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First Congregational Church in Amherst Records, 1829-1959 (Bulk: 1829-1939)
1 archives box (0.5 linear ft.)

Abstract:
Sermon and anniversary celebration programs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other records documenting activities of the First Congregational Church in Amherst, Massachusetts, chiefly 1829-1939.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the First Congregational Church in Amherst Records for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the First Congregational Church in Amherst Records should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Amherst, MA

Historical Note

Chronology of the First Congregationalist Church in Amherst, 1781-1939

1734 The Third Precinct of Hadley is organized by the General Court with a condition to "build a meeting house and settle a learned Orthodox Minister in three years."
1735 Rev. David Parsons is employed as the first Minister of the church
1739 First Church is organized with sixteen members on November 7; Rev. David Parsons is ordained as pastor
1741 The First Meeting House is built on the future site of the octagon building at Amherst College
1753 The First Meeting House is completed
1759 The Third Precinct of Hadley becomes the District of Amherst
1781 Rev. David Parsons dies
1782 Rev. David Parsons (son of first Minister) is ordained
1783 The First Church Parish is established to manage church financial business
1784 Political objections to Rev. David parsons lead a group to break from the church to form the Second Church of Amherst
1785 The Second Church of Amherst meeting house is completed
1788 The larger, Second Meeting House is erected on the site of the First
1792 A Paul Revere bell is installed in the church belfry, and the practice of blowing a "konk" to gather worshipers is discontinued
1819 Rev. David Parsons retires
1820 Rev. Daniel A. Clark is installed as Minister; Noah Webster writes a constitution for the newly established Sunday school; David Parsons lays cornerstone for Amherst College
1822 Amherst College holds its first commencement ceremony at the church
1824 Rev. Daniel A. Clark is dismissed; Samuel Hills and 16 other members unite with others to organize the South Congregational Church
1826 Rev. Royal Washburn is installed as Minister; Oliver Dickinson and others leave the church to form the North Church
1828 The Third Meeting House is built on the southwest corner of South Pleasant Street and Northampton Road
1833 Rev. Royal Washburn dies; Rev. Matthew T. Adam is installed as Minister
1834 Matthew T. Adam dismissed; Edward Hitchcock serves as one of the interim Ministers
1837 Josiah Bent is installed as Minister
1839 Josiah Bent dies
1840 Rev. Aaron M. Colton is ordained as Minister
1853 Aaron M. Colton is dismissed at his own request; Rev. Edward S. Wright becomes Acting Pastor
1854 Rev. Edward S. Wright in installed as Minister; meeting house is used for the inauguration of William A. Stearns, President of Amherst College
1857 Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers lecture in the meeting house, "The Beautiful in Rural Life"
1860 Edward S. Dwight is dismissed
1861 Rev. Henry L. Hubbell ordained as Minister
1865 Amherst voters gather in meeting house to vote on the establishment of the Massachusetts Agricultural College; Henry L. Hubbell resigns
1867 Rev. Jonathan L. Jenkins becomes Acting Pastor; Amherst College buys the meeting house (now known as College Hall)
1868 The Fourth Meeting House is built on the south side of Main Street; the pulpit, made of wood from the Lebanon Mountains in Syria, is donated by the Rev. Daniel Bliss; Rev. Jonathan L. Jenkins is installed as Pastor
1877 Rev. Jonathan L. Jenkins resigns; Rev. Howard Kingbury is installed as Minister
1878 Rev. Jonathan L. Jenkins dies
1879 Rev. Forrest F. Emerson is installed as Minister
1883 Rev. Forrest F. Emerson resigns; Rev. George S. Dickerman is installed as Minister
1888 Church bylaws are amended to give women voting power
1891 Rev. George S. Dickerman resigns
1892 Rev. Frank L. Goodspeed is installed as Minister
1894 Rev. Frank L. Goodspeed resigns
1895 Rev. Oliver Huckel is installed as Minister
1897 Rev. Oliver Huckel resigns
1898 Rev. Henry R. McCartney is installed as Minister
1901 Rev. Henry R. McCartney resigns; Rev. William E. Strong is installed as Minister
1904 The administrative parish is dissolved and the church incorporates
1906 Rev. William E. Strong resigns
1907 Rev. William I. Anderson is installed as Minister
1909 Organ is donated by Fidelia S. Gaylord
1913 Rev. William I. Anderson resigns
1914 Rev. John A. Hawley begins ministry
1915 Church is remodeled to increase space for social activities
1936 Ruth E. Sherburne is elected clerk of the church
1937 Rev. John A. Hawley resigns; Rev. Raymond A. Waser begins ministry
1939 Rev. Raymond A. Waser resigns
Scope and Contents of the Collection

This collection consists of sermon and anniversary celebration programs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, and other records documenting activities of the First Congregational Church in Amherst, Massachusetts, chiefly 1829-1939.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the First Congregational Church in Amherst Records for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the First Congregational Church in Amherst Records should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

[Identification of item], in First Congregational Church in Amherst Records [Box #, Folder #], Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed in November 2011 by Sara Smith.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Phone: (413) 542-2299
Fax: (413) 542-2692

Email Reference Form: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/askus
URL: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives

Language
English

Contents List
Series 1: HISTORIES AND ANNIVERSARY PUBLICATIONS



Souvenir programs and booklets containing historical essays and information on the church, produced for anniversary celebrations held in 1889, 1939 and 1959. A pamphlet detailing the origin of the pulpit of the First Congregationalist Church and a program from the opening of Amherst College's College Hall are also included here.

Histories and anniversary programs and pamphlets
1889, 1905, 1932-1959

Box 1: folder 1
Series 2: CHURCH TEXTS



Contains "The Articles of Faith and Government, of the First Church in Amherst, Mass" (1834) and the "Manual of the First Congregationalist Church" (1923) as well as programs from services held and texts of sermons delivered from 1829-1904.

Articles of Faith and Government; Manual of the First Congregational Church
1834, 1923

Box 1: folder 2
Sermons and programs from services and the installation of Forrest F. Emerson 1829-1904
1829-1904

Box 1: folder 3
Series 3: CORRESPONDENCE



Contains one letter from Aaron M. Cotton to Edward B. Marsh, 1885.

Letter from A[aron]. M. Colton to Edward B. Marsh
1885

Box 1: folder 4
Series 4: CLIPPINGS



Contains newspaper clippings related to anniversary services and celebrations.

Clippings
1905, 1939, 1959

Box 1: folder 5
Series 5: PHOTOGRAPHS



Contains two photographs of the church at Main Street, one exterior and one interior.

Photographs
1920s, 1943

Box 1: folder 6
Series 6: RECORD BOOKS



Contains two volumes made in 1891: a copy of the records of the First Church and of the Second Church from 1735-1819, made by Pastor G. S. Dickerman; and the Catalogue of the Pastors and Deacons of the First Church of Christ in Amherst, compiled by G.S. Dickerman, with Rev. D.W. Marsh D.D. and Mrs. Helen T. Magill.

Book-Copies of the records of the First Church and of the Second Church of Amherst, MA, covering 1735-1819. Copied by Pastor G. S. Dickerman, 1891. "The volume of original records of the first church of Amherst has been kept for better preservation in the vault of the first national Bank."
1891

Box 1: folder 7
Catalogue of the Pastors and Deacons of the First Church of Christ in Amherst, Mass. Compiled by G.S. Dickerman, with Rev. D.W. Marsh D.D. and Mrs. Helen T. Magill, 1891.
1891

Box 1: folder 8

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Amherst (Mass.) -- Church history.
  • First Congregational Church (Amherst, Mass.) -- Sources.


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