Thursday, January 10, 2008

Boylston Congregational Church

January, 2008

Boston Daily Globe May 9, 1904

Boylston Congregational Church Begins Observance Of Its 25th Anniversary.

The Boylston Congregational church, corner of Boylston and Amory sts, began the observance of its 25th anniversary yesterday. Many past members of the society attended the services. The most interested one was Rev S. Sherborne Mathews of Dahleson, Conn, the first pastor.

He attended all the services and was highly pleased with the progress his old church has made since he left the pulpit.

The services opened with an organ prelude by R. Roscoe Steeves, followed by the opening sentences from the Psalms. After the congregational hymn, "O Worship the Kind," the invocation and Lord's prayer was given by the pastor, Rev Herbert A. Barker. The choir sang an anthem, Rev Mr Mathews conducted the responsive reading and Scripture lesson, Miss Lillian M. Lord gave a solo "The Plains of Peace," and Rev Mr Barker offered prayer. A thank offering for the work of the Boylston church was liberally responded to. The congregation than sang "O Where Are Kings and Empire Now?" Rev Mr Barker gave a historical address, and a memorial hymn, written by Warren S. Archibald, was sung.

Following the service, the Lord's supper was celebrated by Rev Mr Barker, assisted by Rev Mr Mathews.

In the afternoon the Sunday school held its 25th anniversary. It antedates the church, which in reality is an outgrowth of the Sunday school.

The services were opened with an organ prelude followed by responsive reading. They further consisted of prayer by Mr Barker, song by the choir, address, "The Early Days of Boylston Sunday School," by Deacon George W. Fowle, an original member; song by the infant department; address, "Recollections of Boylston Sunday School," by W.W. Baker; song, primarily department, historical sketch by Warren S. Archibald; song, primary and kindergarten departments; address, "The Boylston Sunday School of the Future," Rev William R. Campbell, pastor of the Highland Congregational church, Roxbury; singing of the memorial hymn by the congregation and benediction by the pastor.

At 6:30 o'clock the Christian Endeavor society held a reminiscence meeting.

The church was crowded in the evening, when the early days of Boylston church were interestingly told in addresses by Dr Henry W. Broughton, Rev Dr S. Sherborne Matthews, Nathan G. Nickerson and Lincoln F. Crowell.

The celebration will be continued this afternoon and evening.

The Boylston Sunday school began holding meetings in the old Boylston station of the Boston & Providence railroad in May, 1869. In the fall of that year George H. Williams gave 2000 feet of land on Danforth st, on which a chapel was erected. The property was put in charge of George W. Fowle, Robert W. Morville and Nicholas Broughton as trustees. These men purchased and gave 5000 feet of land adjoining the lot given by Mr Williams. The school was materially helped by the Central Congregational society at Jamaica Plain, which gave annual appropriations for its support.

It was not long before the need for a church organization was felt, and in the winter of 1877 arrangements were made for regular preaching. In March, 1878, the arrangements were completed. Rev George W. Blagden, pastor of the Old South church, preached the first sermon, and Rev S. Sherberne Matthews the second. Mr Matthews continued to preach at the gatherings until the formation of the church society and for eight years after.

The society was formed 10 years after the Sunday school, with 46 members, 33 by letters from other churches and 13 by confession of faith. The growth of the society was so great that larger accommodations were necessary and a large lot at the corner of Boylston and Amory sts was purchased. The corner stone of the present house of worship was laid June 9, 1884. The church was completed and dedicated on June 24, 1885.

In 1887 Rev Mr Matthwes resigned his pastorate and Rev Ellis Mendell was installed Dec 27, 1888. During Mr Mendell's pastorate of 15 years the society grew in strength. He died last May. Last December Rev Herbert A. Barker, the present pastor, was called, and the church work continues to flourish.

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