Meeting houses in America
The Colonial meeting house in America was typically the first public building built as new villages sprang up. A meeting-house had a dual purpose as a place of worship and for public discourse, but sometimes only for "...the service of God." As the towns grew and the separation of church and state in the United States matured the buildings which were used as the seat of local government were called a town-house or town-hall.
- Church, which is used to refer to a body of people who believe in Christ
- Meeting house or chapel, which refers to the building where the church meets
The nonconformist meeting houses generally do not have steeples, with the term "steeplehouses" being used to describe traditional or establishment religious buildings. Christian denominations which use the term "meeting house" to refer to the building in which they hold their worship include:
- Congregational churches with their congregation-based system of church governance. They also use the term "mouth-houses" to emphasize their use as a place for discourse and discussion.
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), see Friends meeting houses
- Mennonite Church
- Amish Church
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) uses the term "meetinghouse" for the building where congregations meet for weekly worship services, recreational events, and social gatherings. A meetinghouse differs from an LDS temple, which is reserved for special forms of worship.
- Some Unitarian congregations, although some prefer the term "chapel" or "church".
- The Unification Church
- Provisional Movement
The meeting house in England
The Oxford English Dictionary states that a meeting house in England is always a "...nonconformist or dissenting place of worship..."
- "Meeting house" in Merriam-Webster Dictionary
- Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) Oxford University Press, 2009
- Sweeney, Kevin M.. "Meetinghouses, Town Houses, And Churches: Changing Perceptions Of Sacred And Secular Space In Southern New England, 1720-1850." Winterthur Portfolio 28.1 (1993): 59. 1. Print. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1181498?uid=3739800&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21103156020293
- Sewall, J. B. "The New England Town-house", The Bay State Monthly, Vol 1, No 5. 1884. 284-290. Print. https://www.gutenberg.org/files/13632/13632-h/13632-h.htm accessed 12/6/2013
- Whitney, William D. (ed.) The Century Dictionary vol. 8. 1895. 6407. Print. Town-house may also mean a jail, poor-house, or house not in the countryside. See Century Dictionary
- Quaker Spirituality: Selected Writings. HarperCollins. 2005. p. 18. ISBN 9780060578725.
- Hamilton, C. Mark (1992), "Meetinghouse", in Ludlow, Daniel H, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 876–878, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140
- Seymour, Nicole (March 2006), "Standardized Meetinghouses Give a Place for More Members to Meet and Worship", Ensign, retrieved 2012-10-10
- "News Release", Newsroom (LDS Church), 15 November 2007, retrieved 2012-10-10
- "Topics and Background: Templaes", Newsroom (LDS Church), retrieved 2012-10-10
- Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) © Oxford University Press 2009
- Congdon, Herbert Wheaton. Old Vermont Houses 1763-1850. William L. Bauhan: 1940, 1973. ISBN 978-0-87233-001-6.
- Duffy, John J., et al. Vermont: An Illustrated History. American Historical Press: 2000. ISBN 978-1-892724-08-3.
- Media related to Category:Meeting houses at Wikimedia Commons