduced staff and services. The collection represents the first three secretaries of the Board:  Charles B. Rice, Arthur J. Covell, and Charles C. Merrill.


Scope and Content

This collection is made up of very few series, despite its overall size.

Series 1: Executive Records, 1895-1974. Boxes 1-3
  Executive Committee minutes, 1893-1972; Advisers' minutes, 1917-1933; treasurer's records, 1949-1964; office expenses, 1916-1963; Executive Secretary's record book, 1961-1972; correspondence; Arthur Covell papers, 1913-1933; reports, 1895-1975.
Series 2: Ministers' files:
  All these files share similar traits. Originally, each person had their own folder, however for practical reasons, they are now compacted to include multiple people per folder. The earliest date for these files is difficult to determine, as it is dependent on when the minister's career was started. Most don't go back past 1910s. The ones with the oldest files include the retired and deceased sections.
  Subseries A: Active. Boxes 4-14
    This collection of files include the ministers still working for the United Church of Christ in 1974 when the Pastoral Supply Board office closed.
    An interesting piece of meta information was that the original folder would sometimes indicate that the minister was “negro.” The time span for when these folders were created date back to the early 1900s in some cases, so this office was operating - 1895 until 1974, for the majority of its institutional life with segregation. The unofficial statistics for race representation must have been necessary, given the conferences were segregated, too.  However, race designations were not maintained in this guide.
    The original folders also included hand-written abbreviations for states/conferences. These were transcribed. There is no reliable key for all the abbreviations. Despite this key, almost all ministers were assigned outside the state/conference indicated.
  Sub-Series B: Retired. Boxes 15-23
  Sub-Series C: Left the denomination. Box 23
    This collection spans the formation of the Congregational Christian denomination, the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference (CCCC), the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC), and the United Church of Christ (UCC). The majority of the ministers who left the original denomination moved to the NACCC and CCCC, although there would certainly be some who would have also left Congregational-based denominations. Unfortunately, the files do not elaborate on where they went.
  Sub-Series D: Interim. Box 23
    These files did not have any meta information indicating these were interim ministers, however it was determined through context clues.
  Sub-Series E: Deceased. Boxes 24-26


Table of Contents

Series 1: Executive Records
Series 2: Ministers' Files
  Sub-series A: Active
    Box 4: A-Bal Box 5:Ban-Cat Box 6: Ce-E
    Box 7: F-Ha Box 8: He-Kh Box 9: Ki-Mal
    Box 10: Man-P Box 11: Q-Sh Box 12: Si-V
    Box 13: W-Wilsh Box 14: Wilso-Z  
  Sub-series B: Retired
    Box 15: A-Christe Box 16: Christi-E Box 17: F-Has
    Box 18: Hay-Kim Box 19: Kin-Mea Box 20: Mec-Penn
    Box 21: Penner-Sne Box 22: Sni-War Box 23: Wat-Z
  Sub-series C: Left the Denomination
  Sub-series D: Interim
  Sub-series E: Deceased
    Box 24: A-Hart Box 25: Hartm-R Box 26: S-Z

Box List

Series 1: Executive Records

Box 1
  Annual Reports 1895-1974
Box 2
  Minutes 1894-1971
  Annual Report extracts, Lovell’s weekday appointments 1928-1933
  Secretary Correspondence:  
    Consolidated Ministerial Bureau 1898-1906
    Congregational Union of England and Wales 1900, 1905
    NY Bureau of Pastoral Supply 1900-1906
    Illinois Church and Ministerial Supply 1901-1910
    Legacy of Lucy Herrick 1894-1901;
    To Superintendents and Secretaries in the Plan of Cooperation 1914-1915
    Sec. Corresp. - 2 folders 1914-1915
    Comments and Suggestions 1963-1973
    Studies of phases of ministerial supply and training made during secretarialships of Rice and Lovell 1905-1933
Box 3
  Advisers Meeting Minutes (2) 1917-1933
  Review Committee (2) 1966
  Executive Review Committee 1966-1967
  Study of the Future of Congregational Board of Pastoral Supply (3) 1941
  Daybook receipts from churches, alpha list 1894-1899;
  Account Books (6) 1916-1928;
  Cash Books (3) 1949-1950;
  Printed Material (2) 20th century
  Historical 1896-1970s
  Historical Western Pastoral Relations Office 1934
  Report and Answers to questionnaire 1904
  Donald Family 1839-1939


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