Abington, Mass. First Congregational Church

Church History

First Church in Abington called its first minister, Rev. Samuel Brown, in 1711. Prior to that call, the community had been lead by layman Elder William Pratt as the community, largely agricultural, had been denied its petition for incorporation as a town by the General Court. Rev. Brown wasn't ordained until 1714 at which time the church records show eight male members (no female members are listed). Ten years later church membership had grown to 46. Eventually, the church membership grew large enough that it became feasible to establish three "daughter churches" in the Abington area.

The church's history reflects strong stances on political and social issues. In 1835, the church voted to declare slavery to be a sin and became active in the abolition movement. A year later the church became a strong supporter of the temperance movement. The church also supported the formation of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. The church's support of missions continued into the 20th century. In 1968 First Church merged with North Congregational Church, formerly Fourth Church, and became United Church of Christ, Abington.

 

Digital Materials

Church records 1714-1749

These records consist primarily of deacon records and records of baptisms. Deacon records contain records of admissions to communion, deacon's acceptance and dismissals, and complaint hearings. Of particular note are records of ongoing discord relating to accusations of premarital sexual relations.

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