Mattapoisett, Mass. Congregational Church

Collection History

Mattapoisett was gathered as the Second Precinct of Rochester by an act of the Massachusetts General Court in June 1736, though the village did not become a separate town until 1857. The first meetinghouse was constructed in 1737. The early years were contentious, as congregants disagreed over everything from who to accept as their pastor to the propriety of singing "by rule" (using hymnals that include musical notation) and instrumental accompaniment. 

The original building was lost in the "great gale" of 1815. The congregation met at the town's schoolhouse for a time until its new building was constructed. Due to a strong revival movement, they soon outgrew this building, and moved to yet another new structure in 1842. In 1836, the first "Sabbath School" at the church was opened. After the town was incorporated, the church officially became the First Precinct in Mattapoisett in 1860, and later simply Mattapoisett Congregational Church. Additional work and expansions to the church and its facilities were completed in the 1950s and 1970s. In 1974, the church acquired a carillon which plays church hymns every day at noon and 6:00pm. The Mattapoisett Congregational Church, a member of the United Church of Christ, continues to serve the community today.

The digital volumes below contain records relating to the administration of the church and precinct, including membership rolls, baptisms, marriages, deaths, church meeting minutes and ecclesiastical councils, and administrative and financial records.

For additional information please see the finding aid.

Historical information taken in part from Mattapoisett and Old Rochester, Massachusetts (1907), which also contains transcribed excerpts from these record books.

 

Digital Materials

Church records, 1736-1855

These records contain primarily membership records, including admissions, dismissions, baptisms, and marriages. It also has minutes of church meetings and ecclesiastical councils, particularly when the topics discussed pertain to the conduct of church members.

Precinct records, 1736-1886

This volume contains the administrative and financial records of the church. Since the precinct of Mattapoisett was formed more than a century before it was incorporated as a distinct town (in 1857), the records refer to the church as Rochester Second.

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