Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ. Records, 1812-1974.

Collection Information
Title:

Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ records, 1812-1974.

Creator(s):

Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Conference

Rhode Island and Connecticut Christian Conference

Rhode Island Conference
Rhode Island Congregational Conference
Rhode Island Home Missionary Society
United Church of Christ, Rhode Island Conference

Broad Street Christian Church (Providence, Rhode Island)

Church of Christ (Providence, Rhode Island)

Congregational Church of Christ (Thornton, Rhode Island)

Elmwood Congregational Christian Church (Providence, Rhode Island)
Elmwood Christian Church (Providence, Rhode Island)
Elmwood Temple Congregational Church (Providence, Rhode Island)

Free Evangelical Congregational Church, (Providence, Rhode Island)

North Congregational Church (Providence, Rhode Island)

Pawtuxet Street Christian Church (Providence, Rhode Island)

Plymouth Union Congregational Church (Providence, Rhode Island)

Union Congregational Church (Providence, Rhode Island)

United Congregational Church (East Providence, Rhode Island)

Wood River Junction Congregational Church (Richmond, Rhode Island)

Dates:

1812; 1827-1974; 1980

Extent:

5.05 cubic feet

Collection ID #:

RG0150

Conditions Governing Access:

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

Physical Access:

Some items are oversized and require ample surface area to use.

Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of Item] in the Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ records, 1812-1974, RG0150, The Congregational Library & Archives, Boston MA.

Language:

English

Processing information:

Accessioned and processed by Congregational Library Staff in 1984 and 1997.

Revision History:

Re-processed by Katie Rice in March 2016 using DACS 2013.

Abstract:

The Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ is the product of over a century of Congregational organizations and churches working together in the area. This collection includes the institutional records (such as minutes, constitutions and by-laws, and treasurer notes) of the Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ and other related entities, as well as records from individual churches.

Acquisition Information:

Gifted by the Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ on two separate occasions, circa 1970s and 1984.

Accruals:

A portion of this collection had been processed separately and used the unique identifier RG4366, although it was an accrual to this collection. It was included in the re-processing in 2016. No further accruals are expected.

Description

Historical Note

The Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ (RICUCC) was incorporated in 1957, at the same time that the United Church of Christ was formed through the unity of the Congregational Church and the Evangelical and Reformed Church. The Conference is the product of over a century of Congregational organizations working together in the area.

The earliest roots of the RICUCC can be traced back to the late 18th century and the birth of the Rhode Island Home Missionary Society (RIHMS). In the midst of the Great Awakening, pastors Samuel Hopkins and Ezra Stiles wanted to train American slaves as missionaries and send them to Africa to evangelize. To begin this program, they circulated a letter throughout the Congregational community in April 1773 requesting funds to help in this endeavor. Today this is considered the beginning of the RIHMS. The RIHMS began functioning as an auxiliary of the American Home Missionary Society in 1826. Throughout its history it has worked in tandem with the Congregational Church in Rhode Island while remaining a separate entity. It has had widespread success in the Church's missionary work with immigrants and African Americans.

A second important branch of the RICUCC's history is the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Conference (RIMCC). This institution was created in 1835 when the Rhode Island Christian Conference separated from the Massachusetts Christian Conference to form an anti-slavery organization. In 1837 it formally became the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Conference. In 1875 the Rhode Island and Connecticut Christian Conference (founded in 1821 as the Connecticut Christian Conference; it adopted its final name in 1834) merged with the RIMCC.

 

Scope of Collection

This collection includes the institutional records such as minutes, constitutions and by-laws, and treasurer notes of the Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ and other related entities, including the Rhode Island Home Missionary Society. It also contains individual records such as birth and death registries, annual reports, and memorabilia of Rhode Island churches.

 

Further Searches

Subject Headings

Broad Street Christian Church (Providence, Rhode Island).

Church of Christ (Providence, Rhode Island).

Church committees—Congregationalists.

Church polity.

Church records and registers—Rhode Island.

Congregational Brotherhood of Rhode Island.

Congregational Church of Christ (Thornton, Rhode Island).

Congregational Churches—Rhode Island—Providence.

Congregational Conferences/Associations.

Congregational Church—finance.

Connecticut Christian Conference.

Elmwood Congregational Christian Church (Providence, Rhode Island).

Elmwood Christian Church (Providence, Rhode Island).

Elmwood Temple Congregational Church (Providence, Rhode Island).

Free Evangelical Congregational Church, (Providence, Rhode Island).

Missions—Societies, etc.

North Congregational Church (Providence, Rhode Island).

Ordination.

Pawtuxet Street Christian Church (Providence, Rhode Island).

Plymouth Union Congregational Church (Providence, Rhode Island).

Religious Committee of the Providence Tercentenary Committee.

Rhode Island Congregational Association.

Rhode Island and Connecticut Christian Conference

Rhode Island Conference

Rhode Island Congregational Conference

Rhode Island Home Missionary Society

Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Conference—Records and correspondence.

Rhode Island State Council of Churches.

Small churches.

United Church of Christ, Rhode Island Conference

United Congregational Church (East Providence, Rhode Island).

Union Congregational Church (Providence, Rhode Island).

Wood River Junction Congregational Church (Richmond, Rhode Island).

World War, 1939-1945—Religious Aspects—Protestant Churches.

 

Related Materials

by Richard H. Taylor:

The Churches of Christ of the Congregational Way in New England

Embracing God's Hospitality: Celebrating Over Ten Years of Ministry Together: the Rhode Island Conference of the United Church of Christ

Items removed from the collection, held at the Congregational Library & Archives:

Academy Avenue Congregational Church Manual, 1889

75th Anniversary Celebration Booklet of the Armenian Euphrates Evangelical Church, 1966

Building Fund Brochure for the Warwick Congregational Church, 1961

The First Century of Central Congregational Church, 1852-1952 (Providence, RI)

A Century of Christian Service, 1829-1929 : Pawtucket Congregational Church

The Congregationalist in Rhode Island magazine, Sept. 1940- June 1946

Constitution of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Conference, 1845 (Printed, 13 copies)

The East Room Christian Almanac, 1875

First Congregational Church of Bristol, RI Manual, 1872

Handbook of the High Street Congregational Church of Providence, RI, 1861

The History of the Amicable Congregational Church, 1746-1946

Reflections : Moosup Valley Church, 1868-1968 (Foster, RI)

Manual of Pilgrim Congregational Church, 1913 (Providence, RI)

Minutes of the American Christian Convention, Oshawa, Canada, October 11, 12, 13, 1870

The Missionary Herald at Home and Abroad : Rhode Island Congregationalist edition magazine, Sept. 1946-March 1951, with gaps

New England Christian Convention Minutes, 1864-1866, 1869, 1872, 1874, 1878, 1893-1894, 1913

New England Convention Resolutions, 1870

The Pioneer Hymnal, 1952

 

Arrangement

The intellectual arrangement of the collection separates conference records from individual church records. There are three series: conference records, church records, and images. The primary body in the conference series is the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Conference; there are two subseries. The first is affiliated institutions in alphabetical order and the second is the Rhode Island Home Missionary and its affiliate the Rhode Island Congregational Conference.

The church records are listed alphabetically, however, in cases where churches have merged together and both bodies are represented they have been included together; the older institutions are listed first. Physical arrangement groups bound volumes together and folder items together.

 

Series List

Series I: Conference Records
  Subseries A: Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Conference
  Subseries B: Affiliated Institutions of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Conference, Alphabetically:
  • Congregational Brotherhood of Rhode Island
  • Connecticut Christian Conference
  • Council for Social Action of the Congregational and Christian Churches of America
  • Religious Committee of the Providence Tercentary Committee
  • Rhode Island Conference
  • Rhode Island and Connecticut Christian Conference
  • Rhode Island Congregational Association
  • Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Benevolent Society
  • Rhode Island and Massachusetts Ministrial Association
  • Rhode Island State Council of Churches
  Subseries C: Rhode Island Home Missionary Society and Rhode Island Congregational Conference
Series II: Individual Church Records
  Subseries A: Patuxet Street Christian Church, Providence, RI; Broad Street Christian Church, Providence, RI; Elmwood Temple Congregational Church, Providence, RI; Elmwood Congregational Church, Providence, RI
  Subseries B: Church of Christ, Providence, RI
  Subseries C: Congregational Church of Christ, Thornton, RI
  Subseries D: Elmwood Christian Church, Providence, RI
  Subseries E: Free Evangelical Congregational Church, Providence RI
  Subseries F: North Congregational Church, Providence, RI
  Subseries G: Plymouth Union Congregational Church, Providence RI; Union as Congregational Church, Providence RI
  Subseries H: United Congregational Church, East Providence RI
  Subseries I: Wood River Junction Congregational Church, Richmond RI
Series III: Images

 

Contents

Series I: Conference Records

Date: 1837-1980; bulk 1840-1930
Extent: 6 boxes, 1 folder
Scope of Series: The Conference Records series includes the minutes and correspondence of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Conference, which comprises the bulk of the collection. Subseries include scattered records of some its affiliated institutions and the minutes, treasury notes, and correspondence of the Rhode Island Home Missionary Society and its affiliated body of the Rhode Island Congregational Conference.
Arrangement: Subseries A: Rhode Island Home Missionary Society and Rhode Island Congregational Conference
Subseries B: Affiliated Institutions of the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Conference, Alphabetically
  • Congregational Brotherhood of Rhode Island
  • Connecticut Christian Conference
  • Council for Social Action of the Congregational and Christian Churches of America
  • Religious Committee of the Providence Tercentary Committee
  • Rhode Island Conference
  • Rhode Island and Connecticut Christian Conference
  • Rhode Island Congregational Association
  • Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Benevolent Society
  • Rhode Island and Massachusetts Ministrial Association

Subseries C: Rhode Island State Council of Churches

Subseries A: Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Conference

        Date Box/Folder
  Minutes and correspondence 1835-1859 B7/F1
  Minutes, standing rules, and member lists 1843-1874 B7/F2
    Date Box/Folder
  Minutes and constitution 1843-1874 B1
    Date Box/Folder
  Minutes 1864-1876 B7/F3
    Date Box/Folder
  Minutes 1875-1905 B4
    Date Box/Folder
  Minutes 1877-1887 B7/F4
  Minutes 1888-1894 B7/F5
  Minutes 1895-1905 B7/F6
    Date Box/Folder
  Minutes, by-laws 1905-1913 B3
    Date Box/Folder
  Minutes 1912-1930 B7/F7
  Executive board minutes 1886-1897 B7/F8
  Executive board minutes 1897-1905 B7/F9
    Date Box/Folder
  Executive board minutes, by-laws 1905-1929 B3
    Date Box/Folder
  Records, including minutes 1928-1933 B7/F10
    Date Item 11 -Oversize folder
  Blank ordination certificates 1800s oversized folder
    Date Box/Folder
  Printed constitutions, minutes, and by-laws 1845-1912 w/gaps B7/F11
  Printed programs, session of 1890 and 1891 1890-1891 B7/F12
    Date Box
  Constitution and by-laws 1913-1927 B3
    Date Box/Folder
  Quarterly bulletin 1907-1925 B9/F2
    Date Box/Folder
  Correspondence 1843 B7/F13
  Correspondence 1844 B7/F14
  Correspondence 1845 B7/F15
  Correspondence 1846 B7/F16
  Correspondence 1847 B7/F17
  Correspondence 1848 B7/F18
  Correspondence 1849-1850 B7/F19
  Correspondence 1850 B7/F20
  Correspondence 1851 B7/F21
  Correspondence 1852 B7/F22
  Correspondence of recess from session 1852 to session 1853 1852-1853 B7/F23
  Executive board correspondence 1853 B7/F24
  Correspondence of churches and certificates of delegates 1853 B7/F25
  Correspondence 1854 B7/F26
  Correspondence 1855 B7/F27
  Correspondence 1856 B7/F28
  Loose correspondence 1854; 1863-1864 B7/F29
    Date Box/Folder
  Loose correspondence circa 1877 B9/F1
    Date Box/Folder
  Correspondence 1938 B7/F30
  Petition to license E.S. Greenleaf 1898 B7/F31

Subseries B: Affiliated Institutions

  Congregational Brotherhood of Rhode Island
    Date Box
  Secretary's Book (minutes, constitution, historical overview) 1910-1912 B5
  Connecticut Christian Conference
    Date Box
  Minutes 1827-1866 B4
  Council for Social Action of the Congregational and Christian Churches of America
    Date Box/Folder
  Conscientious objectors correspondence and brochures; case of Arnold, Kenneth; correspondence of Reverend Schmalz, Alfred 1936-1946 w/gaps B9/F3
  Religious Committee of the Providence Tercentary Committee
    Date Box/Folder
  Religion in Rhode Island pamphlet 1936 B7/F32
  Rhode Island Conference
    Date Box/Folder
  Face of religion news clippings 1965-1980 B9/F4
  Rhode Island and Connecticut Christian Conference
    Date Box
  Minutes 1867-1875 B4
  Rhode Island Congregational Association
    Date Box
  Minutes 1908-1928 B5
  Rhode Island and Massachusetts Christian Benevolent Society
    Date Box/Folder
  Printed minutes and constitution 1893 B7/F33
  Rhode Island and Massachusetts Ministerial Association
  Minutes and treasury notes 1876-1897 B7/F34
  Rhode Island State Council of Churches
  Newsletter, letter 1953 B7/F37

Subseries C: Rhode Island Home Missionary Society and the Rhode Island Congregational Conference

  Rhode Island Home Missionary Society
  Treasurer's records 1839-1904 B1
    Date Box
  Constitution and minutes 1876-1930 B4
    Date Box/Folder
  McClelland, T. Calvin, historical address 1903 B7/F36
  Report of Greeks in Providence 1904 B7/F37
    Date Box
  Record of trust after transfer of property to RI Congregational Conference 1913-1930 B5
    Date Box/Folder
  Notes of final meeting 1930 B7/F39
    Date Box/Folder
  Huntsman, John F., presidential address undated B9/F5
  Rhode Island Congregational Conference
    Date Box
  Constitution, members 1839; 1863-1950 B3
    Date Box/Folder
  Constitution, with Rhode Island Home Missionary Society 1912 B7/F38
    Date Box
  Minutes, members, and by-laws 1912-1936 B1
    Date Box/Folder
  "Young Adults" correspondence, brochures, announcements 1948-1954 w/gaps B7/F40
 

Series II: Individual Church Records

Date: 1812-1970, bulk 1890-1955
Extent: 7 boxes, 1 separate bound volume
Scope of Series: Various records of Congregational churches in Rhode Island and includes minutes; registries; memorabilia; and correspondence.
Arrangement: Subseries A: Pawtuxet Street Christian Church, Providence, RI; Broad Street Christian Church, Providence, RI; Elmwood Temple Congregational Church, Providence, RI; Elmwood Congregational Church, Providence, RI
Subseries B: Church of Christ, Providence, RI
Subseries C: Congregational Church of Christ, Thornton, RI
Subseries D: Elmwood Christian Church, Providence, RI
Subseries E: Free Evangelical Congregational Church, Providence RI
Subseries F: North Congregational Church, Providence, RI
Subseries G: Plymouth Union Congregational Church, Providence RI; Union as Congregational Church, Providence RI
Subseries H: United Congregational Church, East Providence RI
Subseries I: Wood River Junction Congregational Church, Richmond RI

Subseries A: Pawtuxet Street Christian Church, Providence, RI

    Date Box/Folder
  Committee minutes, manuscript, floor plan 1841 B9/F6
  Broad Street Christian Church, Providence, RI
    Date Box
  Register and minutes 1834-1882 B6
    Date Box/Folder
  Mortgage deed 1871 B9/F7
    Date Box/Folder
  Memorabilia 1898-1941 B7/F41
  Merger documents with Elmwood Temple Congregational Church 1912 B7/F42
  Elmwood Temple Congregational Church, Providence RI
    Date Box
  Membership roll 1912 B5
  Elmwood Congregational Christian Church, Providence, RI
  Church registry (births, baptisms, marriages, deaths) 1925-1949 B5
    Date Box
  Church registry (births, baptisms, marriages, deaths) 1909-1954 (bulk 1949-1954) B2
    Date Box
  Pilgrim Fellowship minutes, treasury notes, and memorabilia 1945-1950 B3
    Date Box/Folder
  Survey for Rhode Island Council of Churches 1950 B7/F45
  Minutes, annual reports, treasurer reports, and member lists (unbound) 1948-1951 B7/F43
  Minutes, annual reports, treasurer reports, and member lists (unbound) 1951-1955 B7/F44

Subseries B: Church of Christ, Providence RI

    Date Item
  Records 1812-1815 (scanty) Item 10 bound volume

Subseries C: Congregational Church of Christ, Thornton, RI

    Date Box
  Register 1889-1915 B6
    Date Box
  Minutes 1889-1918 B5

Subseries D: Elmwood Christian Church, Providence RI

    Date Box/Folder
  Memorabilia 1910-1955 B7/F46
  Charter, constitution and by-laws, amendment to charter 1912-1930 B7/F47

Subseries E: Free Evangelical Congregational Church, Providence RI

    Date Box
  Register 1843-1943 w/ gaps B6
    Date Box
  Register 1943-1950 B2
    Date Box/Folder
  By-laws, merger agreement 1915-1950 B9/F8
    Date Box/Folder
  Correspondence 1956-1974 B7/F48

Subseries F: North Congregational Church, Providence, RI

    Date Box
  By-laws and minutes 1895-1905 B6
    Date Box
  Letters of dismissal 1904-1919 B5
    Date Box/Folder
  Minutes, reports, letters, disputes 1909-1911 B9/F9

Subseries G: Plymouth Union Congregational Church, Providence RI

    Date Box/Folder
  Memorabilia of Union Congregational Church, unbound (1 of 3 binders assembled by the Reverend J. Wesley Pierce in 1979) 1870-1932 B8/F1
  Memorabilia of Plymouth Congregational Church, unbound  (2 of 3 binders assembled by the Reverend J. Wesley Pierce in 1979) 1871-1903 B8/F2
  Memorabilia of Plymouth Union Church, unbound  (3 of 3 binders assembled by the Reverend J. Wesley Pierce in 1979) 1903-1928 B8/F3
  Union Congregational Church, Providence RI
  25th anniversary brochure 1896 B8/F4

Subseries H: United Congregational Church, East Providence RI

  Quarterly meeting reports, revised constitution, correspondence, unbound (1 of 2) 1969-1970 B8/F5
  Quarterly meeting reports, revised constitution, correspondence, unbound (1 of 2) 1996-1970 B8/F6
  Quarterly meeting reports, disposal of property 1970 B8/F7
    Date Box
  Records 1889-1933 w/gaps B2
  Pilgrim church register 1889-1970 w/gaps B2

Subseries I: Wood River Junction Congregational Church, Richmond RI

    Date Box
  Minutes 1895- 1911 B5
    Date Box
  Treasurer accounts 1895-1932 B6
    Date Box
  Clerk's records and minutes 1932-1935 B5
    Date Box/Folder
  Handwritten minutes, 1933; Mrs. Root's funeral; undated/unknown source lists of names 1933, unknown B8/F8
 

Series III: Images

Date: undated
Extent: 1 folder
Scope of Series: There are six black and white photographs (11 x 14) of Congregational Churches in Providence, Rhode Island, which were taken at an unknown date by an anonymous creator.  There is also a pencil sketch of the Elmwood Temple Congregational Church (12 x 18) by Sarah Elizabeth Arnold.
Arrangement: Due to their large size, all images are held together.
    Date Item 11 Oversize Folder
  Beneficent Congregational Church undated oversized folder
  Westminster Congregational Church undated oversized folder
  Union Congregational Church undated oversized folder
  Central Congregational Church undated oversized folder
  First Congregational Church (Unitarian) undated oversized folder
  Unknown church undated oversized folder
  Sketch of Elmwood Temple Congregational Church by Sarah Elizabeth Arnold circa 1865 oversized folder

 

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