History of Community Church of Neponset
Trinity Congregational Church of Neponset
Founded 1844???.Organized 1859
Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church
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The History of Trinity Congregational Church of Neponset, although lacking in some dates of special important events in the life of the church, is authentic, as it was prepared by a former Deacon and active worker in the church, and a member for over 50 years, Mr. Charles H. Horne, and read by him at the 75th and 80th Anniversary Programs in May 1934 and May 1939.
It was Mr. Horne, a member of Trinity Congregational Church of Neponset at the time of its Federation with Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church, who suggested the name ?Community Church of Neponset??a church for the people of the community.
The history of Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church, was furnished by Mr. C. Norman Woodbury, formerly a member of Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church and later a member of Trinity Congregational Church of Neponset, and read by him at the Anniversary Program in 1934.
A few events in the history of Trinity Congregational Church of Neponset, which were not included in Mr. Horne?s record, and the history of Community Church of Neponset, from its organization in 1927, were compiled by Mr. Allen M. Ransom, a member of Trinity Congregational Church.
Trinity Congregational Church of Neponset
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Eighty years ago, the town of Dorchester was little more than a farming community. The First Congregational Church, which had gone to Unitarianism, was located at Meeting-House Hill. The Second, commonly known as the Codman Church, following a sharp encounter with the same forces, was by the supreme energy of its militant pastor, Rev. John Codman, kept true to the faith of the fathers.
The First Baptist Church of Dorchester was located on Chickatawbut Street and was the only church in Neponset. About this time the Methodists built the church at the corner of Walnut and Oakman Streets, which they afterwards conveyed to the Unitarians. The Congregational people of Neponset, or Port Norfolk, as it was then known, attended the Codman Church which necessitated a long hard walk for those who did not keep teams. So in 1859, encouraged and aided by the members of the Codman or Second Church, Trinity Congregational Church was organized in a hall over a store on the other side of the Railroad.
Soon after, the Civil War broke out, and I imagine things came to a slowing down, but some time between that period and the early Seventies, when I first knew the church, the present building was erected, or at least as much of it as contains the Auditorium. Mr. Luther Briggs who lived at the corner of Walnut and Water Streets, in the house now occupied by Mr. John Ida, was the architect, and it was pronounced a fine specimen of Gothic architecture, simple, but correct. The subsequent additions by reason of lack of space for proper enlargement, and the necessity for utility, leaves much to be desired in the outward appearance, but the charm of the interior still remains.
There were formerly three rows of pews, one against each wall, seating six persons each, and one in the center seating eight, with two aisles instead of three as at present. The seats were cushioned, and the backs upholstered, which killed the echo which now disturbs, at times. The only remedy for this is a ?full house.?
The organization was on the Parish plan, the Parish attending to the business, and the church to the Spiritual part. Mr. A.T. Stearns was for many years its Moderator, and the example he set, and the message he left to his successor, was, ?pay as you go, if you can?t pay for a thing, don?t have it,? and that rule has been well observed, as in very few instances has it been departed from, and then only because it was apparent it was only temporary, and the means of payment in sight. There has never been a mortgage on the property and I do not remember that the church ever paid a cent of interest money, except on the parsonage.
There were several well-to-do men among the early members of the Parish, and the question of finances was not a serious consideration, but conditions were changing. Dorchester had become a part of the great city, business was growing along the water front, and people of means were no longer seeking homes here, and lack money began to be felt. Then, with only this one room in which to house the Sunday School and other activities of the church, it was felt that enlargement must be made, but how? The building covered the entire lot with the exception of the space in front, and while it was felt it would detract from the beauty of our pretty little ?chapel? as it was then called, there was nothing to do but to occupy the land to the street line, and Mr. Henry Mears, a young architect, one of our Sunday School members, prepared plans for the audition as we now have it.
Then came the question of financing the improvements, and Dr. Merrick who was then our Pastor, young, energetic and hopeful, threw himself into the work. With him it was not ?Can we?? but ?We can,? and the people gave, as they had never given before. It was sacrifice all along the line, and good friends on the outside, seeing the spirit shown, greatly helped out, and Dr. Merrick?s enthusiasm was the means of winning some, who only back a sure thing. The Sunday School took an active part in the drive, and some of the expedients they adopted were bold and original. Everybody was working, everybody denying themselves, everybody enthusiastic, everybody happy. Some of the older members of Trinity Church will remember the jug-breaking?this is not a temperance story?the members of the Sunday School were given little pottery jugs with a slug in the top, into which a coin could be slipped, but the only way to get them out, was to break the jug.
At the end of the campaign an evening was set apart for a jug-breaking, and it was surprising to see the piles of coins as they heaped up. Two of the jugs were set apart by themselves, as their possessors had been called away: Ah Foo the laundryman, a representative of that ancient race which has given so much for the world in ages past, and the contents of whose jug would put to shame many of the modern people. Nine year old Ruthie Taylor, lineal descendant of the Mayflower Pilgrims, taken by diphtheria, on whose little hands as she lay in her casket, were the marks of cruel thorns, received as she was gathering berries to earn money to put in her jug!!!
The church property was originally owned by pew-holders, but many of them had died or removed, and those who remained gave their pews to the church, and the Parish was discontinued. The church was incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the title of the property vested in it, with every member, above the age of 21, both men and women, having a vote instead of pew-holders with a vote for every pew owned, and the free pew system adopted, thus showing an advance which the mother church has not yet attained.
While trying this experiment with fear and trembling, we now know it would have been suicide not to have done so. Everyone was put on his honor to see that the bills were paid, and the budget balanced. At times [they] were obliged to accept aid from the Home Missionary Society, which was always cheerfully given and at all times, if my memory serves me correctly, the church kept up its quota for the benevolent societies.
The first pastor I knew was Rev. Rowland H. Allen, young, consecrated, earnest, and who died in the service. He had however, been appointed to the Secretaryship of one of the denominational societies and had planned to sever his connection with us in the Fall, but during the summer he was stricken with typhoid fever, and died before assuming his new office. His residence was at the corner of Walnut and Oakman Streets. He was succeeded by Rev. Myron A. Monson, and during this pastorate, there were many accessions to the membership. Of the succeeding pastorates, the longest were Rev. Robert F. Gordon and Rev. Charles H. Washburn, each of about 10 years. For the most part the term of pastorate was of comparatively short duration, but usually because of calls to larger fields.
The church as always been noted for its good music, largely due to the influence of Professor S.B. Ball, a teacher of vocal music, especially of church music. For many years he was the leader of the Choir of the First Universalist Church, located at that time on School Street, opposite Boston City Hall. Many of our young people were his private pupils, and he conducted musicales and also sang in other churches in the vicinity. Our organ although not large, was considered good, being one of the early productions of the Hook Brothers, among the best and most painstaking organ builders of their day. We have had organists for the most part, of unusual ability, one of the most enthusiastic of whom, was Emma Christopher Small. How she loved that organ, and at the last, came out to play it when she should have remained in her sick-room. It was a strange coincidence that the very last selection she played upon it, as the closing hymn one Sunday evening, was ?Soon For Me the Light of Day, Shall Forever Fade Away.? At the close of the service, she was taken to her home, never to enter the church again, and soon passed away. I cannot forget our own Eleanor Kerr Smith, who for many years, not only drew sweet harmonies from the little organ, but from the young people of the church as well, and I will say, we?re indebted to Appleton Methodist Church, for both these young ladies.
Of the early workers, I will mention Deacon Grover, for whom the window on the left of the auditorium is a memorial. Of large frame, dignified, almost austere, he was for many years the Senior Deacon. He occupied a pew in front of the pulpit, and was in his place at every service. He died in the service, and his resting place is in Cedar Grove Cemetery.
His Associate, Deacon Snow, was n personal appearance, just the opposite of Deacon Grover, short of stature, quick in his movements, with that smile ?that never came off.? He died from the effects of a surgical operation, saying as he took his place on the operating table, ?He was led like a Lamb to the Slaughter.?
Time does not permit me to mention others, many of the names being now only a memory, but a few suggest themselves, whose influences are still felt, although their personality is forgotten: Hill, Young, Billings, Emery, Clay, Myers, Curtis, Mitchell, Muzzy, Richardson, Reamy, Moody, Mears, Tuttle, Stone, Winsor, Ruggles, Dixon, Clark, Ross, Rankin, Barnes, and a host of others. Many of these names are unfamiliar to most of the present members, but they served the Church, faithfully, lovingly, devotedly, and have entered into Rest. ?No not cold beneath the grasses, not close-walled within the tomb, rather in Our Father?s Mansion, living another room.? (Dr. Robert Freeman).
For a long time it was apparent to the workers in the various organizations that Neponset was over-churched, and the Baptist were the first to set upon that belief, and to remove to the Ashmont Section, which was rapidly building up, and which at once, took and retained new life. Then by reason of loss of its membership, the Church of the Unity was discontinued, although the wreck of its building still remains, leaving only Appleton Methodist Episcopal and Trinity Congregational in the field. Still it seemed to the workers in both these churches, that one strong church would do the work better than two, and so steps were taken to federate these two remaining, and this was finally accomplished with very little friction and heartburning, and we wondered why it was delayed so long. How we see the work carried on smoothly, and it would be to distinguish between Congregationalists and Methodist for all are doing harmoniously, the common work of The Master, and with a sympathetic and efficient Pastor, pressing forward to be a source of good to the whole community.
The pioneers put their whole heart into their task and laid a good foundation, and may it be made more effective for the future, by a union of forces which shall keep abreast of the times, ministering to the ever-changing needs of the place, as did the work of the fathers, to those of the early days.
For eighty-two years, Trinity Congregational Church functioned under the leadership of the following twenty-two Pastors:
1. # Stephen Bailey 1845-1847
2. # L.R. Eastman 1859-1860
3. # Marshall B. Angier 1860- 1861
4. # J.B. Johnson 1862-1863
5. # George B. Freeman 1864-1867
6. # Clark Carter 1868-1869
7. # R.H. Allen 1869-1872 (died in office)
8. # Myron H. Monson 1874-1875
9. # J.H. Gurney 1876-1877
10. # R.H. Gordon 1877-1885
11. # John L. Harris 1885-1887
12. # W. Gleason Schoppe 1888-1890
13. # Frank W. Merrick 1891-1893
14. Eugene C. Webster 1893-1899
Reverend Mr. Webster is now retired and living in Malden, Mass., and was present and spoke, at the Eightieth Anniversary Program during the week of May 7-14, 1939.
15. Edwin L. Noble 1899-1903
16. # Perley B. Davis 1903-1904
17. # Charles H. Washburn 1904-1914
It was during the pastorate of Reverend Mr. Washburn, that the memorial windows in the Auditorium of the church were installed. They were located near the places occupied by those they commemorate, the emblems being suggested by Mr. Washburn, as follows:
Deacon Grover?Alpha and Omega?as the church was first and last with him. Deacon Snow?The Fisherman?the emblem of his calling. Deacon Kimball?the Rose?a flower of which he was very fond, and of which, he was a successful grower. Deacon Tuttle?theLily. Mr. Dixon?the Crown?he was for many years Sexton, and had a seat near the rear window, where he was constantly on the lookout for the comfort of the worshippers. He suffered a long and painful illness at the end, and the Crown may have been to suggest his victory. The Book on the Pulpit window was for Mr. Allen, and the Harp on the organ loft, for Mrs. Small, are self explanatory.
18. Alfred V. Hunter 1915-1916
Reverend Mr. Hunger is now located at Lincoln, Nebraska, where he is Director of Public Relations at the Nebraska Wesleyan University.
19. Stanley E. Addison 1916-1921
Reverend Mr. Addison is now Pastor of Pilgrim Congregational Church, Cambridge, Mass. and was present and spoke at the Seventh-fifth Anniversary Program during week of May 6-13, 1934.
20. G. Barrow Neilson 1921-1923
Reverend Mr. Neilson left Trinity Congregational Church to take the pastorate of Presbyterian Church at Morningside Heights, New York City, and later left that church, but further information concerning him is not available.
21. W. Emory Hartman 1924-1926
Reverend Mr. Hartman came to Trinity Congregational Church as a student Pastor, and after leaving Neponset, went to Europe for further study, and is now understood to be teaching, but where he is located is not known.
22. A. Avery Gates 1926-1927
During the pastorate of Reverend Mr. Gates, the church purchased the property at 37 Port Norfolk St. for a Parsonage, for which they paid $6300. Money for part of this was raised by pledges and cash donations, Mr. Gates being very active in handling the campaign to raise part of the money. Two invested funds of the church were also turned over for this purpose, which together with the pledges and donations, totaled $4300, the balance of $2000. being covered by a mortgage from the Congregational Church Building Society of New York City. Payments on this mortgage (interest and principal) were carried on by the Church for a while, after which the balance was taken over the Ladies Aid Society and payments met by them regularly every quarter until the mortgage was cancelled in 1934.
Mr. Gates, the lat Pastor of Trinity Congregational Church, as a separate unit, left to accept the pastorate of a Baptist church in Hartford, Conn., where he was located for several years, later taking a pastorate of a Congregational church at Meriden, Conn., after which he returned to Summerside, Prince Edward Island, where he was last heard from. After Mr. Gates left, and while the church was considering his successor, the matter of federation with Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church was again taken up, both by Trinity Congregational Church and Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church.
After meetings of the church members and several meetings of a special committee of both churches, the federation was accomplished and voted upon by Trinity Congregational Church on November 1, 1927, deciding to call as the first Pastor of the federation, the Reverend William G. Sewell, then Pastor of Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church.
From the start of the federation, the people have worked harmoniously together as one body, to carry forward the work of the Master in the Community.
Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church
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The Methodist Society of Neponset originated in the year 1848. From its inception until 1862, very little is known of its progress because of the lack of records. Only the names of the Pastors appointed to the charge have been recorded.
From 1848 to 1870 the Society was known as the Second Methodist Church of Dorchester. The available records from 1862 to 1869 reveal that most of the Corporation meetings had been held at the general headquarters of New England Methodism, which was then located at number 5 Cornhill Street, Boston, Mass.
From various sources we learn that before 1862 the services of worship were conducted in private homes, or other meeting places made available through the kindness of loyal friends. Although the membership of the early Society was not large, it had increased sufficiently by 1862 to warrant the erection of a meeting house.
For eighty years, the Society functioned under the direction of the following 37 Pastors:
1. # Thomas W. Tucker 1848-1849
2. # B.K. Pierce 1850-
3 # Willard Smith 1851-
4. # E.A. Manning 1852-
5. # Jeremiah L. Hanaford 1853-1854
6. # Daniel Steele 1855-
7. # Pliny Wood 1856-57
8. # J.H. Bailey 1860-1862
During the pastorate of Reverend Mr. Bailey, under date of June 23, 1862, Mr. William Appleton was authorized to purchase from Mr. Otis Wright, the 4000 square feet of land on which the Appleton Church building was erected. The price paid was $1000. The plans for the building, drawn by Mr. C.A. Perkins, were accepted in June 1862, and the completed building was accepted by the Society on October 8, 1862. According to the records, the cost of the complete property was as follows:
Land $1000. Building $2825.
Vestry 208. Carpet & Aisles 347.
Fence 52. Settees & desk 100.
Plans 58. Insurance 33.
Exp. of Collection 88.
The total expense of $4711. was financed as follows:
Money raised in Neponset $1378.
Money raised outside Neponset $1338. $2711.
The balance of $2000. thus unprovided for, was supplied by Mrs. William Appleton, who took a mortgage on the property as security.
9. # William M. Hubbard 1863-1864
10. # George Sutherland 1865-1867
11. # Watson E. Ayers 1868-1870
During the pastorate of Reverend Mr. Ayers, on October 24, 1870, Mrs. Appleton?s mortgage had been reduced by $360. contributed by the Society, plus $340. deducted by the mortgagee, and Mrs. Appleton donated $1000. balance to the Society, thus canceling the mortgage. (Note: presumably, the remaining $300. was paid sometime during the period between the issuance of the mortgage in 1862 and October 24, 1870, when the mortgage was cancelled, although the record does not so indicate.)
In consideration of Mrs. Appleton?s beneficence, it was voted on October 24, 1870, to change the name of the Society to Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church.
12. # Increase Bigelow 1871-
During the pastorate of Reverend Mr. Bigelow, Mrs. Appleton died, bequeathing the Society $1000.
13. # William E. Dwight 1872-
14. # William G. Richardson 1873-1875
Reverend Mr. Richardson later lived in Watertown, Mass., and died there on May 24, 1935 at the age of 87, after an active ministry of 60 years.
15. # S.L. Beiler 1876-1877
16. # Charles F. Rice 1878-1879
17. # Edward. F. Virgin 1880-1881
18. # Franklin Furber 1882-
19. # George H. Perkins 1883-1885
20. # Edward H. Higgins 1886-1888
21. # Jonathan Neal 1889-1891
22. # Edward H. Hadlock 1892-1893
23. # Edward Everett Ayers 1894-1897
Reverend Mr. Ayers later became professor of Bible & Sociology at Randolph & Macon College, Lynchburg, Virginia, and died there Apr. 20, 1939.
24. # William H. Perdew 1898-1899
25. Philip L. Frick 1900-
Reverend Mr. Frick is now Pastor of the First Methodist Church, of Cohoes, New York.
26. Ernest Lyman Mills 1901-
Reverend Mr. Mills is now located in Orange, Mass.
27. Fred McConnell 1902-
Reverend Mr. McConnell is a brother of Bishop McConnell of the Methodist Church, and is now located at Bentleyville, Pennsylvania.
28. # Thomas E. Bishop 1903-1910
Reverend Mr. Bishop was Pastor of Appleton Church for eight years, the longest period of service of any its Pastors, and passed away while still its spiritual leader. Although possessing ample means for retirement, Mr. Bishop chose to carry on his work to the end, coming to Appleton Church after 35 years of active leadership in ten churches, three of which he was instrumental in building. He was a Master of Arts of Harvard College and received his theological education at Andover Theological Seminary and Harvard Theological School.
At his suggestion and under his leadership, the church was remodeled and entirely renovated, at t a cost of $2800., more than half of which sum, Mr. Bishop raised personally. The new building was re-opened for service on February 18, 1906.
The necessity for brevity in this history, makes it impossible to render adequate tribute to this worthy man of God, whom all classes of people, both in and outside of Appleton Church, learned to love and respect. Perhaps regard for this noble soul is best summarized in the closing portion of Mary P. Frost?s tribute which appeared in the Bishop Memorial Service program of March 13, 1910, wherein she said: ?He has left behind the inspiration of a high ideal?The Christian Gentleman?He, being dead, yet speaketh.?
29. Lyman W. Hale 1911-
Reverend Mr. Hale was a graduate of Syracuse University and the Boston University Theological School and was studying for his degree of Doctor of Philosophy at Harvard College, while Pastor Appleton Church. He was an exceptionally intelligent and energetic young man. He was transferred, after one year?s service, to the church in Roslindale, Mass., during which pastorate he married one of Appleton?s girls?Miss Sadie E. Roberts, the ceremony being performed in Appleton Church. Mr. & Mrs. Hale left Roslindale for Northern China, where they have spent some twenty years in active missionary work, and are still there.
30. George H. Cheney 1912-1915
Reverend Mr. Cheney was a Christian gentleman of the old school. A most faithful and devout man of God. Sincerity beamed from his countenance and spiritual power radiated from his personality. He did much to deepen the spiritual life of Appleton Church.
During his pastorate, the question of uniting with Trinity Congregational Church first came up for official consideration. Mr. Cheney is still living, but retired from active service.
31. Tobias Foss 1916-1917
Reverend Mr. Foss was of Norwegian extraction and although somewhat of a disciplinarian, was a hard and conscientious worker.
During his pastorate a legacy of $1000. left by Miss Margaret Adams, one of the parishioners of Appleton Church, was used to still further improve the church building. Mr. Foss, is understood to be no longer in the ministry.
32. Norman J. Raison 1918-1920
Reverend Mr. Raison came into the ministry from an active business life and hence brought with him many ideas of efficiency in church management, which proved very valuable to Appleton Church. His spiritual sincerity and inexhaustible zeal for work, resulted in a marked improvement in the spiritual life of the church, and a more successful basis of church finances. Mr. Raison is now Pastor of the First Methodist Church, Everett, Mass.
33. Fay Charling Mills 1921-1923
Reverend Mr. Mills came to Appleton Church as a student in the Boston University Theological School. Both Mr. & Mrs. Mills were extremely likable young people. During his pastorate in Appleton Church, Mr. Mills showed unmistakable evidence of developing into an unusually successful preacher and from the reports received from Nebraska, where he is now located, it is evident he has accomplished real success. During his pastorate, the question of uniting with Trinity Congregational Church again came up for official consideration, but no favorable decision was reached.
34. Charles T. Allen 1924-
Reverend Mr. Allen came to Appleton Church in his first regular appointment in the field, and is now Pastor of Robinson Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church, Malden, Mass.
35. Paul B. White 1925-
Reverend Mr. White is now located in Viroqua, Wisconsin.
36. J.E. Hanafen 1926-1927
Reverend Mr. Hanafen is now Pastor of First Methodist Church of Mondsville, West Virginia.
37. William G. Sewell 1927-
During the first year of Reverend Mr. Sewell?s pastorate, who was the last Pastor of Appleton Church, as a separate nit, Appleton Church and Trinity Congregational Church formally federated to form the community Church of Neponset, the Appleton Church members voting on this on September 24, 1927.
After the federation, the Appleton Church building was used for a short time for evening services, for some Sunday School classes, and finally for social gatherings only The pressure of the depression made it difficult to meet the expenses involved, and it became necessary to conduct all activities in the Trinity Church building. It was hoped that the Appleton Church building might be used for the benefit of the Sunday School work regularly, but ultimately the City authorities condemned the building and that hope faded. The first time the authorities made their condemnation, money was raised and the required work done to make the building safe. For some unknown reason, another ?inspection? proved that further repairs were needed, which were out of reach of the Church?s budget.
Finally, the unpleasant chapter of the disposal of the Appleton Church property was written. The property was sold, and the faithful members and supporters of that aged church, received $402.31 for the continuance of Christian activities among them and the new friends and co-workers at Trinity Church. This amount was voted upon by the Official Board to be turned over to Community Church to be held for repairs for the Trinity Church building, and has since been used exclusively for this purpose.
Thus ends the record of Appleton Church as a separate and independent church, but before closing, it seems fitting to express a brief recognition of some of the workers of Appleton Church, who in the last 35 years of its history, figured rather prominently in its activities, and now rest from their labors.
Lemuel B. Bradford. Class leader, spiritual counselor and the personification of loyalty to the cause of Christ and Appleton Church.
Edward A. Kimball. For many years Sunday School Superintendent and Church Treasurer. A business man with Christian ideals.
Mrs. Edward A. Kimball. Actively identified for many years with the Ladies Aid Society and ever zealous in the work of Appleton Church.
George E. Frost. A humble follower of Christ; modest and retiring but ever alert to the needs of Appleton Church. The balancer of many a deficient church budget and the munificent fried of every needy Pastor and worthy cause.
Mary F. Frost. One of the most intellectual and capable women. Sunday School teacher, missionary worker, officer of the State organization of the W.C.T.U. President of the Women?s Auxiliary of Morgan Memorial, and a leader in every good cause, religious or social.
Phoebe Chamberlain. One of the first to start a school for colored people in Washington, D.C. during the Civil War. Always devoted to children and the most efficient Sunday School worker Appleton Church ever had.
Margaret Adams. Quiet, unassuming, but deeply spiritual; whose munificence enabled Appleton Church to carry on, when dark skies were lowering.
Mary Timberlake, Emma Witherell, Susan Clark, Philip Costain. Each deeply interested in Appleton Church activities and particularly faithful to their responsibilities. Doubtless there are others whom memory has overlooked, but these stand out prominently.
The independent activity of Appleton Church is probably finished. The book of her separated history is closed but the results of her existence are bound to be felt for years to come.
Community Church of Neponset
Community Church of Neponset came into existence on November 1, 1927, when Trinity Congregational Church of Neponset voted to federate with Appleton Methodist Episcopal Church, who had made a similar vote on September 24, 1927, and called the Rev. William G. Sewell, then Pastor of Appleton Church, as the first Pastor of Community Church of Neponset.
It was first known as The Federated Church of Neponset, the name later being changed by vote of the members of Community Church, to ?Community Church of Neponset,? the latter name being suggested by Deacon Charles H. Horne, as being better suited as a name for a ?church for the people of the community? ? his idea of the place Community Church was to take among the people of Neponset.
Under the set of By-Laws drawn up by a special committee appointed from Appleton Church and Trinity Congregational Church and approved by vote of the members of both churches, for the administration f church affairs, an Executive Committee of ten members, five from Appleton Church and five from Trinity Congregational Church, was created, to be known as the Joint Committee of Community Church. The membership of this first committee, was as follows:
Appleton Church Trinity Congregational Church
Mrs. Sarah Little Mrs. Clarence Shepard
Mrs. Grace Roberts Mr. George Wilson
Mr. Frank E. McLeod Mr. Harry Dixon
Mr. Noah Wood Mr. David Snow
Mr. Alfred D. Patterson Mr. Allen M Ransom
Since the organization of the federation, three Pastors have served to 1940, as follows:
1. William G. Sewell (Methodist) 1927-1930
During the pastorate of Reverend Mr. Sewell, the Auditorium of the church was renovated and a new heating system installed in the Parsonage, funds for this work being raised by a special drive, which was very successful.
With the organization of the federation, the Ladies Aid Societies of both Appleton Church and Trinity Congregational Church, were merged into one Society, which has since functioned smoothly and been responsible for a great number of improvements in the church equipment, as well as turning over a goodly amount of money each year to the church for operating expenses. The Sunday School of both branches was also merged and has been increasing in numbers and doing an excellent work with the children and young people. Likewise, the Epworth League members of Appleton church and the Senior Christian Endeavor Society of Trinity Congregational Church were merged in one and have been carrying on successfully.
The Mens Bible Class, although temporarily suspending activities for a while, later resumed its work, and has been carrying on as usual. The Junior Christian Endeavor Society, although of more recent organization, is carrying on their work, as such a society should.
Late in 1930, Rev. Mr. Sewell accepted a call to be the Pastor of the Pilgrim Congregational Church of North Weymouth, Mass., where he is still located.
2. J. Irving Fletcher (Congregational) 1930-1937
Reverend Mr. Fletcher came to Community Church from a church in Brookline, New Hampshire, which was his first pastorate. During the period of this pastorate, Anniversary Week, May 6-13, 1934, was held, being the Seventy-Fifth anniversary of Trinity Congregational Church, and the Eighty-sixth of Appleton Church. At some of the services during the wee, several former Pastors of both Appleton Church and Trinity Congregational Church were present and spoke, as well as representatives of the Methodist and Congregational Conferences, and Pastors of other local churches.
It was also during this pastorate, that a special service to commemorate the burning of the mortgage on the Parsonage, was held, the mortgage having been cancelled during this time. In January 1938, Rev. Mr. Fletcher left to take the pastorate of a church in Millers Falls, Mass.
3. Charles H. Iley (Methodist) 1938-1939
Reverend Mr. Iley came to Community Church from the Copley Methodist Church of Boston, Mass., where he had been associate pastor for a year. During Mr. Iley?s pastorate, another Anniversary Week was held, May 7-14, 1939, at which similar services to those held in 1934, sere carried out, this program being in honor of the Eightieth anniversary of Trinity Congregational Church, and the Ninety-first of Appleton Methodist.
During the year 1939, Rev. Mr. Iley was married at the church, to Miss Geraldine Stratton of Warrensburg, Missouri, the ceremony being performed by Dr. Charles S. Otto, Boston District superintendent of the Methodist Church. A reception was tendered the couple at the church by the Ladies Aid Society.
Mr. Iley left on December 31, 1939, to return to work in the Baltimore Methodist Conference, of which he was a member, and is now located in Harper?s Ferry, West Virginia.
4. Glenn P. Holman (Congregational) 1940-1942
(Before completion of this history to date, the church called the Rev. Mr. Holman to be its Pastor.)
Reverend Mr. Holman came to Community Church early in February 1940, with an excellent educational background, having finished 14 months study in France and Scotland, a few months before coming to Neponset. Prior to his foreign study, he was Pastor of the congregational Church in West Granville, Mass.
During this pastorate, the Church Building was painted, the men of the Church doing the work in spare time, under the active leading of Mr. Holman.
An oil burning furnace was installed, which was a great improvement in the heating system, funds being raised for its purchase and installation, by a special committee.
In February 1942, Mr. Holman left, to become a Chaplain in the U.S. Army.
5. Lewis A. Chase (Congregational) 1942-1946
Reverend Mr. Chase came well recommended to the Church in April 1942, from Sherborn, Mass., where he had been Pastor of the Sherborn Church and also of the Church at South Natick, Mass.
Prior to this pastorate, he had served several in Maine, and showed a creditable record in each.
Early in 1942, the church received a bequest of $5000. from the estate of Miss Lottie Curtis. $4000. of this was placed in US Defense Bonds, the balance being held for certain bills and other emergency expenses.
In May 1943, the opportunity was given to purchase the house formerly owned by Miss Curtis, and later by Miss Catharine Gadd, and also Mrs. John Kerr. Owing to extension of the Lawley shipyard on war work, it was considered advisable to make a change in Parsonage location, and the house was purchased from Mrs. Kerr, and necessary repairs and improvements made.
A new Communion table was given to the Church by the Senior Fellowship, a brass cross was purchased by the Church, the Ladies Aid Society donated a pair of brass flower vases and Mr. & Mrs. Henry Scriven gave a pair of brass candlesticks, in memory of their daughter, Miss Minnie Scriven.
All these items greatly improved the appearance of the pulpit area, and were greatly appreciated by our people.
Plans were started for making emergency exits from basement and upper Sunday School rooms, as requested by State Department of Public Safety, and while due to material situation, the work has not yet been completed, such emergency changes will be made as soon as contractor, to whom job was given, is able to secure proper building material.
Prior to this an emergency exit door was cut in the auditorium at the front to the left of pulpit platform.
In March 1946, Mr. Chase accepted a call as Pastor of the East Congregational Church, Ware, Mass., completing his duties at Community Church on August 31.
6. Reginald A. Berry (Nazarene) 1946-1947
Reverend Mr. Berry took over the pastorate on September 8, 1946, coming directly from service as a Chaplain, U.S. Navy, where he had served for approximately 2 ? years.
Prior to entering Navy service, he was for 3 years, assistant at Park Street Church, Boston He had served as interim Pastor of Community Church for about 6 weeks in 1942, prior to Rev. Mr. Chase taking up his duties, and also during vacation period in summer of 1943, so was well known to a number of the Church people.
During this pastorate, the mid-week services were resumed and while attendance was not large, the meetings were helpful and appreciated by those attending.
A new program of non-profit activities was suggested by Mr. Berry, accepted by the societies of the Church, who would be affected, and although at first this program was started with some uncertainty as to its success, in the 10 months of 1947, by increased pledges and other giving, the financial condition of the church was greatly improved.
Through Mr. Berry?s able leadership, Church attendance at morning and evening services was also increased.
In the Spring of 1947, the matter of supporting a foreign missionary, in part or wholly, was brought up before the Church, accepted, and through the leadership of Mr. Berry and others equally interested full time base support was voted for Miss Lura Reed, as a missionary in Colombia, South America, under direction of Latin American Mission.
The emergency repair fund campaign, started during the previous pastorate, was kept alive, and although not yet completed, satisfying results were obtained during the year.
In July 1947, Mr. Berry tendered his resignation to return to active duty in the Navy as Chaplain. Due to the fact there was a possibility he might not be accepted at time of physical examination, the Church declined to accept his resignation pending such examination. However on Sept. 12, he was finally accepted by the Navy and assigned to Disciplinary Barracks, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Mr. Berry preached his last sermon on September 14, and at a special meeting on September 18, his resignation was accepted.
It had been sincerely hoped that Mr. Berry would remain as pastor for a few years and the Church as a whole deeply regretted losing the leadership of so capable a Pastor.
7. Robert E. Mortensen (Nazarene) 1947-1949
REvrend Mr. Mortensen came to Community Church from Eastern Nazarene College, Wollaston, Mass., where he had been doing special evangelistical work for the college in the Eastern area. Prior to that, he held pastorates in Ohio and New Jersey, and for a short time, at Woonsocket, R.I., while studying at Eastern Nazarene College.
The system of direct church support, started the previous year, was carried on, and under the leadership of Mr. Mortensen, church pledges were increased, placing the church in a better financial position.
Under direction of Mr. Mortensen, an Adult Bible Class was started, being held Sunday mornings, before regular service. This was a class in Bible study, and was appreciated by those attending, and it was hoped the class would be enlarged, even though small at first, but this however did not happen. During Holy Week, 1949, twenty-four persons were taken into membership, being the largest number at one time for several years.
Early in 1949 the church voted to have auditorium renovated, which was done under supervision of a special Repair Committee, composed of members of the Joint Committee, and two members from each of the organizations of the Church. Color scheme was changed to a rose gray, with varnished woodwork and pews and floors were re-finished. Area around Pulpit platform was finished in white, with Cross & Crown emblem in gold, special work being done by Mr. Harry Munson. Choir loft enlarged and lowered; steps leading to Pulpit platform re-arranged, new carpeting placed on platform being given by Ladies Aid Society. Senior Fellowship donated material and did work on re-upholstering furniture, choir loft drapery and Pulpit. New lighting fixtures were installed with two rows of three Cathedral type fixtures on either side of main aisle, replacing the one row of three lights over center aisle, as before. New light fixture to match those in auditorium was placed in vestibule, being the gift of Mrs. Ralph Eames and Miss Violet Perkins. Painting and refinishing work was done by Mr. Harry Munson and Mr. Dorrance Lincoln, both connected with the Church, while electrical work was done by Mr. Fuller, also connected with the church.
With volunteer labor, sponsored by Senior Fellowship, outside of Church was painted, as was the outside of Parsonage. Volunteer labor on both jobs, was a considerable saving to Church and greatly appreciated by the constituency.
Late in 1948, the vestibule of Church had been painted, labor being donated by Mr. Lincoln. A new cement floor was also layed in basement of Church. A hardwood floor was layed in Parsonage Living Room and other needed minor repairs done.
In May 1949, Mr. Mortenson tendered his resignation and left August 1, to take pastorate of a Church at Bluefields, West Virginia.
8. Thomas H. Rose (Congregational) 1950-
Reverend Mr. Rose came to us on March 1, 1950, from Vershire, Vermont, where he served a rural field at Vershire and West Fairlee Vermont for 23 years, after serving four years previously at Guild Hall, Vermont. Prior to serving at Guild Hall, he attended Clapton College, London, England. He is a veteran of World War I, serving in British Army.
During 1950, several Methodist members of the church Federation felt that change should be made and that the church revert to a straight Congregational basis. This feeling was due to several conditions: Appleton members were considerably fewer than Congregational members, and it was difficult to get enough of them to serve on Joint Committee or other committees; quarterly meetings were poorly attended and it was not possible with the number of Methodist members to carry out the requirements of the denomination as a Methodist unit, either in general procedure or financial support.
The situation was discussed with Dr. Arnold, District Superintendent, at a quarterly meeting of the Methodist group and he was of the opinion that under the circumstances it would be best to abolish the Federation.
At the Annual Meeting of Community Church, it was recommended that the church revert to Congregational standing and special meetings of Methodist and Congregational members was called for March 7, 1951. At these meetings the Methodist group voted to disband and transfer membership to Congregational rolls.; the Congregational group voted to welcome all Methodist members into Congregational fellowship.
A general meeting of Community Church followed these two meetings to ratify the action taken by the two groups. On October 24, 1951, at a special meeting, all Methodist members who had indicated a desire to change over were transferred to the Congregational rolls, thus ending the Federation which had operated as one church since November 1, 1927.
It was agreed the church continue the official name of Trinity Congregational Church of Neponset, but that it continue to be known as Community Church of Neponset.
A committee of four was appointed to go over the congregational and Community Church By-Laws to draw up a new set suitable to a Congregational organization. These By-Laws were presented to the Church for its consideration and action, and were approved. Miss Zora Jones, assisted by Miss Avis Colman, did a creditable work in mimeographing and setting up these By-Laws.
During 1951, the Missionary program was increased by a pledge of support of native teacher, with Sudan interior Mission, which was covered by a pledge from Sunday School.
During 1954, north side of Church main roof was shingled.
During year 1955, the family of Mr. William R. Daniell, former Senior Deacon, presented the Church with a gift, which was used to purchase four brass collection plates, as a memorial to Mr. Daniell. One was suitably inscribed and all were put in use, replacing the former wooden plates.
One of the hurricanes did considerable damage to plaster on walls and one ceiling panel in Auditorium. However, this was covered by insurance and plaster and lathing were replaced and painted, work being done by a Boston contractor.
As it had been several years since the outside of the Church building had been painted, and some repairs were much needed, it was necessary something be done to preserve the building. The matter was taken up at a Church meeting, handling of the job of getting estimates and supervising the work, being turned over to Standing Committee. They did an excellent job in obtaining estimates on painting, wood shingling, asbestos shingling and aluminum siding, reporting same to Annual meeting, which voted to have white asbestos shingles, with trim painted white, two coats. As several good cash donations and pledges for the work were given during the meeting, it was decided to pay for the work without getting a bank loan.
During this work, several other necessary repairs, which had not been previously done, had to be considered, with the following results: Build new front steps with iron pipe handrails?new water tables around building?new columns and boarding under part of rear ell?new sill, steps and canopy at vestibule rear door?shingle one side of small roof over pulpit?rebuild chimney?replace corner boards?shingle walls with white asbestos shingles?install new conductor pipes?paint trim two coats.
The original cost of shingling and painting, as at first estimated, plus the necessary expense on the repairs, raised total cost considerably, but it was finally paid in full through additional and continuing pledges and cash donations, this part of the work being ably handled by Chairman of Standing Committee.
The Missionary program was again increased by a pledge for partial support of Miss Eva Hunt, known to some of our members, to work in Mexico with International Child Evangelism Fellowship. The increases in missionary giving together with the original program of support of Miss Lura Reed (now Mrs. Victor Garrido) and various small gifts from time to time, to other missionary work, have brought the entire program to a substantial amount, for a Church of our size. This is especially true, since its support comes mainly from a small group.
During 1956, the Parsonage was painted outside, two coats, work being done by volunteer labor, under supervision of Mr. Rose. New bulkhead covering was built and an aluminum combination storm door installed.
The Church vestibule and upper stairway was refinished ceiling, walls and woodwork to match same in auditorium.
A 6 ft. chain link fence, with gate, was erected across property, at rear of Church building.
During 1958 Mrs. Ralph Eames and Mrs. Donald Phillips gave a gift in memory of their father and mother, William and Ethel Perkins, for the purchase of a new Communion set complete with table cloth, the balance from cost to be used for Church operating expenses.
This very nice set was used for first time on Communion Sunday, December 7, 1958, at which time Mr. Rose held a dedication service and accepted the gift on behalf of the Church. This set is an attractive addition to the Communion Service and very much appreciated by the congregation.
During the week of May 10 thru May 17, 1959, an Anniversary program was held celebrating the 100th year of Trinity Congregational Church. Attached program gives the events of the week.
At the Anniversary dinner on May 13, two former Ministers of the Church were present and spoke: Rev. J. Irving Fletcher of Quincy, Mass., and Rev. Lewis A. Chase, now Pastor of a Church in Wells, Maine.
Ministers of local Churches present were: Rev. George S. McNeill, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Dorchester, Mass. ? Rev. Isaiah Sears, Minister First Baptist Church, Dorchester, Mass.?Dr. Andrew Richards, Minister, Second Church, Dorchester, Mass., -- Rev. Mr. McNab, Minister, Central Congregational Church, Dorchester, Mass., and Rev. Theodore Dixon, a former member of Trinity Congregational Church, and now Pastor of a Church in Plainville, Conn.
Letters of greeting were read from former Ministers of Trinity Church and Appleton Methodist Church: Rev. Charles T. Allen, Minister of Wesley Methodist Church, Salem, Mass.?Rev. Glenn P. Holman of Spokane, Washington, now out of the ministry?Rev. Charles H. Iley, now Chaplain U.S. Navy, Charleston, S.C.?Rev. Robert E. Mortensen, Minister of Bayshore Community Church, St Petersburg, Florida?Rev. Reginald A. Berry, now Chaplain U.S. Navy, Chula Vista, California?Rev. Fay Charling Mills, Minister First Methodist Church, Hastings, Neb.
Letters of greeting were also read from several former members of the Church, who are not now living in the community. Among these was an interesting letter from Mrs. Ernest Sterling, Falmouth, Mass. Mrs. Sterling is a daughter of Rev. Charles H. Washburn, who was Pastor of Trinity Church from 1904 to 1914. Mrs. Sterling?s letter referred to many former members, not known to present members, but her description of them was interesting. Another letter giving information on former members was received from Mrs. Mason E. Clarke, of Brockton, Mass. Mrs. Clarke was Agnes Littlefield, a daughter of Dr. Littlefield, who was located in Neponset for many years. Mrs. Clarke and her sister, Abbie, were members of Trinity Church choir.
At the meeting on Monday May 11, we learned from Dr. Richards, speaker of the evening, the Rev. J.H. Means, who in 1859 gave Trinity Congregational Church, the Bible which is still on our pulpit, was the second Pastor in success of Second Church, Dorchester, Mass., succeeding the famous Dr. John Codman. We also learned that Second Church gave Trinity Church its first pews and upholstery. It has also been learned through a letter from Mrs. Ernest Sterling, mentioned above, that during the pastorate of her father, the oil painting on wall of Lecture Room, was given to the Church by a Mrs. Churchill, on her return from a trip to Europe, and is believed by Mrs. Sterling to be valuable.
The Anniversary Committee, who was responsible for presenting the program was composed of the Standing Committee plus the retiring church clerk and present church clerk, under supervision of Mrs. Allen Ransom, chairman of the committee, to whom great credit is due for conscientious work.
On March 2, 1960, a special program sponsored by the Special Remembrance Committee, under the supervision of chairman Mrs. Hartford Murch, was held celebrating the 10th anniversary of the ministry of Rev. Rose at Neponset.
Following a musical program with guest speakers, refreshments were served, and Mr. Rose was presented a billfold and gift of money from the Ladies Aid Society, the Sunday School, and members and friends of the Church.
During 1960, another hurricane damaged the front wall and part of the side wall of the auditorium, although the damage was not as much as previous storm.
For physical reasons, Rev. Rose tendered his resignation on May 6, 1962, to take effect in September. He plans to retire from full time work in the ministry and to go to West Fairlee, Vermont, in which town he held a pastorate before coming to Neponset. He is taking a small church near his new home to preach on Sundays, but no calling or other active pastoral work, excepting to make sick calls.
In June 1962, a testimonial dinner sponsored by the Special Remembrance Committee, Mrs. Hartford Murch, chairman, was given to Mr. Allen Ransom, who had retired as church treasurer after 31 years continuous service.
Following the dinner, there was singing of hymns by members of the Senior Choir and community-singing. On behalf of the members and friends of the church, Mr. Rose presented Mr. Ransom with a very fine Bible.
Early in September 1962, a farewell dinner and reception was held for Rev. & Mrs. Thomas H. Rose, sponsored by the Special Remembrance Committee. After the dinner a program of music was given by the Senior Choir, including some former choir members and Junior Choir. Attendance was very good, including several former members of the church, loved friends of Mr. Rose, a representative of the New England Fellowship and ministers from Dorchester and Quincy.
Mr. Rose was presented a substantial gift of money from members and friends also gifts from the Junior Fellowship and Junior Choir. Mrs. Rose was presented a plaque from the Ladies Aid Society. A personal gift from two members was a large two layer frosted cake, made in the shape of an open Bible with scriptural quotation.
Members and friends of the church were very sorry to see Rev. & Mrs. Rose leave Neponset but the very best wishes of all go with them to their new home, and wish for them a happy semi-retirement.
February 25, 1963
Mr. Ransom introduced Rev. Robert Domsey of the Carlisle Congregational Church and Rev. Robert Baker of the First Christian Church of Mansfield to speak to a special meeting of the church regarding ?The Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.? The individual church has a voice not only in the local conference but also in the national conference. In regard to the financial support of the expenses of the delegates to the national conferences, it depends upon the church and delegates. They also provide a ?credentials and placement? committee to help us with the pastoral supply. Rev. Baker of the local credentials and placement committee left us a form to be filled out by the clerk when and if we vote to become part of this organization. It was decided to table our decision concerning this matter.
Sept. 25, 1963
A special meeting was held by the church to hear and act upon a report given by Miss Zora Jones, Chairman of the Pastoral Supply Committee. She gave us the information concerning Dr. Lawrence D. Wymer. Mr. Wymer is married and has three children. He is a graduate of Buffalo Bible Institute and is now attending Gordon College. The vote was unanimous in calling Mr. Lawrence Wymer as Pastor of our Church. If he should accept this call, he would be expected around the first of November 1963. Since Mr. Wymer has not been ordained, the Special Remembrance Committee was named to handle the ordination. A call from the church was sent to Mr. Wymer on Sept. 25th and accepted on Sept. 29th, with thanks and anticipation.
We ended the year of 1963 with a farewell to Mr. Newton Schoenly, our interim pastor for the past year, planned by the Pastoral Supply Committee. We said farewell to Mr. Schoenly on Sunday October 27th 1963 and the church presented him with a Bible as a token of our appreciation for his services.
9. Lawrence D. Wymer (Congregational) Sept. 25th 1963 ? July 1, 1966
We began the eventful year of 1964 by being host church to Mr. Wymer?s ordination, Jan. 10th. There were about 165 friends present, also ten ministers who participated in the service. The adult choir rendered two anthems. Refreshments were served afterwards. It was a very warm family feeling having the former pastor and interim pastor taking part in the program. It is something that will linger in all our hearts for always. May it be the beginning of a fruitful ministry through Rev. Lawrence Wymer.
In 1965, a motion was made and accepted to withdraw from the Suffolk South Association and apply for membership into the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference. Mrs. Myrtle Cummings was made Historian for that year. This part of the Lord?s work to be voted upon each year. Mr. Ransom had been doing the work in the past for which we are ever grateful. Mr. Ransom started the task realizing some concise record should be kept.
The Billy Graham Campaign was well attended from the Community Church of Neponset. Directly and indirectly related to our church were 15 people who made decisions to accept Christ as their Savior and 6 dedicated themselves to a renewal of spiritual emphasis in their lives. Other church activities were numerous and well attended. Both choirs were active.
The ?Pioneer Girls? was begun and is progressing. They started their first meeting Monday November 21, 1964. Mrs. Mildred Nichols, Chairman, Mrs. Sybil Holt Sec., Mrs. Catherine Howell, Mrs. Ruth Power, Guide for the Cleonist Group. Minimum shares are .25 cents a week. Seven girls started the group. May this start last through the years with our Lord?s blessing.
Our Remembrance Committee took care of cards and flowers where called for. It is a sad duty nevertheless a necessary one. They also had the pleasure of starting a memorial Fund with the name of Mrs. Colman, beloved mother of Miss Avis Colman. The church, instead of sending bouquets of flowers, I going to put the money into the Memorial Fund, in that particular person?s name. Anybody who wishes to have loved ones remembered in this manner may see any member of the Remembrance Committee.
The Sunday School sponsored 3 family nights during the year with suppers, speakers and music. The Junior Dept. had a supper and there was an ?open house? in December. During April Vacation they held a series of 5 meetings of one hour each, with an average attendance of 25. There was the annual Children?s Day program the second Sunday in June with plants and awards given out. A picnic was held July 11th at the Methodist camp grounds, Hamilton, Mass. Practically every family (80) of the church was well represented. The Sunday School sent two children to camp for one week each. They went to Rummay, N.H. This is both expensive and worthwhile. Any financial aid to this project is more than welcome. The more eligible children, the more expense. This year it cost $20.00 per child to send for one week.
The ?Christian Workmen?s Committee? came into existence early in 1964 for the purpose of further needed renovation and general church repairs. The Lord undertook this task and blessed abundantly the lives of those involved and in the quality and quantity of work done. We look ahead now to further blessing.
Our church was admitted into the ?New England Association of Congregational Christian Churches? as of February 10, 1964 and thereby became a member of the ?Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.? During 1964 we collected $37.00 from the church members.
The M.D.C. has agreed to erect one of their directional signs locating the church for passing motorists. This is to be installed at the end of Walnut St.
Much has been accomplished this past year under Mr. Wymer?s guidance, both spiritually and materially and we look forward to even greater accomplishments for god in this new year of 1965.
The Annual Meeting of the Community Church of Neponset voted Mr. Wymer a $500.00 raise in salary retroactive to January 1st, 1965.
The Planning Committee meets twice a year, March and October. It was started so that a representative from each committee could meet in a group and discuss any problems that might confront them. Much good can come from these meetings for the glory of God.
In 1965 the ?Jet Cadets for Jesus? was started. The material for Jet Cadets is a product of the Christian Workers Service Bureau of Redondo, Calf. While the Jet Cadets is national in nature, it is independent in its adoptability. The appeal is to both boys and girls from ages 8 to 12. The program itself will generally contain Bible Drills, Choruses and Hymns, Scripture Reading and Prayer. There were 15 meetings and 3 specials with an average attendance of 25. Their financial support comes from the church donation and freewill offerings.
?But Jesus said, suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come unto Me; for such is the Kingdom of Heaven.?
The Pioneer Girls continued with a very active year. Many badges were accumulated during the past year and were presented by the field representative, Miss Mildred O?Donnell on Nov. 21, 1965. A memorial program for their chairman, Mrs. Mildred Nichols, was held at this time. The Pioneer Girls? faith grew stronger as they learned to grow closer to God with the loss of this beloved chairman on Nov. 11, 1965.
The Christian Cleaning Committee was organized March 24th, 1965, with Mrs. Caroline Brown, chairman. There was no expense to the church and very little to themselves. Donations from friends and members helped their supplies. A notice on the church bulletin board brought out 12 volunteers for the weekly task. During the summer months four 14 year old girls pitched in and really worked. Our thanks go to Misses Debbie Nichols, June Power, Joyce Howell and Pamela Short. On Aug. 12th, 1956, the ?C.C.C.? donated 17 yards of rubber floor runners for the vestry and lecture room. In October they donated 53 ? years of 36? rubber runner for center, back, front, and side aisles of the church. God grant that they may do more for the glory of God?s House.
On May 15th, 1965, the church celebrated the 106 anniversary with supper, music and speaker. The young adults put on the supper, the men presented the music and we were very glas to have Rev. Richardson of the Second Church of Dorchester at Codman Square, known to be our ?Mother church.? A fine time was enjoyed by all.
One hundred and six years! : hard times and good. It is easily seen ?Thy will be done? in the Community Church of Neponset.
History of the Community Church of Neponset from January 1966
Church sign from M. D. C. has been installed.
On March 30, 1966, the resignation of Rev. Lawrence D. Wymer was presented to the church.
On May , 1966, a combined Anniversary Supper and Farewell Party for Rev. Wymer and family was observed. A girls singing group from Children?s Haven sang and played. On May 29, Rev. Wymer conducted the Communion service and special dedication service for Mr. & Mrs. Frank Darling and Mr. Earl Lincoln as these two couples prepared to leave for study at Buffalo Bible Institute and Elohim Bible Institute respectively. The Wymer Family then left for the pastorate in Medway, Massachusetts.
On June 26, 1966, Rev. Benjamin B. Sharp of Franklinsville, New York, came as a pastoral candidate and conducted the morning and evening worship services. He met with the Pulpit Supply Committee following the morning service.
On July 13, 1966, at a congregational meeting called for the purpose of voting to extend a call to Rev. Sharp, the congregation voted overwhelmingly to do so.
Rev. Sharp accepted the call on July 20. The Sharp family arrived the last week in August beginning his ministry on August 27. The church held a reception for Rev. & Mrs. Sharp on October 19 with Rev. Richard Sweetser of Blaney Memorial Baptist Church as guest speaker. The occasion was marked by special singing of the choir and refreshments following the service in the church basement.
Our missionary endeavor has grown from one day to three inviting church sponsored missionaries and other missionaries for those special meetings.
September 25, 1966, saw a dedication service for the ?Worship and Service Hymnal!? The bulletin bore this note of the dedication:
?To Rev. Lawrence D. Wymer and the members of the Hymnal Committee our most sincere appreciation for a difficult task of selection and choice exceptionally well done. To those who gave liberally to the Memorial Fund, dedicated to this purpose, our heartfelt thanks and warmest gratitude. To those who will use this hymnal; find within its pages words of cheer and gladness, blessing, and joy and from its music and melody
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Created: September 9, 2007 Modified: September 9, 2007