Over 185 Years of Service!
Our mission is to minister by directing our efforts toward all ages and aim to meet the full range of human needs. This calls for a ministry that is spiritual, social, recreational, academic, vocational, personal, domestic, economic, and political. Our Greatest resources are our God and our people. A pervasive spirit of goodwill and commitment are essential in fulfilling Christ’s command to “go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
On the morning of September 18, 1834, a group of Boston churchmen met at the Dudley School to organize a church for “The Friends of Evangelical Truth in Roxbury” which would be named after John Eliot, a well-known missionary (1604-1640). The founding members held worship services in a small sanctuary on Kenilworth Street.
The church’s evangelical efforts led to the creation of a Sunday School on Davis Street. In 1856, nine years after initiating the Sunday School, the church built a chapel on Vine Street and changed its name to Immanuel Church.
On December 19, 1870, the founding members of Eliot formed another church for families in the Walnut Avenue area. The members purchased and built a chapel on the corner of Walnut Avenue and Dale Street. The Chapel was dedicated on May 26, 1873. Sixteen years later, on February 27, 1889 a full-sized church building was dedicated.
Over the years, the Immanuel Church on Vine Street declined in membership and in 1906 agreed to merge with the Walnut Avenue Church, forming the Immanuel-Walnut Church on January 1, 1907. In 1908 after the merger, the church built yet another addition to the edifice on Walnut Avenue. The last addition to the building currently houses the church administrative offices and the pastor’s study.
In 1922 Eliot Church held its last service in the Kenilworth building and united with the Immanuel-Walnut congregation. The united members therefore became The Eliot Congregational Church on the corner of Walnut & Dale.
PASTORS OF ELIOT CHURCH:
- Jacob Abbott 1834-1835
- John S. Abbott 1835-1841
- Augustus C. Thompson 1842-1901
- Benjamin F. Hamilton 1871-1897
- Winfred C. Rhoades 1900-1917
- Paul G. Macy 1918-1921
- Benjamin A. Willmott 1922-1925
- Charles C. Keith 1925-1959
- James C. Martin 1959-1961
- Edward B. Blackman 1961-1966
- Prentis M. Moore 1962-1973
- Anthony C. Campbell 1974-1982
- Ozzie L. Edwards 1982-2002
- Evan C. Hines 2006-QUICK FACTS:
- Structure was erected in 1873.
- Named in honor of missionary John Eliot.
- Registered historic landmark
- Church established in 1834
- 2010 recipient of Partners in Preservation Award