|The history of The Second Church of Plymouth at Manomet|
|Physical and Spiritual History || Our Ministers || Noteworthy Parishioners|
|Second Church's history is intertwined with the history of Manomet village.
Early documents show that our forefathers wanted to worship away from "the cold doctrinaire attitude" of the original church of the Pilgrims. Dismissal was granted, making the Second Church of Plymouth the sixth to be gathered from the original Church of the Pilgrims. The actual establishment of Second Church was on November 8, 1738. We are proud and grateful that there are families among us who trace their heritage back to the founding members of the church.
Our current structure was dedicated on the present site in 1828. This is the 3rd meeting house of Second Church. The land where our church building stands was given by Mrs. Polly Bartlett and valued at $56. The labor was performed by the parishioners, who tore down the previous building, which was located across the street, where the 7-Eleven now stands. Some of the old materials from that church were used in the current building.
In 1844, Mrs. Phoebe Blackmer urged the Congregation to pass strong resolutions against slavery and for the temperance movement. She was the driving force behind Second Church changing the sacramental wine to grape juice.
A Female Benevolent Society was formed in Manomet in 1848. It is the oldest Protestant Church Women's society known in this country. It's influence on the life and fellowship of the Church is far-reaching. The efforts of this society to raise money through endeavors such as their sewing circle products enabled the church to remain viable for many years.
After the Civil war, with railroad service coming to Plymouth, Manomet became a popular vacation spot. Many folk began to attend services here, and many of those early parishioners have descendants who have take up permanent residence in White Horse and Manomet.
Until 1953, the interior of the sanctuary remained the same as when it was originally built. At that time, a new pulpit was added along with a lectern to the left and right with an alter, cross and choir loft added between. During the 260th Anniversary celebration, in 1998, the Ladies Benefit Society had the original pulpit and accompanying chairs restored to their original condition and returned to the sanctuary.
In 1961, The United Church of Christ was formed when the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Churches joined to form a single denomination. Having always had a close association with other Southeastern Massachusetts Churches, when all these Churches were Congregational in policy and Calvinistic in theology, the Second Church of Plymouth voted to become a member Church of the United Church of Christ.
A Capital Campaign began in 1996 enabling a great deal of work to be accomplished in our Church. The parsonage and sanctuary were completely renovated. New Sunday School space was created with moveable dividers and accessibility for the handicapped was provided.
Under the leadership of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ, Second Church adopted a sister church within the Pentecostal Church in Chile. Our Sister Church is located in Val Paraiso, Chile and in 1998 three members of our congregation traveled there to bring greetings and strengthen our Christian ties beyond our countries borders. We continue to send love and support Second Church to our Chilean Christian family. Gifts such as school supplies and books along with missions of labor and love are sent as often as possible.
During a period of growth and change, in 2000-2001, a Church sub-committee of the church studied, under the Rev. Alice Mann, the topic of "Churches in Size Transition." We were seeking guidance on becoming a larger "Program-driven" church, from a smaller "Pastoral" church. During this transitional exploration, we also have discussed the need for a new, larger building.
A new Allen organ was installed in the sanctuary in the Summer of 2006. This newer, modern organ provides a glorious sound system for our Family Service band and traditional accompaniment for hymns at our Traditional worship service. On October 15, 2006 this gift of music was dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Corrine Peck (see "Our Congregation" below), organist at Second Church for 40+ years.
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| In 1897 Reverend Haig Adadourian, a young Armenian minister came to Second Church. He was very interested in compiling the history of our Church and was the first minister to start Anniversary Celebrations. The first celebration was in 1898, our 160th year. He had four pamphlets of Manometania published, portraying the life of Manomet in his day.
The Church entered the 20th Century under the leadership of the Reverend Herbert Ormes, Frank Noyes, Albert Reynolds and Robert Hodgen. Our system of a separate Parish (geographical unit) and the Church as a spiritual body became known as a Corporation under the Massachusetts State laws of the one body as the Second Church of Plymouth (Congregational) at Manomet.
The whole Church worked together under the guidance of the Reverend George F. Thurlow and achieved the great task of adding a basement, Sunday School rooms and meeting space. The total renovation cost about $33,000. In 1953 the building was raised on blocks and a Sunday School room, kitchen and restroom were built in the basement. At the same time, the Parish House of three stories was added in the back of the main building, a generous gift from Mrs. J. W. Hills. The brick steps and double entrance doors we built for the street front.
The Reverend Richard Sherrell came from the University of Chicago in 1956 to be our next minister. He did a great deal of work with our young people and initiated the adult study program. Dr. Rogers was key in completing a fund drive for a new Allen organ, which was dedicated on June 19, 1960.
In 1960, the Reverend M. Sargent Desmond came to be pastor at Second Church. Under his leadership Church membership expanded greatly. Throughout 1963, our 225th Anniversary year, a historical pageant and banquet were held.
The Reverend Carl Gold followed the Reverend Desmond. Reverend Gold was very interested in the youth of Second Church, particularly the Sunday School.
The Reverend David Leach became our pastor in August 1969 and faithfully served our Church until leaving for a parish in Texas in 1983.
During the interim period, the Reverend Louis Toppan served as a voice of power who encouraged the church to change and dedicate itself to growing in numbers and in spirit.
A new settled pastor, the Reverend Russell Gates came to Second Church in February 1986. Reverend Gates focused on drawing younger families to Second Church. He offered the prayer of Thanksgiving at our 250th Anniversary Banquet in 1988. The Reverend Gates answered a call to a Congregational Church in Vermont, where he and his family still reside.
Second Church welcomed the Reverend Mark Mendes in 1990. A 1990 graduate of Andover Newton Theological School, Reverend Mark preached his first sermon to our Congregation on September 9, 1990. Our Family Service was created to accommodate the religious awakening our Church experienced under Reverend Mendes guidance. After many years of gracious and faithful service to Second Church, Reverend Mark left in the summer of 2004 to answer the call of a United Church of Christ in Florida.
The Reverend Peter Stevens was hired as an associate to preach "one sermon per month" in 2002 and remained with our congregation until April, 2006. Reverend Peter was invaluable to us when Mark went on Sabbatical and Peter preached all summer. Additionally he conducted an adult "Faith Formation" class that has yet to be duplicated. The stories of his travels and his subtle English humor brought us a unique perspective on the Gospel and "everyday" theology.
The interim pastor from 2004 through July of 2006 was the Reverend Dr. David Stryker. With Rev. Stryker's leadership and guidance, we created a much desired third worship service. Our Evening Worship was held on the first Saturday of every month, providing an alternate time and format for those who are unable to attend on Sunday morning.
In July of 2006 our call for a settled minister was answered by recent Andover Newton Theological School graduate, Judith Medeiros. With God's love and full hearts we saw Reverend Judy ordained at the North Congregational Church in Marshfield Hills. As the 40th minister of Second Church, Reverend Judy Medeiros has created a new chapter in Second Church history by becoming the first fully-ordained, woman minister of our Congregation. Reverend Judy's enthusiasm, creativity and gentle nature blessed Second Church until December 2009.
In the interim period following Rev. Medeiros, Second Church called Rev. Edward Bernard. Pastor Edd is ordained in a denomination outside the UCC - another first for Second Church. With a varied background extending beyond traditional ministry, Rev. Bernard's preaching led us on an anecdotal journey correlating scripture to everyday living.
Second Church has also watched as members of our congregation were called into the ministry. Cheryl Rieder and Greta McRae have called Second Church home as they juggled families, classes at Andover Newton, and everyday living. Cheryl graduated from "ANTS" in 2005 along with our own Reverend Judy and since graduation has completed 3 units of Clinical Pastoral Education and is currently serving at Christ Congregational Church, UCC in Brockton. She hopes to receive a call and be ordained in the United Church of Christ.
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Second Church loves and respects all members of God's Family. These members of our Congregation hold a special place in our hearts and our history.
Mrs. Corrine Peck - the Organist at Second Church for more than 40 years. Honored and recognized for her service, Mrs. Peck gifted our worship with outstanding music, through her playing and direction of our choir. A new Allen organ was dedicated to her memory on October 15, 2006.
Emmeline (Emmy) Holmes - A faithful Church member for over 80 years. On September 19, 1999, the rose garden and fish pond were dedicated in her honor at the Rally Day Picnic.
Katharine Freeland - A matriarch of our church throughout the second half of the 20th century, Katharine was church historian for many years and was responsible for writing the major church history, back in the 1970's. Katharine also served Manomet as librarian when the Manomet Library was in Bartlett Hall (aka the Manomet Youth Center).
Sara (Crowell) Roth & Evon (Briggs) O'Brien - active members for over 65 years, supported Second Church in word and deed.
Alice (Childs) Grennell - Everyone's "Grandma Alice" - an active member for 75 years (give or take a few), Alice's efforts represent the true meaning of Christian living. Recognized by Jordan Hospital in 2006 for her countless hours of volunteer service, Alice has earned the love and appreciation of a Church and a community.
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