Somerset, Mass. First Christian Union Church

Collection History

Please note that as of January 2022, the Somerset, Massachusetts. First Christian Union Church records, 1840-1912, and all future digital collections are now hosted on the library's new digital archive.

In 1838, a group of thirty, known as the "Christian Band", signed a covenant to organize a church community in the village of Pottersville in Somerset, Massachusetts. The covenant led, in November 1840, to the construction of a meetinghouse. On May 26, 1841, a double ceremony was held for the dedication of the new meetinghouse and the acceptance into the Christian denomination. Later that year William Shurtleff was called to be the first pastor of the religious society known as the First Christian Union Society in Somerset, Massachusetts.

It was not until 1911 that the First Christian Church, as it came to be known, was incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts. In 1939, a vote was taken to change the name to the Congregational Christian Church of Somerset Centre. The church is still active today as the Congregational Christian Church of Somerset and has been a member of the United Church of Christ since 1957.

The digital collections below include two volumes of church record books, spanning 1840-1912, as well as the record book for the Ladies Industrial Association, an extracurricular organization of the church comprising a sewing circle, Bible study group, and social club.

For additional information please see the finding aid.

historical information courtesy of the Massachusetts Bible Society.


Digital Materials

Church records, 1840-1912

This volume primarily contains records of membership and vital statistics including baptisms, admissions, dismissions, disciplinary cases, and deaths. It also includes church meeting minutes pertaining to the selection of church officers and pastors, and the related finances.

Church records, 1841-1893

This book contains a copy of the church's covenant and the administrative records relating to the meetinghouse, including committee assignments and correspondence.

Ladies Industrial Association records, 1857-1895

This bound volume contains the records of the Ladies Industrial Association of the First Church, a group which evolved from the former "Ladies Union Sewing Society". The organization operated partly as a ladies' auxiliary for the church, as well as a bible study group and social club. The record book includes records of membership, attendance at meetings, finances, and the sewing and knitting projects the Association undertook for the improvement of the parish.