Northampton, Mass. First Church of Christ

Collection History

Please note that as of January 2022, the Northampton, Massachusetts. First Church of Christ records, 1661-1845, and all future digital collections are now hosted on the library's new digital archive.

The First Church in Northampton was gathered June 18, 1661. The Congregation was established by representatives from the Churches of Christ from Dorchester, Roxbury, Springfield, and Hadley. The founding members of the church were Eleazear Mather, WIlliam Clarke, Henry Cunliffe, and Henry Woodard, all originally members from the Dorchester church.

Their first minister was Elezear Mather, followed by Solomon Stoddard. Stoddard's grandson, Jonathan Edwards, became their third minister, who served from 1727-1750. Edwards' departure centered around his refusal to accept the Half-Way Covenant.

In 1833, the congregation had grown enough to warrant a new church forming, Edwards Church. This group was made up primarily of younger members of First Church. The congregation joined the United Church of Christ after the denomination's start in 1957. The current congregation blended with Northampton's Baptist First Church in 1988 and the resulting organization is now known as the First Churches of Northampton.

The digital materials below comprise a single bound volume of the earliest church records, dating from 1661-1845.

For additional information please see the finding aid


Digital Materials

Church records, 1661-1845

This volume contains articles of faith, a covenant, meeting minutes, admissions, dismissions, membership lists, baptisms, deaths, and marriages, and an index for members by name.


Related Materials

Edwards, Jonathan. Letter to Esther Burr, 1757


Special Thanks

This digital resource has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.