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Fitchburg, Mass. Calvinistic Congregational Church records, 1805-2006.

 Collection
Identifier: RG5368

Scope and Contents

The Fitchburg, Mass. Calvinistic Congregational Church records document the history and activities of parish and its members. The documents contain church and society records, including reports, meeting minutes, and vital statistics. Also included are financial records, photographic materials, weekly church bulletins, event calendars, and the records of numerous church societies and clubs, including the records of the Fitchburg Sunday School.

Dates

  • 1805-2006

Language of Materials

English

Restrictions on Access

Access to this collection is unrestricted and open to the public.

Restrictions on Use

Items in this collection are subject to U.S. Copyright Law. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine the copyright status of collection items and to secure any permissions necessary for their reproduction and publication. Requests for permission to publish material must be discussed with the archivist or librarian.

Historical Note

The Calvinistic Congregational Church of Fitchburg Massachusetts was formed on June 14, 1805 as the Calvinistic Congregational Society from a period of religious tumult within Fitchburg, and New England, during the early part of the nineteenth-century. The issues of the separation of church and Christ came to the forefront just as doctrinal disagreements between Unitarian and Trinitarian beliefs. The result, in Fitchburg, was the succession of a majority of parishioners from the First Parish in 1802 to form their own society. This succession resulted in the formation of the Calvinistic Congregational Church three years later.

The first meeting house of the Calvinistic Congregational Church was built in 1806 at the corner of Main and Rollstone. That meeting house was replaced in 1845. The new meeting house was larger and eventually was adjoined with a chapel. In 1897, the third and final meeting house was built on the same plot of land. Designed by Henry M. Francis, the church is an example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The meeting house's most prominent features were a clock tower and the 20 diameter "rose window" which was a stained glass window depicting the angelic choir.

The same kinds of doctrinal disagreements that had resulted in the formation of the Calvinistic Congregational Church from the first parish resulted in the formation of a number of other protestant denominations from the Calvinistic Church during the nineteenth-century. The Methodist, Episcopal, and Baptists churches of Fitchburg formed from doctrinal splits out of the Calvinistic Church. Rollstone Congregational formed due to a geographic split between Fitchburg center and the eastern parts of the town. The Trinitarian church split in 1843 following three tumultuous years of discussions about slavery and shortly preceding an official change in the Calvinistic Congregational Church's stance on slavery from non-committal to calling it an "evil of great magnitude." Eventually the Trinitarian church reformed with the Rollstone church.

In 1961, the Calvinistic Congregational Church voted to join with the United Church of Christ. Beginning in 1966, the Calvinistic Church reached out to the other parishes that had formed from it to start talks of creating a "cooperative parish." The First Methodist Church responded, and in 1967 the Faith United Parish was formed. Both churches continued to hold separate finances, polity, and membership, but held joint worship and shared programs and clubs. Both churches stayed united until 2018 when both churches, and Faith United Parish, dissolved.

Extent

11.16 Cubic Feet (23 boxes)

Overview

The Calvinistic Congregational Church of Fitchburg Massachusetts was formed on June 14, 1805 as the Calvinistic Congregational Society. The first meeting house was built in 1806, the second in 1845, and the third, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in 1897. The church joined the United Church of Christ in 1961 and formed the Faith United Parish with the First Methodist Church of Fitchburg in 1967. The records document the history and activities of parish and its members. The record contain reports, meeting minutes, vital statistics, financial records, photographic materials, weekly church bulletins, and the records of numerous church societies.

Arrangement

This collection has been divided into five series, with two of those series further divided into subseries. Materials have been arranged in chronological order and by topic. When possible, the original order of materials within folders has been maintained.

Series 1: Church and committee records, 1805-2006.

Subseries 1: Church and society records, 1805-1983.

Subseries 2: Annual reports, 1882-1990.

Subseries 3: Committee reports and minutes, 1859-1973.

Subseries 4: Vital records, 1824-2006.

Subseries 5: Correspondence and communications, 1906-1959.

Subseries 6: Church history, 1868-1968.

Series 2: Financial records, 1824-1998.

Series 3: Church societies and clubs, 1825-1995.

Subseries 1: Sunday School Society of Fitchburg, 1825-1976.

Subseries 2: Sewing Society, 1839-1859.

Subseries 3: Young People's Society, 1886-1930.

Subseries 4: Fitchburg Congregational Club, 1888.

Subseries 5: Kings Daughters of the C. C. Church, 1888-1967.

Subseries 6: United Workers of the C. C. Church, 1891-1957.

Subseries 7: Fraternal Brotherhood of the C. C. Church, 1910-1942.

Subseries 8: Fitchburg Choral Society, 1911-1930.

Subseries 9: Fitchburg Woman's Club, 1919-1945.

Subseries 10: Hisanhern Club of the C. C. Church, 1941-1995.

Subseries 11: Woman's Guild of the C. C. Church, 1953-1970.

Subseries 12: Aims, Ambitions, Ideals Service Club of the Calvinistic Congregational Church, 1953-1970.

Subseries 13: Junior Pilgrim youth Fellowship, 1954-1966.

Subseries 14: COMETS, 1976-1995.

Series 4: Calendars and bulletins, 1887-1972.

Series 5: Photographic materials, circa 1914-1980.

Acquisition Information

Materials were gifted to the Congregational Library & Archives, March 2018, by Rev. Jeffrey Conlon; Accession: 2018-08.

Related Materials

Materials from the First Methodist Church of Fitchburg, Mass. were gifted to the School of Theology Library at Boston University in 2018.

Bibliography

Committee on Archives. 200 Years. Fitchburg, 1968.17.11.1 F55.3 FaiUP
Hitchcock, George A. A History of the Calvinistic Congregational Church and Society. Fitchburg, 1902. 17.11.1 F55.3 CalCC

Processing Information

Prcoessed by Zachary Bodnar, May 2018, using DACS Second Edition.
Title
Fitchburg, Mass. Calvinistic Congregational Church records, 1805-2006. RG5368
Status
Completed
Author
Zachary Bodnar
Date
2018-05-15
Description rules
Dacs2 2013
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the deneme Repository

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