Boston Churches

Walking around the major landmarks of Boston highlights the importance churches played in our nation’s early history.  Above a few snapshots of some Boston’s most famous churches.  Below are a few fun facts about these churches.

The history of Arlington Street Church began in 1729 as the Church of the Presbyterian Strangers, although not at its present site.  They found Presbyterian doctrine too rigid, however, and broke with them in 1787, eventually becoming a Unitarian church under the direction of William Ellery Channing in  1819.  Arlington Street Church has continued in its progressive beliefs up until the present day.  In 2004, “the first church and state-sanctioned, same gender wedding in the United States” was celebrated at this church.  Source: 

Trinity Church (Episcopalian) is considered an archictectural masterpiece, a stellar example of Richardsonian Romanesque.  Building of the church was begun in 1872, and the doors opened in 1877.

The New Old South Church (Congregational) is built in the Venetian Gothic style.  It is called the “New” Church, even though it was built in 1875.  Up until then, the congregation worshipped in the Old South Church (now referred to as the Old South Meeting House.)  Fun fact for Twin Citians:  the church contains an organ that was rescued from a Minneapolis church just before demolition.  (source:  Lonely Planet: Boston.)

King’s Chapel should be subtitled:  How to Tick Off a Puritan.   King’s Chapel was built in 1687 for Anglican worship.  The Anglicans were the official church of England; the Puritans fled England precisely to get away from these people and now here they were in Boston with their own church.  Egads!

The Old North Church was made famous when, o the night of april 18, 1775, Paul Revere shone his signal lantern to warn Bostonians that the British were coming, the British were coming.

The Park Street Church, built in 1809, was called “Brimstone Corner” because gunpowder was stored in the crypt during the war of 1812.    (Brimstone, or sulfur, is a key ingredient of gunpowder.)

Author: DebraB

I am a Professor of English at Concordia University-St. Paul. I have a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research interests include American literature, contemporary literature, Middle Eastern literature, African literature and feminist theory.

10 thoughts on “Boston Churches”

  1. Are you going to make it to Louisa May Alcott’s house while you are there? I forget how far outside of Boston it is, but not too far, and a pleasant ride. I recommend it.

    1. Is it in Concord? I plan to go to Concord tomorrow, and I know there are a lot of American writers’ homes there. I THINK Alcott’s is one of t hem.

      1. Yeah…that’s the place. If I remember right, her father would entertain, Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau at times. How’d ya like to sit in on those conversations?

      1. It is a great place to visit. If you love museums, parks and food, you will have a grand time. Like with Savannah, let me know and I can share with you some places we went. Do rent a car as there are many places to go that are outside of the downtown area, which is where we stayed.

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