Marblehead, Mass. Third Congregational Church

Collection History

Please note that as of January 2022, the Marblehead, Massachusetts. Third Congregational Church records, 1858-1876, and all future digital collections are now hosted on the library's new digital archive.

The Third Congregational Church of Marblehead, also known as the South Church, was established in 1858 by 49 former members of the First Congregational Church in Marblehead due to a protracted fight over the installation of Rev. Benjamin R. Allen in 1854. Those 49 members had wished to install a more orthodox minister and they envisioned that their new church would adhere more with the tenants of "Evangelical Faith and Practice." Due to the creation of the Third Church, the First Church underwent a name change and became the Old North Church. Plans for the construction of a new church building to house to newly formed church also began in 1858 and in 1860 the new building was dedicated. The first pastor of the church was Rev. T. D. P. Stone who was installed on August 31, 1864. Prior to Rev. Stone's installation, a series of interim ministers preached at the church. The church remained active until 1877 when a fire completely destroyed the church building. Following the destruction of their building, the members of the Third Church decided to reform with the Old North Church.

Th digital collections below contain three books of institutional records of the Third Congregational Church, comprising meeting minutes, copies of official communications, notice of separation from the First Church, records of income and expenditures, details on the construction of a new church building, orders of worship, bylaws, and membership lists. Of particular note is the inclusion of a historical overview of the First, Second, and Third churches in Marblehead. Also included are documents pertaining to the manner in which the church accepted new members, performed baptisms, and issued censures

For additional information please see the finding aid.


Digital Materials

Church records, 1858

This volume contains a brief historical sketch of First, Second, and Third Churches in Marblehead, as well as a copy of Third Church's confession of faith, covenant, standing rules, ecclesiastical principles, and rules. Also contained in this record book is a list of members, pastors, and officers of the church. Of particular note are the "Forms of Admission" and "Ordinance of Baptism" which spell out the liturgy associated with baptizing and accepting new members.

Church records, 1858-1874

This volume contains materials relating to the departure of members from First Church and the formation of Third Church. These materials include notice of withdrawal, membership lists, meeting notes, and records relating to the Council of the Vicinage called in order to convene the new society and church. Dates for meeting minutes in this volume overlap but do not duplicate those in the following volume.

Church records, 1858-1876

These records contain materials related to the day-to-day administration of the church. These materials include meeting minutes, lists of incomes and expenditures, information about building and furnishing the meetinghouse, orders of worship, and bylaws. Of particular note is a to-scale drawing of the proposed new meeting house drawn by Glover Broughton, church clerk, which can be found on page 28 of the volume.


Related Materials

Marblehead, Mass. First Church of Christ ("Old North") records, 1684-1886

Marblehead, Mass. Second Church