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Third Church
Unitarian Church, Dorchester Lower Mills
Click image for more information
 The third church society in Dorchester was a Unitarian congregation that split off from Second Church in 1813. The Third Religious Society was formed as a result of a rupture between a portion of the congregation of the Second Church and their pastor, the Rev. Dr. Codman. The first meeting was held on May 6, 1813, in the Dorchester Reading Room, the back room of a barber shop which had been furnished as a reading room for the people in the vicinity of the end of Dorchester Avenue at Lower Mills. At a second meeting in August, the members called themselves "The Proprietors of the New South Meeting-House." The Second Church was known as the South Meeting-House, and the Third was now called "The New South." Its official name is The Third Religious Society in Dorchester.

Their new building was completed in October, 1813, on the west side of Washington Street between Richmond Street and River Street and came to be known as Richmond Hall in honor of the first pastor. Ministers from Boston preached until the installation of the Rev. Dr. Edward Richmond on June 25, 1817.

The congregation moved to a new church building built to an Asher Benjamin design in 1839-1840 on Richmond Street at Dorchester Avenue, located where the CVS store is. The church building faced Richmond Street.

The ministers and their periods of tenure were:

Edward Richmond, 1817-1833
Francis Cunningham, 1834-1842
Richard Pike, 1842-1863
Thomas G. Mumford, 1864-1872
Henry G. Spaulding, 1873-1877
Goerge M. Bodge, 1878-1884
William I. Lawrance, 1885-1891
Frederick B. Mott, 1892-1903
John Haynes Holmes, 1904-1907
Daniel Roy Reeeman, 1907-1910
Charles W. Casson, 1910-1912
Ernest S. Meredith, 1912-1916
Otto Lyding, 1916-
J. Raymond Cope

For more information, consult:

Chaffee, John R. The History of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts. Boston: The Pilgrim Press, 1917.

Orcutt, William Dana. Good Old Dorchester: A Narrative History of the Town, 1630-1893. Second edition. Cambridge: The University Press, 1908.

Related Images: showing 8 of 11 (more results)
Here are some images from the Atheneum archive related to this topic. Click on any of these images to open a slideshow of all 11 images.
Unitarian ChurchUnitarian Church, Dorchester Lower MillsUnitarian ChurchWalnut St. Showing Unitarian Church, Neponset, Mass.
1127-1129 Washington Street March 2003Third Unitarian Church, Neponset Ave. and Mill St.Third ChurchThird Unitarian Church
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Created: August 17, 2003   Modified: March 21, 2015