In Good Old Dorchester, Orcutt gives a history of the early churches of the town. The town had only one church, first at Pleasant and Pond Streets and later at Meeting House Hill, from 1630 until the formation of the Second Church in Codman Square in 1806. The clash between conservative and liberal views at the Second Church resulted in the formation of the Third Church, a Unitarian group in 1813. The nineteenth century saw a great proliferation of churches that has continued into the twentieth.
In 2003 the Unversity of Chicago Press published Streets of Glory: Church and Community in a Black Urban Neighborhood by Omar M. McRoberts, a study of churches near the intersection of Harvard and Washington Streets, the Four Corners area. McRoberts explores the consequences for the surrounding neighborhood from the high concentration of churches in the area. McRoberts finds that these churches may not be an asset to the community due to the fact that they often only rent space and that they draw members not from the surrounding streets but from distant locations. Some of the churches are made up primarily of special groups who may have few followers in the immediate area. This takes away some of the incentive to enhance the economic progress of the area. For a longer analysis of the book, see: "Overchurched on Washington Street?" in the Dorchester Reporter, July 17, 2003.
If your church is not described in this website, please contact us to let us know. Provide a scanned or digital photograph, if possible, and as much history as you know.