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In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Initially known as the Second Church of Christ, a name chosen to distinguish this church from the First Church located at the "Head-of-the-River" in present-day Acushnet, The First Congregational Church of Fairhaven was established on July 23, 1794. During their first year, the Church consisted of 26 members from New Bedford, a town that included present-day Fairhaven and Acushnet in 1794. The Church's first home of worship was initially called the Phoenix Hall Block, but was later known as the Second Congregational Meeting House. Rev. Isaiah Weston served as the first pastor of the church and remained in that capacity until 1808. In 1844, now called the First Congregational Church of Fairhaven, the Church purchased land on the Northwest corner of Centre and William Street for a new church, built and dedicated in 1845.
The earliest church records (Accession # B88-54) are found mostly in bound volumes. Each volume may contain a variety of records as described in the box list. These records are of a general administrative type of church record. Other volumes represent the records of specific groups within the church organization such as the Ladies Aid Society, the Women’s Guild, and the Lyman Class. In addition to the records found in the bound volumes there was a group of loose documents that relate to the same church activities and have been integrated with several bound volumes by subject and date.
The papers belonging to Accession # 2008.14 follow accession B-88-54 chronologically with Accession # 2012.2 coming last. The papers in, # 2008.14, have mostly to do with the matter of pew ownership and are related to the records found in Volume 9.
The papers from Accession # 2012.2 had been arranged by the church and were organized chronologically by year. This arrangement has been maintained within the various categories according to the records of the time. The exception being, the collections of Series II., Executive Committee Meeting Minutes, Annual Reports, Women’s Guild/ Women’s Fellowship, and The Tandem Club which have been arranged by specific group.
Researchers should also note that this collection contains a genealogical index created by Cynnie McNaughten relating to Accession B88-54 shortly after the arrival of the collection at the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library in 1988. This index consists of a card catalog located in the Research Library's Reading Room containing additional notes on selected people. This collection also contains additional appendices consisting of an abridged history of the Church from 1794-1953, a list of the Church's pastors since its founding,and copies of miscellaneous notes from church records.
Arrangement of Collection
Access to Collections
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New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 109, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Materials in this collection were donated to the New Bedford Whaling Museum by the First Congregational Church of Fairhaven in 1988, 2008, and 2012.
Processed by: Jalien Hollister, 2012
Encoded by: Mark Procknik, 26 December 2012
Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection
Broadhead, Rev. William H., fl. 1897-1900
Butterfield, Rev. Claude A., fl.1921-1923
Carrruthers, Rev. William, fl. 1878-1886
Center Methodist Church
First Congregational Church of Fairhaven (Fairhaven, Mass.)
Gould, Rev. William, fl. 1823-1839
Greene, Rev. Harvey B., fl. 1891-1893
Hawkes, Rev. Winfield S., fl. 1873-1878
Jewett, Rev. Paul, fl.1820-1822
Kasson, Rev. Frank H.
Ladies Aid Society
Lee, Rev. Dorrall, fl.1893-1897
Lewis, Rev. James M.
Lyman, Rev. Frederick B., fl. 1900-1909
Lytle, Rev. James A., fl. 1910-1921
Maddaford, Rev. John A., fl. 1929
New Bedford (Mass.)
Owen, Rev. George D., fl. 1924-1928
Roberts, Rev. Jacob, fl. 1839-1855
Tadgell Jr., Rev. H.A., fl. 1973
Walker, Rev. Avery S., fl.1868-1871
Weston, Rev. Isaiah, fl. 1795-1808
Wheeler, Rev. Abraham, fl. 1813-1818
Willard, Rev. John, fl. 1855-1867