Roslindale, Massachusetts. Highland Congregational Church. Church Records, 1869-2006.

Collection Information

Highland Congregational Church (Roslindale, Mass.) records


Highland Congregational Church (Roslindale, Boston, Mass.)


1869 - 2006


13 boxes

Collection ID #:

RG 4824

Conditions Governing Access:


Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Highland Congregational Church (Roslindale, Mass.) records, RG 4824. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.



Processing information:

Processed by Alina Morris, November 2006

Historical Note

Highland Congregational Church is affiliated with the Federal Council of the Churches of Christ in America and the Boston Area Council of Churches. Its days began as a Sunday school operated by Eliot Church in 1853. With the steady growth of the Sunday school, members of the community felt the need of a church in their locality. In 1868 the subject was discussed in many informal meetings. On February 23, 1869, at a meeting of those interested in the matter, it was voted "that in their opinion the time had fully come for the organization of another church and society in this section of the city." A council met in the chapel, March 3, 1869, and proceeded to organize the church, which numbered fifty-two members. At nearly the same time the Eliot City Missionary Society adopted a resolution that whenever a church is duly organized in connection with the Parker St. Chapel, the executive committee will recommend to the Society to transfer the property on that street to the new enterprise. Thus in 1869, the Highland Church was formed. In 1871, a new church was occupied on Parker St. In 1883, the Chapel school further down Parker St. was taken under their wing and in 1897 was merged with the Highland Congregational Sunday School. In 1978, the church on Parker Street caught on fire, damaging its steeple (and some of its records). In 1980, Highland left its Parker St. location to share the use of the church sanctuary and rooms of the Trinity Lutheran Church on Centre St. in Roslindale. Highland Congregational Church remained at the Centre St. location until it closed in 2006 due to lack of membership. It has had five pastors in its 136 years, with the Rev. W. Arthur Rice having served for almost 51 years.

Most of this material was taken from various newsletters in Series V, Box 13. Refer to those items for more complete information.



Rev. Charles L. Mills 1869 - 1870
Rev. A. E. Dunning 1870 - 1880
Rev. William R. Campbell 1881 - 1935
Rev. Ferdinand J. Loungway 1930 - 1942
Rev. William Arthur Rice 1943 - 1993
Rev. Deryck P. Mason 1994 - 2006


Scope and Content

Series I: Church Records, 1869-1981

This series includes church manuals (with articles of faith, rules, bylaws, and early list of members), meeting minutes, annual reports, special meetings, correspondence, and church maintenance and organ records. Annual meeting minutes from 1869 to 1942 are extensive. Important correspondence was dutifully copied into the reports, such as the letter "To the Congregational of Church of Christ" from "The Committee of those proposing to become a Church" (1869), and the dedication of the Highland Church on September 28, 1871 [found in Box I, Folder 2]. The Annual reports only go to 1979, right before the move to Trinity Lutheran Church in 1980.
  Sub-series – Financial Records

This series can be found in Box 3 and includes meeting minutes, annual reports, and correspondence from the treasurer, the Prudential Committee, and the Highland Society of Trustees. There are also documents pertaining to the 50th Anniversary Fund and members' will donations.
Series II: Members and Vital Statistics, 1869-1994

This Series includes the birth, marriage, and death records of members, as well as church and Sunday school attendance, list of communicants, bibles given, and sermons. Of bound ledgers, book #3 is missing (1900-1910). Because of the large quantity of loose notes and correspondence pertaining to membership and vitals, the items in Box 6 have not been put in order. Folders in Box 6 have been given rough dates and labeled "General Membership and Vital Statistics". The items in this box include the pastor’s quick notes to himself, letters of transfer and memoriam. Researchers should expect to spend extra time sorting through this box.

Three ledgers, including church records (1888 – 1899), Church meetings (1915-1932), and church meetings and membership (1932-c.1945), were quarantined and destroyed due to excessive mold from water damage (possibly from the fire in 1978).
Series III: Auxiliary and Social Groups – including Sunday school, 1909-2006

This series includes the minutes and treasury reports of the Women’s W.R.C. Club, Women's Union, Women's Missionary Fund, and Union Mother's Club. It also contains records pertaining to the Sunday school, the Mount Holyoke Bible School, and Men's clubs. One highlight in this series is the Highland Booster newsletter produced by the Highland Y.P.S.C.E. [Young People Society Christian Endeavor] Club (c.1910-1920) [found in Box 9, Folder 5], which illustrates the active participation of the youth at Highland.
  Sub-series: History, Programs, Activities, and Memorabilia

This sub-series highlights the history of the Church, as well as its active life in the community. The Church's history can be illuminated by the celebrations and correspondence marking the 50th, 75th, and 100th anniversaries of the Church and Sunday school. There are also programs advertising Church fairs, picnics, lectures, musicals and plays. Some of the memorabilia include a scrapbook (1870-1880), a birthday calendar from 1948, photographs, wooden printing plates of the church and its ministers, and a recipe book dating back to the late 19th-early 20th century. Sunday Service pamphlets dating from 1909 to the 1980s (with gaps) are included in this series, as well as books and publications. Books of interest include The Christian Life in Scripture Language (1910) written by Rev. Campbell, pastor of Highland Church from 1881 – 1935, and Charles I. Ziegler (trustee of Highland Society); A Story of Eliot Church by Walter E. Davis; and "New England Churches Decorated by H. W. Foote & Co" (c.1950s), in which Highland Church is pictured.
Series IV: Ministers, 1881-1981

The records of Rev. William Arthur Rice, pastor of Highland Church from 1943 to 1993, make up the majority of this series. In addition to his sermons, there are items for auxiliary groups for which he was a member. Rev. Rice was very active in the Suffolk South Association, Boston Seaman Society, and Congregational Club of Boston. He was also Chaplain of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services while serving Highland. This series also contains records pertaining to Rev. Rice's school life before becoming ordained as a pastor.
Series V: Newsletters, 1891-2000

The Highland Light was the church's monthly newsletter. There is a copy for each month in chronological order from 1891 to 2000, with gaps.
Series VI: Bibles

There are two bibles included in this series. One of the bibles commemorates the founding of the church on September 28, 1871.


Folder List

Series I: Church Records, 1869-1981

Box 1
Folder 1   Manual of the Highland Congregational Church: Comprising its history, articles of faith and covenant, rules, and list of members. 1870
      Printed by Rockwell and Churchill, Boston.  
    Manual of the Highland Congregational Church, Roxbury, Boston, Mass. 1898
      Printed by Wallace Spooner, Boston. (4 copies).  
    Directory of Highland Congregational Church: together with an historical sketch, articles of faith, the covenant, and rules and by-laws. 1886
      Beacon Press, Boston. (2 copies).  
Folder 2   Highland Congregational Church Records Vol. I: Annual Meetings. 1869-1883
Folder 3   Highland Congregational Church Records Vol. II: Annual Meetings. 1883-1946
Folder 4   Highland Congregational Church Records Vol. III: Annual Meetings. 1903-1916
Box 2
Folder 1   Church Meetings 1881-1942
Folders 2-8   Annual Meeting Reports 1948-1979
Folder 9   Special Meetings 1919, 1948, 1980?
Folder 10   Correspondence - includes letters of request 1929-1982
      (other letters of request will be found in Box 6)  
Folder 11   Church Maintenance – directions on care of building n.d.
Folder 12   Pipe Organ – 1961-1981
Old Organs in Present-Day Churches, published by the Andover Organ Company, Inc.;
organ specification documents; Boston Organ Club Newsletter;
organ dedication at the Immaculate Conception Church in Newburyport, MA.


  Sub-Series: Financial  
Box 3 
Folder 1   Treasurer Reports 1924-1978
Folder 2   Prudential Committee Reports 1927-1967
Folder 3   50th Anniversary Fund 1948-1977
Folder 4   The Society / Trustees 1929-1971
Folder 5   Titles / Insurance 1970s
Folder 6   Fundraising Correspondence 1910, 1953
Folder 7   Bankbooks of the Highland Congregational Church, Highland Pilgrims, and Fiftieth Anniversary Fund 1937-1986
Folder 8   Wills 1958-1976

Series II: Members and Statistics, 1869-1994

Box 4
Item 1   Book #1 1881-1891
      Sermons, Baptisms, Communicants, Marriages, Funerals, Register of Miscellaneous Addresses, Children given bibles at age of 7 years, Sunday School Attendance, Annual Summary, and Index of Texts.  
Item 2   Book #2 1892-1900
      Sermons, Baptisms, Communicants, Marriages, Funerals, Prayer Meetings, Register of Addresses, Children given bibles at age of 7 years, Annual Summary, and Index of Texts.  
Item 3   Book #4  1910-1918
      Sermons, Baptisms, Church Members Received, Marriages, Funerals, Register of Benevolences, Church Meetings, Register of Addresses, Bibles Children’s Day, Annual Summary, and Index of Texts.  
Item 4   Book #5 1919-1926
      Sermons, Baptisms, Church Members Received, Marriages, Funerals, Gathering Addresses, Register of Benevolences, Prayer Meetings, Bibles given on Children’s Day, Annual Summary, and Index of Texts. [Correspondence stuck on back page].  
Item 5   Book #6 1927-1935
      Sermons, Baptisms, Church Members Received, Marriages, Funerals, Removals from Register, Bible Children, and Index of Texts. [loose document: Children’s Sunday Bible Awards]  
Item 6   Sermons, Baptisms, Marriages, and Funerals 1936-1942
Item 7   Communicants 1869-1943
Box 5
Folder 1   Baptisms 1870-1944
Folder 2   "Deaths as per A. E. Dunning’s Record" 1870-1883
Folder 3   "Deaths as per early Church Book" 1870-1878
Folder 4   Marriages "From Church Book" and "A. E. Dunning’s Book" 1871-1922
Folder 5   "Marriages from A. E. Dunning’s Book" 1871-1922
Folder 6   "Funerals – W. R. C. [Rev. Campbell] Book 1" 1881-1919
Folder 7   Marriages – W. R. C. [Rev. Campbell], Book 1 1881-1918
Folder 8   "Deaths as per Church Book" 1886-1914
Folder 9   F. J. Loungway [Sunday collections?] 1930-1939
Folder 10   Baptisms by F. J. Loungway 1935-1938
Folder 11   "Funerals – F. J. L. [Rev. Loungway]" 1936, 1939
Folder 12   Member’s Received – F. J. Loungway’s Book 1936-1941
Folder 13   Bibles, Baptisms, Marriages, Funerals, Members Received 1936-1949;
Folder 14   Marriages – F. J. L. [Rev. Loungway] 1936-1941
Folder 15   Weddings 1939-1949, Funerals 1938-1950, Baptisms 1943-1945.
(also includes "Northeastern School Account – Priscilla School").
Folder 16   Funerals F. J. Loungway 1941
Folder 17   Funerals 1942-1949
Folder 18   Marriages 1942-1949
Folder 19   Index of Members and Number 1942-1950
Folder 20   Record of Births and Baptisms under Rev. W. Arthur Rice 1944-1950
Folder 21   Alphabetical Index of Members [1940s?]
Folder 22   Texts, Readings, and Attendance 1942-1948
Folder 23   Certificate of Baptisms 1953-1996
Folder 24   Certificate of Church Membership 1953-1963;
Folder 25   Letters in Memoriam
[others will be found in Box 6]
Box 6
Folder 1   General Membership and Vital Statistics 1929-1948
Folder 2   Church Letters - Dismission Request 1933-1954
Folder 3   General Membership and Vital Statistics - largely Baptismal 1945-1956
Folder 4   General Membership and Vital Statistics 1949-1950
Folder 5   General Membership and Vital Statistics 1949-1969
Folder 6   General Membership and Vital Statistics 1950-1954
Folder 7   General Membership and Vital Statistics 1951-1956
Folder 8   General Membership and Vital Statistics 1951-1977
Folder 9   General Membership and Vital Statistics 1957-1977
Folder 10   General Membership and Vital Statistics 1963-1966
Folder 11   Obituary news clippings n.d.
Box 7
Folder 1   General Membership and Vital Statistics 1943-1949
Folder 2   Funerals 1945-1949
Folder 3   General Membership and Vital Statistics 1948-1973
Folder 4   Membership letters 1953-1959
Folder 5   General Membership and Vital Statistics 1955-1968

Series III: Auxiliary and Social Groups – including Sunday school, 1909-2006

Box 8
Folder 1   W.R.C. Club Treasurer’s book, includes birthday reminders and “outings” list (1956-1981). [Women’s Relief Corps] 1948-1982
Folder 2   Women’s Union, Treasurer’s book (1961-1982), Women’s Missionary Fund (1961-1982), Somers Fund (1961-1978), Fair (1960-1973). 1960-1982
Folder 3   Union Mother’s Club, Treasurer’s book 1977-1982
Folder 4   Highland Church Mother’s Club 1977-1996
Folder 5   Highland Women’s Clubs and Fair, including fund for 30th anniversary of Masonic Sunday, Somers Fund 1982-2004
Folder 6   Women’s Union Secretary Reports 1988-2006
Box 9
Folder 1   Highland Sunday School 1910
Folder 2   Mount Holyoke Bible School 1911-1913
Folder 3   Auxiliary / Social Clubs  
      Columbian Lodge;
Girl’s Club
Folder 4     Highland Men’s Club, Men’s Class, Pathfinder Class 1910-1919
Folder 5   The Highland Booster, The Highland Recruits 1910-1920
Folder 6   Church Fairs, Picnics, and Lectures - flyers. 1909-1931
Folder 7   Church Musical and Theater Productions 1909-1920
Folder 8   Church Anniversaries 1942-1969
Folder 9   Sunday School 50th / 100th Anniversary, includes photographs 1903, 1953
Folder 10   Newspaper Clippings 1910-1978
Folders 11-15   Sunday Service Programs 1910-1982 (gaps)
Folder 16   Campbell, Rev. W. R, and Mr. Charles L. Zeigler. The Christian Life in Scripture and Language: a catechism with answers in bible language. 1910
      Fourth edition, Boston. (This was written by Highland’s Rev. Campbell and Charles Zeigler who was a trustee of the Highland Society).  
Folder 17   The Boston Directory (reprint of 1789) 1904
Folder 18   A Story of Eliot Church by Walter E. Davis. 1960?
      Published by The Eliot Congregational Church of Roxbury, Boston, Mass.  
    New England Churches Decorated by H.W. Foote & Co. (includes Highland Congregational Church) 1940s?
Folder 19   Book of Congregational Worship. Congregational Union of England and Wales. Printed in Great Britain by Turnbull & Spears, Edinburgh. 1920
    Heicher, Rev. M. K. W. The Ministers Manual: A study and pulpit guide for the calendar year 1960. Harper & Brothers Publishers, New York. 1959. 1958
Box 10 -- Photographs, Memorabilia, Art
Folder 1   [7] calendar art n.d.
Folder 2   Photographs of Rev. Campbell n.d.
Folder 3   "Highland Receipts," Recipe Book late 19th century?
Folder 4   Highland Birthday Calendar 1948
Folder 5   Highland Postcards n.d.
Folder 6   Painting "Congregational Church Stonington, Maine" n.d.
Folder 7   Photograph of Highland Congregational Church n.d.
Folder 8   Photograph of unidentified man [Rev. Loungway?] n.d.
Folder 9   Photograph of Francis Read Hewett, "April 1850 - May 1930" n.d.
Folder 10   Group Photograph, includes list of names n.d.
Folder 11   Photograph in envelope, "...also Highland Group at Houghtons Pond, Oct. 12, [19?]" from Janet Wurtz to Anne Schaeper. n.d.
Folder 12   Photograph of Highland Church 75th anniversary cake? 1944?
Folder 13   Photograph of unidentified woman n.d.
Folder 14   Photograph of unidentified man n.d.
Folder 15   Group photograph n.d.
Folder 16   Photograph of Highland Congregational Church n.d.
Folders 17-19   Photographs of minstrel show May, 1927
Folder 20   Photograph of unidentified man n.d. [1920s]
Folder 21   Photograph of Reginald Jacobs n.d. [40-50s]
Folder 22   Negative of Rev. Rice at altar n.d.
Folder 23   Photograph of Miss Page n.d.
Folder 24   Photograph of Children’s choir n.d. [40s-50s?]
Folder 25   Photograph of Highland Women n.d. [1940s]
Folder 26   Photograph [of E. V. Gradell?] n.d.
Folder 27   Photograph of 48 Allaghany St., Roxbury n.d.
Folder 28   Photograph of "House. 72 Alleghany St., Boston. Residence began here March 24, 1882" n.d.
Folder 29   Photograph of "Birthplace of Sunday School, now a dwelling, Hampshire St." n.d.
Folder 30   Photograph of "Parker St. Chapel occupied November 15, 1857" n.d.
Folder 31   Scrapbook, "Highland Church Memorabilia" 1870-1880
Folder 32   Mylar recording tape [unknown contents] n.d.
Folder 33   Wooden plates, including ones of Rev. Campbell, Rev. Rice, The Church, Rev. Dunning, Rev. Loungway, Rev. Mills n.d.

Series IV: Ministers, 1881-1981

Box 11
Folder 1   Rev. Campbell 1881, 1932
Folder 2     Sermons / Services 1910- ?
    Rev. W. A. Rice  
Folder 3     Sermons 1937-1952
Folder 4     Sermons 1937-1953
Folder 5     Sermons 1937-1972
Folder 6     Sermons 1943-1961
Folder 7     Sermon Fragments 1937-1950
Folder 8     "Funeral Meditations, poems, etc." ? -1975
Folder 9     Correspondence 1940-1968
Folder 10     Ordination-Highland Congregational Church 1943
Folder 11     Newspaper Clippings 1941-1967
Folder 12     Religious beginnings 1911-1943
Folder 13     School papers 1937-1977
Folder 14     Thesis 1943
Folder 15     Biography n.d.
Folder 16     Honorary Degree Piedmont College 1969
Box 12
Folder 1     Photographs n.d.
Folder 2     Stonington Church, ME 1939-1941
Folder 3     Boston Congregational Club
(Rev. Rice was President)
Folder 4     Suffolk South Association of Congregational Churches
(Rev. Rice was moderator)
Folder 5     Boston Seaman Society 1976-1980
Folder 6     Department of Youth Services
(Rev. Rice was Chaplain)
Folder 7     Memberships [various associations] 1953; 1959;
1974-75; 1981
Folder 8     Europe trip 1971

Series V: Newsletters -- The Highland Light, 1891-2000

[Bound Volumes are not in a box]
Volume 1   The Highland Light, Highland Congregational Church 1891-1917
Volume 2   The Highland Light, vols. 26-51 1917-1942
Box 13      
Folders 1-10   The Highland Light 1942-2000 (gaps)

Series VI: Bibles, 1871-

Volume 1   The Highland Congregational Church, September 28, 1871 1871
Volume 2   Holy Bible n.d.