Cranston, Rhode Island. Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church records; 1807, 1863-2008

Collection Information

Cranston, Rhode Island. Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church records


Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church (Cranston, R.I.)
Knightsville Congregational Church (Cranston, R.I.)
Franklin Congregational Church (Cranston, R.I.)


1807, 1863-2008


11 boxes; 4.67 linear feet
8 document boxes, 1 narrow box, 1 oversize box, 1 card file box

Collection ID #:

RG 4936

Conditions Governing Access:


Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church (Cranston, R.I.) records, RG 4936. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.



Processing information:

Collection processed by Abraham Miller, July 2010.

Revision History:

Accession 12-2011 completed by Sari Mauro, January 2012.


This collection consists of the records of the Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church. Materials include records about church governance and organization, financial records, membership documents, Sunday School and auxiliary records, church publications, historical notes, and audiovisual material.

Acquisition Information:

Donated by the Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church of Cranston, R.I., April 2010. Additional materials received December 2011.

Organizational History

The Knightsville Meetinghouse was constructed in 1807 for the Benevolent Baptist Society in Cranston, Rhode Island. This society and other churches used the building, which also served as the town meeting center, intermittently until 1864, when the Knightsville Mission Sabbath School was organized. Soon after inception, the Sunday School grew considerably in size, where by the members desired to organize a church as well.

In 1878, in lieu of organizing a separate church, members of the Sunday School organized as a branch of the Union Congregational Church of Providence, Rhode Island, until the Union-Plymouth merger in 1928. Following this merger, the Knightsville Congregational Church was organized and incorporated as a separate church. In this time, the church developed a strong membership base, with active auxiliary groups and an active Sunday School. In 1967, the Franklin Congregational Church merged with Knightsville Congregational Church. Franklin Congregation Church was founded in 1873 with nine members. By the 1960s, Franklin Congregational Church saw declining membership and was sharing a minister with Knightsville Congregational Church.

By the 1990s, the Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church was dealing with declining membership, with roughly twenty regular attendees at services. In 2006, the members voted to leave the United Church of Christ and join the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. By the beginning of 2009, it was clear to the community that the Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church lacked the funding and membership to continue activity, and ceased operation in October, 2009.



Franklin Congregational Church Knightsville Congregational Church
James P. Root 1876-1879    
Jeremiah Taylor 1883-1887    
Hiram E. Johnson 1887-1892    
Richard H. Wickett 1892-1911    
C. Fremont Roper 1911-1921    
Henry H. Guernsey 1921-1929 Wilfred E. Stone 1928-1957
Orville O. Lozier 1929-1944    
Walter Main Stone 1944-1949    
Thomas K. Thompson 1950-1951    
Lawrence W. Fairchild 1951-1953    
Lloyd Marble 1954-1956    
Oscar W. Arell 1956-1962 Deene Clark 1957-1958
Donald W. Biggs (Student pastor) 1956-1962 John Wright 1958-1962
Paul E. Duhamel 1964-1967 Paul E. Duhamel 1962-1967
Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church
  Paul E. Duhamel 1967  
  J. R. Beasley 1969-1973  
  W. E. Renfree 1976  
  Marsha L. Goldstein 1979-1984  
  Lois A. Bryant 1985-2009  


Scope of Collection

The Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church records document the history and life of the church, including church governance, financial data, ministers' records, membership data, auxiliary organizations, published material, historical information, and audiovisual material.  Materials within the collection include minutes and reports, ledgers and registers, directories, correspondence, church publications, and photographs.



The Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church records are arranged in eight series. The records are arranged chronologically, unless otherwise noted.

Series I Governance                      
Series II Financial    
Series III Ministers    
Series IV Membership    
Series V Auxiliary Organizations    
Series VI Published Material    
Series VII Historical    
Series VIII Audiovisual    
Series IX Dissolution    


Related Material

Cranston, R.I.: Knightsville Congregational Church. 17.11.1 C85.3 KNICC


Access Terms

Knightsville Congregational Church (Cranston, R.I.)

Franklin Congregational Church (Cranston, R.I.)

Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church (Cranston, R.I.)

Cranston (R.I.) -- Church history

Rhode Island -- Church history

Congregational churches -- Rhode Island -- Cranston

Church records and registers -- Rhode Island


Detailed Description and Container List

Series I: Governance 1930-2005

The Governance series includes records relating to the administration of the church. The Annual reports include reports from ministers, clerks, and other church officials. The Meeting records include reports from the annual meetings and the nominating committee, which selected church officers. The monthly standing committee records details church activities and decision making. The governance records also include the church constitution and by-laws and conference membership information.
Box 1    
Folder 1 Annual Reports 1930-1990
Folder 2 Annual Reports 1995-2008
Folder 3 Meetings 1876-1991
Folder 4 Meetings – Annual Meetings 1933-1989
Folder 5 Meetings – Standing Committee 1939-1969
Folder 6 Meetings – Standing Committee 1970-1977
Folder 7 Meetings – Nominating Committee 1932-1975
Folder 8 Meetings – Clerks' Reports 1978-1983
Folder 9 Constitution and Bylaws 1967, n.d.
Folder 10 Application to the NACCC 2005-2007
Folder 11 Correspondence 1932-1957
Box 2    
Folder 1 Correspondence 1957-2005
Box 7    
  Record ledger  
Box 9    
Folder 1 Governance 1957-2007
return to series list

Series II: Financial 1863-2008

The Financial records include ledgers, treasurers’ reports, bank statements, and tax documents relating to the financial administration of the churches. Included are collection books and documents relating to raising funds for the church. Also of note are the building records, detailing building repairs and maintenance.
Box 2    
Folder 2 Financial 1863-1907
Folder 3 Financial 1916-1939
Folder 4 Financial 1940-1949
Folder 5 Financial 1950-1959
Folder 6 Financial 1960-1989
Folder 7 Financial 1998-2003
Folder 8 Financial 2004-2006
Folder 9 Financial 2006-2009
Box 3    
Folder 1 Financial – Tax 1969-1989
Folder 2 Building – Repairs 1953-2006
Folder 3 Insurance 1899-1977
Folders 4-6 Insurance 1990s-2000s
Box 4    
Folder 1 Financial – Collections Book 1887-1902
Folder 2 Financial – Collections Book 1889-1902
Folder 3 Financial – Fundraising and Donations 1944-2002
Folder 4 Grants, Applications 1990-2004
Box 9    
Folder 2 Financial 1963-1965
return to series list

Series III: Ministers 1938-2004

This series includes calendars, correspondence, notes, and pamphlets. Of note are the records relating to the search for new ministers, including dossiers of candidates.
Box 4    
Folder 5 Ministers – Stone, Wilfred E. 1938-1939
Folder 6 Ministers – Search For and Ordinations 1958-1973
Folder 7 Ministers – Calendars 1999, 2002-2004
return to series list

Series IV: Membership 1928-2007

The Membership series includes records about the members of and people associated with the church. The transfers include information about members being received into or leaving the church. The directories, and church registers include lists of members, including dates of membership. The Genealogical records and Remembrance Book includes information on births and deaths within the community.
Box 4    
Folder 8 Membership – Transfers 1928-1947
Folder 9 Membership – Transfers 1947-1976
Folder 10 Membership – Directories 1925-1985 [gaps]
Folder 11 Genealogical Records 1959-1997
Folder 12 Vital Statistics – Notes 1985-2009
Box 5    
Folder 1 Membership – Record, Knightsville 1928-1976
Box 7    
  In Remembrance book  
  The Pilgrim Church Register ledger  
  Church Register and Record ledger  
Box 9    
Folder 3 Guest Register 1958-2007
Box 10    
  Membership index cards  
return to series list

Series V: Auxiliary Organizations 1914-1999

The Auxiliary Organizations series includes records from volunteer organizations and the Sunday School. The auxiliaries include the Wide Awakes, a women's club, the Fellowship Club, a service club, and other social and service oriented groups. Sunday School records include reports of activities, and booklets containing class records. Additional records include documents relating to the planning of and reports on church events.
Box 5    
Folder 2 Auxiliary 1926-1936
Folder 3 Auxiliary 1937-1999
Folder 4 Auxiliary – Wide Awakes 1933-1967
Folder 5 Auxiliary – Fellowship Club 1968
Folder 6 Events 1923-1972
Folder 7 Sunday School 1914-1967
Box 11    
  Sunday School booklets 1921-1963
return to series list

Series VI: Published Material 1875-2007

The Published Material includes pamphlets and newsletters published by the church, and orders of worship, used at services. Included are pamphlets by Wilfred E. Stone, including published parables.
Box 5    
Folder 8 Pamphlets 1875-1967
Folder 9 Order of Worship 1921-1973
Box 6    
Folder 1 Order of Worship 1873-2009
Box 9    
Folder 4 Newsletters 1952-1976
return to series list

Series VII: Historical 1807, 1925-2007

The Historical records include newspaper clippings and other notes about the history of the Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church. Of particular note are the materials related to the 200th Anniversary of the Knightsville Meetinghouse in 2007, including attendee lists and newspaper reports, and a lottery ticket from 1807, used to fund the construction of the meetinghouse.
Box 6    
Folder 2 Historical Notes 1807, 1928-2001
Folder 3 200th Anniversary 2007
Box 9    
Folder 5 Certificates and Awards 1925-2003
Folder 6 200th Anniversary 2007
return to series list

Series VIII: Audiovisual 1891-2008 (gaps)

The Audiovisual material includes photographs and two videocassettes. The photographs document church activities, functions, and trips. Also included are various portraits of church members, many unidentified, and photographs of the Knightsville Meetinghouse. Many of the photographs were removed from albums.

Arrangement: Material arranged by media type. Photos removed from albums are arranged by album.

Technical Access: Videocassettes recorded on VHS. The Congregational Library does not own a VHS player.
Box 6    
  Photograph Album 2008-2009
  Videocassette – R.I. Conference "Doing Together More Than We Can Do Alone" 1994
  Videocassette – Knightsville-Franklin Congregational Church  
Folders 4-9 Photographs  
Box 8    
Folders 1-18 Photographs  
return to series list

Series IX: Dissolution 2009

The Dissolution material contains records pertaining to the dissolution of the church, the sale of their building, and the disposition of the sale proceeds.
Box 9    
Folder 7 Legal Documents  
Box 12    
Folder 1 Building renovations  
Folder 2 Institutions receiving proceeds from building sale 2010
Folder 3 Meeting minutes 2008-2010
Folder 4 Building sale 2010
return to series list