Late in the autumn of 18SI a little prayer meeting of Baptist people was held at the home of Mrs. Samuel Gove oil Broad Street. Only four or five were present.
It led immediately to tire holding of other meetings on nearly every evening for five or six weeks at the same place. The attendance increased so that it was necessary to remove to larger accommodations. Torrey's Hall, at the corner of Washington and Broad Streets, was, Secured and the meetings were continued.
During the winter and spring following occasional preaching services were held by the pastors of neighboring Baptist churches and by students from the Newton Theological Institute.
III June, 1852, regular Sabbath services were begun. To help defray expenses a lVomen's Sewing Society was formed and became a devoted and permanent source of aid. Its members not only made articles tosell, but also took in family scwing and lined shoes and bound hunts.
A Sundav school was organized in March, 1853, and on Feb. 7, 1854, the First Baptist Church was formally organized. Five men and fifteen women presented letters from various churches arid banded themselves together and adopted Articles of Faith after the Baptist order. The pastors of the Baptist churches in Braintree and Hingham assisted.
The only other business of the day was the appointment of February 14 as a day of fasting and prayer for God's blessing. Besides Rev. George Deland of Braintree prominent leaders in this whole movement were Rev. Jonathan Tilson of Hingham and Den. Elias Vining.
At a business meeting held March 13 Elias Vining and George Graves were elected deacons to serve during life, and two committees were chosen, one to look after the spiritual interests of the church, and the other to take measures for a church building. A lot on the southeast corner of Washington and Broad Streets was soon bought- Rev. H. C. Coombs of Middleborough was engaged to supply the pulpit and to collect money for a house of worship. In October he was succeeded by Rev. Hervey Fitz.
A council was assembled Aug. 17, 1854, for the recognition of the church. The recognition service was held by special invitation in the Union Church, and Rev. Jonas Perkins took part in it,
The new church was admitted to membership in the Boston South Association, which appointed a committee of its own to assist in securing money for the desired house of worship. Thv~ secured a,i appropriation ot 40,500 from the Baptist State (-orivention.
In December Rev. Andrew Droul of Bridgewater was invited to succeed Mr. Fitz. After two months he was invited to the pastorate and became the first settled pastor March 18, 1855. Twenty mem-
bers had already been added to the church, and during this pastorate of a little over three years, fifty more were received into nienibership.
A house of worship known as the "chapel," a plain building wit li no steeple and containing only one room, but large enough to seat three hundred people, was erected oil the building lot of the church and dedicated July 12, 1855. The total cost was $3,200, a part of which continued as a burdensome debt for some years.
Mr. Durin closed his labors Jan. 31, 1858, and removed to We~t Randolph.
Without a pastor the church quickly became divided into two parties, and would soon have fallen into a more serious condition but for the timely agreement upon a new pastor. Rev. Levi A. Abbot was called from Milford and came May 1, 1858~ He proved to be a peacemaker and was beloved by all.
During a pastorate of five years forty-three were received into the church. Mr. Abbot was also interested and influential in public affairs. He as well as other Weymouth pastors served on the school committee of the town, and became chairman, fie also served a term in the State Legislature. He left to accept it call to Middleborough, in May, 1863.
In December, 1858, the Boston South Association held a three days' meeting with the church.
Mr. Abbot was succeeded Nov, 1, 1863, by Rev. Gideon Cole of Sheldonville- The next summer, because of the increased needs of the church, it was decided to build a larger house. Accordingly, the present location was purchased and measures adopted to secu~e the necessary funds. It was a great task. The pastor by energetic
appeals outside the parish obtained upward of $2,000 of the desired atuount, "from all over the country." At length the building was erected and was dedicated Feb. 1, 1866, the total cost being $14,500.
The "chapel" had been sold a short time before, whereupon the Union Church sent a cordial invitation to occupy their house of worship until the new house was completed. The vestry was so nearly ready to use, however, that it was deemed inexpedient to
accept the offer, and it was declined with appreciation of the kindly .Spirit shown.
Mr. Cole continued until Jan. 1, 1871, when, on account of ill health in his family which required removal to a different climate,
the church with deep regret granted him dismission to a church in Minnesota. During his pastorate one hundred and sixteen were added to the church.
, ['lie next pastor was Rev. Charles IL Rowe, who came from Dorchester April 1. 1871, and remained three years. Thirty had
licen received into the church when he was granted dismission, April 30, 1874, to become pastor of the church in Wollaston. Tile I)e(ple were attached to him arid were reluctant to let him go.
Ucv. William C. Wright of Pawtucket, R. L, accepted a call to (cc(nie pastor, arid began his labors Oct. 1, 1874. Healso iernained280 EUCLFSfASTICAL HISTORY OF WEYMOUTH
three years. Through his interest and influence as a musician, a fine pipe organ was placed in the church. He was followed March 1, 1878, by Rev. Philip A. Nordell of Arlington, who served until December, 1882. He then became pastor of the First Church, New London, Conn., and ten year-, later became a professor in the University of Chicago. In May, 1882, the Articles of Faith of this church were printed.
Next came Rev. Seth J. Axtell, Jan. 1, 1883. He had letters of dismission from the church in West Medway, but the service he had just closed was that of president of Leland University, a school for freedmen in New Orleans, where he had been for four years. He remained until June 1, 1888, and then left to take the presidency of Pella University in Iowa, and a year later became professor of Greek in Kalamazoo College in Michigan.
On Oct. 1, 1898, Rev. Wesley L, Smith, from Providence, R. L, began a pastorate that closed May 1, 1994. In 1889 the church voted unanimously to become incorporated, and thus the society that had hitherto held all property was no longer a necessity.In 1892, about thirty Baptist people in Braintree, who desired to
Rev. C. F. Clarke of Swanzey, N. H., came Feb. 1. 1895, but continued only two years and three months, -- the shortest pas torate since the formation of the church. lie was particularly in fortunate in that his son fell sick and died soon after he carr~.
On May 15, 1897, Rev. Prank 13. Cressey, who had bee5~ a pastor in San Francisco, but was then residing in Boston, began to supply the pulpit, and received a formal call the next August:
The church began in 1902 the practice of electing deacons to serve for three years instead of for life.
On Feb. 7 and 8, 1904, the church observed its fiftieth anniversary. There was an historical sermon by the pastor, Mr. Cressey, and other parts were taken by most of the Protestant pastors of the town, and there was also an address by the venerable Rev. Jonathan Tilson, who had been prominent at tire formation of the church. These exercises were followed the next evening by a reunion supper arid roll call.
Mr. Cressey closed his labors with this church in August, 1908. He was succeeded in December by Rev. Robert H. Carey, who served until September, 1910.Rev. Philip A. Nordell was acting pastor during the remainder of 1910 and the next year. Then followed Rev. Chester J. Underhill as pastor from February, 1912, to J Line, 1916, and Rev. James W.
Tingley from December, 1916, to April 27, 1919, Rev. Charles W~ Allen came Nov. 2, 1919, and is the present pastor.
The Ladies' Missionary Society was organized in 1894. Mrs. Nellie M. Fox, daughter of William B. and Abigail Hollis, and wife of Rev. Earl M. Fox, was engaged with her husband in mi . - .ssionary
In 1905 the choir was organized as a Choral Soc;etc. In 1909 the Farther Lights Society was formed, and in W13 -the Ladies' Sewing Circle wag newly organized.
The Parish of St. Francis Xavier was the first, parish of this denomination, and embraced territorially the whole town. The first priests of the parish were Rev. Fathers Roddan and Lynch, who came to the town in 1851, and the first services were held in East Weymouth that same year in private houses. After a few months the place of worship was changed, and services were held in Tirrell's Hall at Weymouth Landing. In 1854 Rev. Father Roche took charge of the parish, but it was not until 1859 that the first church was erected, which was located on Gravel Hill, which is now the Catholic Cemetery, Middle and Washington Streets. From 1858 to 1866 this church was a mission of the Abington Parish, and was s
cared for by Father Roche. Weymouth's first pastor, in 1866, was Father Timothy Hannigan, who remained here until the summer of 1869. He was succeeded by Rev. Hugh P. Smyth. About Thanksgiving time, 1869, the church-buildirig was burned clown.
For a period of one year the Catholics held services in the old Town House on Washington Street, opposite the cemetery. Meanwhile the South Weymouth church had been built by Father Smych and dedicated to Saint Francis Xavier. Here all the Catholics of Weymouth worshipped for the period of a year or more. The year following the Catholics of East Weymouth held religious services in Randall's Hall in the rear of Canterbury's shoe shot). In 1872 the foundation for the Fast Weymouth Catholic Church was built. The corner stone was laid in August, 1873, the present church of the Immaculate Conception. At a later period land in the rear of the church was bought of John P. Lovell, and air old-style cottage on the larzl was made over into a parish house for Father Jeremiah Millerick, who succeeded Father Hugh P. Smyth. Sacred Heart Church at Weymouth Landing was nearing completion, and Father Smyth took up his permanent residence at Weymouth. The Sacred Heart Church was on Washington Street, and the parish house was the old Wales Hotel made over. Until the new church building was completed, the Catholics worshipped in the hall in the rear of the hotel, which was formerly used for dancing parties (luring the cattle shows. The former rectory is now the Convent
I ' F. Gardiner and the Rev. S. R. Slack The following clergymen also officiated in the hall and it) the church; K M. P. Wells, F. Huntington, Rev. Mr. Coolidge, Rev. Mr. Mills, Rev. Mr. Converse and Rev. Mr Gifford. A call lvas extended to the Tze~, Hl-nry Burroughs to become the rector at ;I salary of $1,000 a year.
The first Episcopal visitation to the Parish was made bv the Rt Rev. Manton Eastburn, D.D-, Bishop of Massacbusett.~ "May 24, 1868, when a class of ten was confirmed, and on July 4,'186'9, tile same bishop confirmed a class of twelve persons. The church was consecrated by Rt' Rev. Benjamin H Paddock, D.D., Bishop of Massachusetts may 21, 1874, and the following clergymen have served as rect~rsl Rev. Samuel R. Slack, Rev. Henry Burroughq, Rev. T. W. Street, Rev. F. 0. Barstow, Rev. XA7. F. Lloyd, Rev. W. C- Winslow, Fev J111 A- Jerome, Rev. Charles Luke Wells and Rev. William Hy4, t;ie present rector, During the roctorshiPof Rev. WITL Hyde the church has been repaired and improved so
11, the litter part of 1915 a movement was started looking toward tile establishment of an Episcopal Church in South Weymouth.
Mr. Robert Pierce Casey of Boston then a student at Harvard College preparing for the ministry sa~ in this villagea field 'for his chosen work and set about acti~efy canvassing tile mmm He found a number of families an-ximls for the establishment 'clf"It'n
Episcopal Church and the matter Nvis brought to the attention of the Eastern Dioce'se, through a series of conferences between tile BishOP, tile Rt. Rev. Samuel GotBabcock, and a voluntary vtnn- muttee of interested people.
Mr. Casey worked persistently, and it was decided to hold the first services on Christmas Day, 1915. The twenty-eight people present at the first service were exceedingly pleased with Mr. Casey in his capacity as lay reader, and most enihosiastic over what they could now feel was a real beginning of an Episcopal Mission.
The Cbv-~h of the Holy Nativity was the name decided upon as appropriate, and each Sunday saw an increased attendance and great enthusiasm. The Diocese assigned the Rev. Win. Love of Cambridge to be priest in charge of the mission, and the first communion service was held in February, with the Nev. Dr. Patten as celebrant with sixteen communicants.
A little laier a Sunday school was started and a large number of children enrolled. On Dec. 13, 1916, the first confirmation service was held, when four members were received into the church, and thirty-two more have been added since.
Toward the end of 1918 it became apparent that the growth of the Mission warranted a larger meeting place, and a committee consisting of W. Carleton Barnes, Geo. N. Eck and Win. J. Holbrook was named to take charge of the whole matter of providing for a church building. Mrs. Edward B. Nevin very generously offered a lot from her estate on Columbian Street, and an active canvass was made for funds with which to build a church. This appeal met a most ready response, and it became possible to start construction in the summer of 1919.
The building is of Weymouth scam-f ace granite, and the architect, Mr. John Vining, designed a church charming in its simplicity and beauty, which, though small, is of the most approved ecclesiastical architecture. The interior woodwork is of black walnut with deep cream-tinted walls. The attar was the gift of Christ Church, in Oswego, N. Y.
The building was formally dedicated by Bishop Babcork on Easter Sunday, April 4, 1920. There has been a steady and most satisfactory gmwth in the parish, which at this time numbers approximately one hundred people, with nearly fifty children in the Sunday school and sixty-nine communicants.
Mr. Casey has continued as lay reader, with the Rev. Win. Love in attendance at least one Sunday in each month.In 1921 Rev. Frank L. Luce became rector of this church.
Some thirty years ago a prayer meeting was held in the home of Mr. John Bean on School Street, East Weymouth for the purpose of interesting people who were not disposed to atiend any church services- Other meetings followed, and after two or three years, the attendance outgrew the place of meeting, and a hall known as Temperance Hall, in Commercial Square, was hired. The interest continued to increase and a mission was organized about five years after the first meeting. The work of the mission was especially
Their families were looked after, the home life was made pleasanter, and many were brought under the gracious influence of the simple gospel.
After the death of Mr. Bean, in 1905, his grocery store was made over into a gospel hall, which was dedicated on Labor Day, 1907, and regular Sabbath services were instituted.
In June, 1915, an independent church was organized with thirty members, under the name of Faith Mission Church. The church is supported entirely by the free-will offerings of the people, and without recourse to suppers or entertainments of any sort. Mrs. George H. Loud was appointed pastor, and is still serving in that capacity.
The so-calle- "f3~.rfold gospel" is taught, - "Christ our Savior, our Sanctifier, our Heater, and our coming Lord."
Many people have been helped who stay in the community only a short time, and have then gone to other parts of the country, some even to Canada and across the ocean. So the little mission is gratefully remembered far and wide, while its local membership increases slowly, being only about forty at the present time,
The church is affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance founded by Rev. A. B. Simpson and having headquarters inNewYork. It has educated and sent out the first foreign missionary from Weymouth, Rev. Merrill E, Barter, who went to Congo, West Africa, in 1917.
To-day there are eighteen churches in the town, representing seven denominations.
While differing in forms, methods, polity and doctrine, they are all earnestly and peaceably engaged in promoting the moral and civic uplift and the spiritual welfare of the people of the town.
As one, they have always stood for loyalty to the town, the State and the Nation, for the advancement of mankind, and for the peace of the world.
Taken together they are a gloriouEA-isterhood vitally interested in advocating and exemplifying the profound sentiment with which these pages began, and with which they may fittingly close - "In the name of God. Amen!"
Some thirty years ago a prayer meeting was held in the home of Mr. John Bean on School Street, Fast Weymouth for the purpose of interesting people who were not disposed to atiend any church services- Other meetings followed, and after two or three years, the attendance outgrew the place of meeting, and a hall known as Temperance Hall, in Commercial Square, was hired. The interest continued to increase and a mission was organized about five years after the first meeting. The work of the mission was especially