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Massachusetts Convention of Congregational Ministers records, 1749-2008.

Identifier: RG0767

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the administrative and financial records of the Massachusetts Convention of Congregational Ministers. Included within the collection are meeting minutes, records of votes, correspondence, memoranda, financial statements, invitations, clippings, speeches, photographs, and publications.


  • 1749-2008


Restrictions on Access

Access to this collection is unrestricted and open to the public.

Restrictions on Use

Items in this collection are subject to U.S. Copyright Law. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine the copyright status of collection items and to secure any permissions necessary for their reproduction and publication. Requests for permission to publish material must be discussed with the archivist or librarian.
Digital Reproductions are protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use the Digital Reproductions in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the Congregational Library & Archives for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the Congregational Library & Archives. For additional information regarding copyright, please consult the Congregational Library & Archives' Digital Collections Copyright & Use policy.

Historical Note

The following is an extract from The History of the Massachusetts Convention of Congregational Ministers drafted by Joseph Bassett, the scribe of the Convention, in 2008:

“The Massachusetts Convention of Congregational Ministers as we know it began between 1692-94 when ministers in Massachusetts Bay met to consider issues afoot in the land... By 1721 the Convention met to hear a Convention sermon in May followed by a dinner with members of the Great and General Court popularly known as The Feast of Moses an Aaron. In 1949 Professor George Williams ardently pled that the MCCM not fold its tent since it was the only Massachusetts clergy configuration not to split in the Unitarian controversy.

“Since 1973 a pattern of addressing topics theological, pastoral, and international [had] emerged in the Massachusetts Convention. The Spring Convention [was] held alternatively in the UUA (unitarian Universalist Association) and UCC (United Church of Christ) churches with the Convention preacher being from the side other than the host.

“In 1984 the Convention began to sponsor a two day Karl Barth Seminar of Pastors in mid or late June. In the morning a visiting teacher would lead discussion of forty or so pages in the Church Dogmatics. In the afternoon an ecumenical document would be received and discussed.

“Given the many solid sermons preached at the Convention, in 2005 the Convention Archivist began to hold a sermon seminar sometime following the spring Convention to study a past sermon in order to learn the shape of the ministry in Massachusetts for more than three centuries.

“The Convention [was] responsive for distributing the income from the Judah Monis Fund and a modest Convention fund for widows and orphans of Congregational Ministers.

“Programs and publicity [were] the responsibility of officers elected at the spring Convention; a Moderator, Scribe, Treasurer, two Directors from the UUA and two from the UCC with four additional advisers.”


1.57 Cubic Feet (2 boxes, 2 reels)

Language of Materials



The Massachusetts Convention of Congregational Ministers began between 1692-94 when ministers in Massachusetts Bay met to consider contemporary issues facing their parishes. By the middle of the 20th-century, the convention became a center of religious dialogue for Massachusetts Congregational minister. The records contain meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, financial statements, photographs, and publications.


This collection has been arranged into two series. Within each series, records have been largely arranged in chronological order, by start date, and additionally by topic.

Technical Requirements

In order to access microfilm records, a microfilm reader is required.
In order to access Microsoft Word documents stored on compact disk, a computer with a disk drive and Microsoft Word 2003, or later version, is required.
To access digital user’s copies via online-interface, a java-enabled web browser is required. Internet Explorer 8.x and later, Firefox 5.x and later, Opera 12 and later, Safari 5.x and later, or any version of Google Chrome are recommended.

Acquisition Information

Materials were donated to the Congregational Library & Archives by Harold Worthley in 1974. Additional material were added to the collection in 2012 through a donation by Joseph Bassett. Transcriptions added to the collection in 2018 by a donation from the Worthley estate. Reporting Committee survery added to the collection in November 2018 by a donation from LaVonne E. Pippin; Accession 2018-38.


Additional accruals are expected for this collection in the form of full-text transcription. There is no anticipated date for this accrual.

Processing Information

Originally processed by Alice Dodds in 2004. Reprocessed by Jessica Steytler, January 2013, and additional materials added to the collection. Additional processing and new description by Zachary Bodnar, September 2018, using DACS Second Edition.
Massachusetts Convention of Congregational Ministers records, 1749-2008.
Zachary Bodnar, Alice Dodds, Jessica Steytler
Description rules
Dacs2 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Congregational Library & Archives Repository

14 Beacon Street
Suite 200
Boston MA 02108