Wednesday, June 01, 2011

First Church - Salem MA

Memorial plaque outside the current church from 1929.
Here you truly are on historic grounds. The congregation in this neo-gothic church gathered here the first time in August just 9 years after the pilgrims on Mayflower landed on Plymouth rock, making it one of the oldest Christian congregations in North America.  

The First Church in Salem, Unitarian-The First Congregational Society in Salem, dates back to as far as August 1629. The current building dedicated in 1839 is located at 316 Essex Street.

Current church at 316 Essex Street
Aside from its historical significance in Salem, the church is active today and weekly services and religious education are offered. The church is also available for weddings and maintains an outreach program for those in need.

Outside the building you find a memorial plaque with the following text:

The first church in Salem founded August 6th 1629 O.S.
The first congregational church in America
On a day of fasting and prayer appointed by Governor John Endicott
For the purpose after a covenant and confession of faith had been read and consent thereto solemnly professed by the church members
the reverend Frances Higginson chosen teacher and the reverend Samuel Skelton chosen pastor were ordained and to them Governor John Bradford and other deputed from Plymouth gave the right hand of membership. 

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