Medway, Mass. First Church of Christ

Collection History

Originally named Boggastow in Nipmuck Territory, then part of Medfield, Medway was settled in 1657 when an increasing number of colonists settled the land west of the Charles River. The settlement grew enough that by 1712 the Massachusetts General Court was petitioned to create a separate town; Medway was incorporated on October 25, 1713 and the decision to immediately build its own church was made at town meeting on November 23, 1713.

Until the church's construction was finished, services were held by Reverend David Deming at Peter Adams's house. The Church of Christ, later known as First Church of Christ, was organized on October 7, 1714.  A subscription, led by Jonathan Plimpton, raised a noon house in 1730. In 1749 the first meetinghouse burned. In 1748 Medway divided into eastern and western precincts with First Church of Christ in the eastern precinct and Second Church organizing in 1750 in the western precinct. A large undevelopable tract of land known as The Black Swamp divided the two. The section known as East Medway separated in 1885 to form the town of Millis; First Church of Christ Medway is physically located in modern day Millis, Massachusetts.

For more detail about the collection, see the archival finding guide.

 

Digital Materials

Sermons, 1766-1781

These two sermons are written in multiple hands and delivered on a variety of dates and locations.

Church and financial records, 1730-1796

These records contain meeting house expenses (including a subscription for the construction of a noon house meet on the Sabbath), the confession of faith of James Peniman, correspondence, and records discussing ministerial salary.

Disciplinary cases, undated; 1743-1808

These records are about disciplinary cases in Medway during this period. During the colonial period, the local church often functioned as the legal authority in matters of morality. Punishment in such cases usually consisted of censure — a temporary restriction from attending services and participating in church business — until the guilty party made a formal confession or request for forgiveness.

Volume, 1876

Volume transcribed in 1876 from earlier records, approximately 1772. The volume contains the Articles of Covenant and numerous empty pages.

 

Special Thanks

This digital resource has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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