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COLLECTION Identifier: bMS 707

First Unitarian Society in Newton (West Newton, Mass.). Records,

The records of the First Unitarian Church of Newton consist of orders of service, financial records, committee and club records, and Sunday School records. There is also material related to the Channing Religious Society of Newton.


  • 1851-1997


There are no restrictions on access to this collection.


4 boxes

This collection consists of church directories, orders of service, annual reports, financial records, membership records, and clippings. There are also records related to various clubs and committees of the church such as the Entertainment Club and the Ladies Sewing Circle. The collection also contains records related to the Channing Religious Society of Newton. There are no birth, death, or marriage records.

Biographical / Historical

The First Unitarian Society in Newton was organized in 1848. Rev. William Orne White served as the first minister, though only for a year. The first long-term minister was Rev. Francis Tiffany, who served from 1866 to 1883. He was followed by Rev. Julian Clifford Jaynes who would spend his entire ministry at the society from 1875 to 1922. Other long-term ministers include Dr. Herbert Hitchen (1931-1950), John Ogden Fisher (1950-1961), Rev. Dr. Clarke Dewey Wells (1975-1978), Dr. Gerald Krick (1979-1998), and Rev. James Ishmael Ford (2000-2008). In 1945, during Hitchen's ministry, the Channing Religious Society of Newton closed and its members joined the First Unitarian Society of Newton.


Organized into the following series:
  1. Series I. General church records
  2. Series II. Church clubs and committees

Acquisition Information

Gift of the First Unitarian Society in Newton, 2009.

Related Materials

For related collections, please see bMS 705.

General note

The number after the slash in each entry in the following list indicates the box number, and the number in parentheses is the folder number.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Jessica Suarez, 2011.
Link to catalog
First Unitarian Society in Newton (West Newton, Mass.). Records, 1851-1997: A Finding Aid.
Andover-Harvard Theological Library

Repository Details

Part of the Andover-Harvard Theological Library, Harvard Divinity School Repository

Special Collections at Andover-Harvard Theological Library preserves and makes accessible primary source materials documenting the history of religion and theology, with particular historical emphasis on American liberal religious traditions. Though the historical strengths of the collections have been in the field of Christianity, other religious traditions are increasingly reflected, in step with Harvard Divinity School's evolving focus on global religious studies.

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