A Brief History of the Church
Rising from it's grassy knoll at the corner of Washington and Pond Streets, South Congregational Church has quietly reflected the simple beauty of its New England architecture in the waters of Sunset Lake. It was organized as a new church on the 13th day of November 1829, by several members "lovingly dismissed" by the Rev. Richard S. Storrs, First Congregational Church, and three who came by letter from the South Church of Weymouth. This was done "That them might be organized with the three others into a new church", in connection with the South Congregational Society in Braintree (incorporated as the South Parish in 1828). A house of worship was erected on land "liberally donated" by Peter and Isaac Dyer and William Blake. To finance the cost, they sold 243 shares at $25.00 per share, which were subscribed to by 48 men.
A Sunday School was started at the same time.
The following is a list of pastors.
Rev Lyman Matthews 1829-1844 (Ordained August 4, 1830)
Rev. Francis Tenney 1845-1849
Rev. William B Hammond 1849-1856
Rev. William B Powers 1856-1859
Rev. L. R. Eastman 1862-1865
Rev. Daniel W. Waldron 1865-1866
Rev. Calvin Fitts 1866-1867
Rev. L Wheaton Allen 1869-1872
Rev. S. B Andrews 1873-1875
Rev. A. H. Johnson 1876-1878
Rev. Edwin Smith 1879-1882
Rev. E. O. Dyer 1883-1893
Rev. A. H. Ross 1893-1895
Rev. F. Hill Crathern 1896 -1910
Rev. Tyler E. Gale 1911-1919
Rev. Carlton L. Feener 1921-1934 (see photo below)
Rev. Forrest R. Brown 1935-1942
Rev. Stanley T. Plumber 1943-1953
Rev. P. E. Barnes 1954-1959
Rev. P. E. Barnes
Rev. Silas W Anthony Interim Minister
Rev. S. W. Anthony Interim Minister
Rev. Alfred Allenby 1959-1963 Installed October 9, 1960
Rev. Carl M. Sharpe 1963-1965
Rev. Roland C Marriott 1966-1968
Rev. Donald Smith 1969- 1993
Rev. Donald Smith
Rev Smith and Rev Killian 4-6-18
1969 Newspaper Clipping.
Rev. William Fillebrown 1995-2000
Rev Fillebrown (2014 photo)
Rev. Scott Killian 2000- current.
The Original Church Building
On August 4, 1830, the Rev. Lyman Matthews was ordained as the first Pastor and Teacher.
At a cost of $150.00 the church received it's first coat of paint in 1838. The money was raised by assessing the pews.
The original church burned in 1860 and in 1861 a newer and larger church was built on the same site.
The bell that the deacon's on Sunday mornings to call the congregation to worship was cast by the J. W. Hooper Co. in 1861. A chapel was added in 1885.
The Congregation circa 1900
In 1901 a new organ was installed with 759 pipes!
In 1902 the annual meeting instructed the Church to put town water into the chapel.
In 1910, they excavated under the chapel and added a kitchen and banquet hall.
1910 pen and ink
Rev. Carlton Feener pastor 1921-1934
In 1928 the church was redecorated and the memorial windows added.
One of the 1928 windows
In 1929 a wonderful 100th anniversary celebration occurred.
Rev. Feener Retires 1934
Note card above (circa 1970?)
In its long history, South Congregational has undergone countless structural improvements, beautification and repairs.
The steeple, damaged in various hurricanes including the infamous "Long Island Express" hurricane of 1938, two hurricanes in 1954 and rotted by long exposure to the elements during its lifetime, has required repair several times and in December 1976 it was finally torn down because it was beyond repair. It took a year long fund raising endeavor by church members, Braintree residents and friends from all faiths and in 1977 a new steeple was built at a cost of $25,000.
Newspaper clippings showing fund drive status and steeple work 1976
In 2000 the sanctuary was refurbished.
The people of South Congregational Church see themselves as being on a spiritual journey. It is a journey in which God works in us and through us, both individually and collectively. God draws us ever closer to himself and binds us together as a community of faith. We encourage you to be apart of the spiritual adventure to which the Lord calls each and every one of us.
If you have any historical information, old bulletins, reports, wedding photos, youth group info, fairs, or other information please forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org