Mount Vernon Church, Boston

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Mt. Vernon Church (built 1844), Ashburton Place, Boston, c. 1870s[1]

Mount Vernon Church (established 1842) in Boston, Massachusetts, was a Congregational church located on Beacon Hill (1844–1891) and later in Back Bay (1892–1977).[2]


Beacon Hill, 1844–1891[edit]

The Mount Vernon Church was organized on June 1, 1842 and the church building on Ashburton Place in Beacon Hill was completed the next year.[3] Senior ministers to serve the congregation at this location included Edward Norris Kirk (1842-1874);[4] and Samuel Edward Herrick (1871-1904).[5]

Congregants included Dwight L. Moody and Daniel Safford.[6] In the 1850s some of the congregation formed the Mount Vernon Association of Young Men.[7]

In 1893 after the Tremont Temple burned down, its Baptist congregation held services in the Mt. Vernon Church building, recently vacated by the Mt. Vernon congregation.[8]

Back Bay, 1892–1977[edit]

Around 1892 C. Howard Walker designed a new church building in the Back Bay, on the corner of Beacon Street and Massachusetts Avenue. The new building included stained glass windows made by John LaFarge.[9]

Senior Ministers at the Back Bay location included:

  • Samuel E. Herrick (until 1904)
  • Albert Parker Fitch 1905 -1909
  • James E. Richard 1909 - 1918
  • Sidney Lovett 1919-1932
  • Carl Heath Kopf 1933-1948
  • Dwight C. Smith 1949 - 1953
  • Chalmers Coe 1954 - 1956 [3]

In 1970, the membership of the Mount Vernon Church closed the church building and entered into a covenant with the Old South Church in Boston to worship in fellowship with the Old South at its church at 645 Boylston St., (Copley Square) Boston, MA 02116.[10] Mount Vernon Church retains separate officers and budget, an overlapping membership with Old South, and separate status as a member church in the Metropolitan Boston Association of the United Church of Christ.

A fire in 1978 destroyed the church building. In 1983 the remains were remodelled by architect Graham Gund as the "Church Court Condominiums."[11]


  1. ^ King's hand-book of Boston. 1889
  2. ^ Boston Directory. 1858
  3. ^ a b Congregational Library & Archive. "Boston, Massachusetts. Mount Vernon Congregational Church. Records, 1842-1970". 
  4. ^ David Otis Mears. Life of Edward Norris Kirk. Boston: Lockwood, Brooks and company, 1877
  5. ^ Tribute to Rev. Samuel E. Herrick. Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Second Series, Vol. 18 (1903 - 1904)
  6. ^ Ann Eliza Bigelow Turner Safford. A memoir of Daniel Safford. Boston: American tract society, 1861
  7. ^ Heather D. Curtis. Visions of Self, Success, and Society among Young Men in Antebellum Boston. Church History, Vol. 73, No. 3 (Sep., 2004)
  8. ^ Tremont Temple burned; one of Boston's most famous buildings destroyed. New York Times, March 20, 1893
  9. ^ Julie L. Sloan and James L. Yarnall. Art of an Opaline Mind: The Stained Glass of John La Farge. American Art Journal, Vol. 24, No. 1/2 (1992)
  10. ^ Congregational Library & Archive. "Boston, Massachusetts. Mount Vernon Congregational Church. Records, 1842-1970". 
  11. ^ Nancy Carlson Schrock. Images of New England: Documenting the Built Environment. American Archivist, Vol. 50, No. 4 (Fall, 1987)


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°21′32.7″N 71°3′44.57″W / 42.359083°N 71.0623806°W / 42.359083; -71.0623806