Sturbridge, Mass. Congregational Church

Collection History

The Congregational Church of Sturbridge (then New Medfield) was founded in 1736. It took a group of parishioners from Medfield three attempts to convince the General Court of Massachusetts to grant permission to settle on the land because it was deemed too inhospitable. After the Court's conditions were met, the town was officially incorporated in 1738, and its name was changed to Sturbridge.

In 1749, a group of fifteen "Separates" left the church and established the Baptist Church of Sturbridge. Both churches continue today as part of the Federated Church of Sturbridge and Fiskdale.

 

Digital Materials

Church records, 1736-1758

This volume is a copy of the original records, transcribed by the clerk in 1896. It contains minutes and votes of meetings, baptisms, marriages, admissions, dismissions, disciplinary cases, confessions, and the original church covenant.

Church records, 1786-1818

This volume contains minutes of meetings, baptisms (including some "whose record was lost during the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Paine" recreated by the scribe at the time), admissions, dismissions, and marriages.

Church records, 1800-1819

This volume was kept by Rev. Otis Lane and begins with the ecclesiastical council to arrange his ordination as the new pastor. It contains minutes of meetings, procedures for disciplinary cases, admissions, dismissions, baptisms, deaths, transcribed correspondence, the eventual dismission of Rev. Lane at his request, and his replacement by Rev. Alvan Bond.

Church records, 1819-1831

This volume was kept by Rev. Alvan Bond and begins with the ecclesiastical council to arrange his ordination as the new pastor. Its contents include minutes of meetings, the articles of faith adopted in 1826, admissions, dismissions, deaths, baptisms, the rules of church discipline, and several individual disciplinary cases.

Marriages and Deaths, 1819-1831

Although such information is also included in the general church records, Rev. Bond also kept a separate book of the marriages and deaths of church members during his time in Sturbridge. In some cases, it may provide more detail.

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