Wendell, Massachusetts. Congregational Church. Records, 1783-1953.

Collection Information

Congregational Church of Wendell (Mass.) records


Church of Christ (Wendell, Mass.)
First Church (Wendell, Mass.)
Central Congregational Church in Wendell (Mass.)
Congregational Church of Wendell (Mass.)




4 boxes

Collection ID #:

RG 4890

Conditions Governing Access:


Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the Congregational Church of Wendell (Mass.) records, RG 4890. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.



Processing information:

Processed by Kimbery Kinder, Fall 2008

Historical Note

The Congregational Church of Wendell was formed in Wendell, Mass. on November 29, 1774. The first meeting house was built in 1783, and a second in 1846. Throughout the collection the church is referred to by several names, including Church of Christ, First Church, Central Congregational Church in Wendell, and the Congregational Church of Wendell. The Trustees of the Ministerial Fund of the First Congregational Society in Wendell were incorporated in 1823 to carry out their function for the church. A copy of the articles of their incorporation is pasted inside the front cover of their minute book. On December 2, 1874 the church and the town of Wendell celebrated their centennial with a joint event.

Even though the church was relatively small throughout its life, it contributed to foreign missions as well as domestic, assisting in the mission work in China. The church belonged to the Franklin Association of Congregational Churches and worked closely with the Massachusetts Home Missionary Society to call and fund its ministers. In later years the church shared its minister with a church in the nearby town of Erving. In the course of its history, the Congregational Church in Wendell had many different ministers. Rev. Edmund Blackmer is documented more thoroughly than any other minister that served the church because of a nervous disorder that forced him to delay accepting the church’s call for almost two full years, from the fall of 1918 to the spring of 1920. Another minister of note is Rev. Harlan P. Metcalf , who died in the office of minister, leaving behind the text of a sermon intended to be preached on Mother’s Day, included in this collection. Also worthy of note is Mrs. Effie Bowen, who served as the clerk of the Congregational Church in Wendell for more than 30 years in the early 1900s.

This collection contains no documents dated after 1953.


Scope and Content

Series I: This collection includes financial material in many forms, including ledger and treasury books, account books, receipts and correspondence from individuals and agencies. Whenever possible, the material is arranged chronologically.

Series II: Records of church business and personnel are preserved in formal record books, minute books, loose records and correspondence. The bulk of this series is correspondence, including letters of dismissal and acceptance of congregants, letters from ministers accepting and relinquishing their posts and letters to the church clerk. These papers are sorted into broad subject categories and arranged chronologically within subject folders.

(Note: Due to oversize ledgers and record books, items from both series are in Box 1 and Box 2. All loose materials are in Box 4, with Series I items placed before Series II.)


Folder List

Series 1 - Finances

Box 1 Central Congregational Church of Wendell Parish Treasury Book 1822-38
  Wendell Parish Treasury Book 1854-96
  First Congregational Society in Wendell Accounts 1896-1921
Box 2 Booklet of promissory notes, Central Congregational Church of Wendell not dated
  Memo Book – Central Congregational Church of Wendell mission funds collected and paid 1895-1955
  Account Book – "Communion Service Collections" 1837-1936
Box 3 Central Congregational Church of Wendell Account Book 1823-75
  Ledger Book 1895-99
  Ledger Book 1899-1903
  Ledger Book 1903-07
  Ledger Book 1907-12
  Church Ledger: Pledges and Collections 1913-24
  Church Account Book 1921-39
  Parsonage Account Book 1938-45
Box 4  Donation receipts and financial correspondence 1892-1925, 1941
  Franklin Association of Congregational Churches Assessments 1924, 1931-34
  Collection Records (loose papers) 1936-41
  Ministerial Grants 1820-1942

Series II – Church Business and Personnel

Box 1 Record Book – Church of Christ in Wendell 1783-1847
Box 2 Minute Book – First Congregational Society in Wendell 1823-1946
  Record Book – First Church in Wendell 1847-1910
Box 4 Vital Statistics  
    Church Membership Record 1865
    Letters of Dismissal / Acceptance of Church Members (1 of 2) 1858-1911
    Letters of Dismissal/Acceptance of Church Members (2 of 2) 1812-49
    Baptismal Records 1917, 1938-39, 1941
  Pastoral Records  
    Summons to Ecclesiastical Council for Ordinations 1886-1941
    Correspondence from Massachusetts Home Missionary Society 1908-26
    Pastoral Calls and Resignations – correspondence (1 of 2) 1908-19 (gaps)
    Pastoral Calls and Resignations – correspondence (2 of 2) 1923-1947 (gaps)
    Rev. Edmund F. Blackmer correspondence 1918-20
    Correspondence to Rev. Arthur Green regarding 100th Anniversary Celebration 1946
  Church Business  
    Correspondence regarding annual meetings 1901, 1908-9
    Minutes of meetings and conferences 1891-1905 (gaps)
    General Church business – resignations, deaths 1921, 1953
    Correspondence from China Missions and mission donation schedule 1907-8, 1926
    Correspondence regarding genealogical searches at Wendell 1938-40
    General Incoming Correspondence 1904-1940
  Church Services  
    Order of Service 1940, 1952-53
    Mother’s Day Sermon by Rev. Harlan P. Metcalf 1936
    Booklets – Constitution of the Franklin Association, "Congregational Corporations" ca. 1910
  Historical Information  
    Historical sketches and temporary clerk’s record 1854, 1871, 1939
    Historical sketch – "Wendell 150 Years Old" 1950
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