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[p. 38]

Rev. Edward C. Hood of Hingham was installed September 13, 1882, by a council consisting of thirteen pastors and fifteen delegates representing sixteen churches. Rev. J. W. Wellman, D. D., of Malden, was moderator, Rev. J. G. Taylor of Melrose Highlands, scribe, Rev. E. B. Mason, D. D., of Arlington, offered the installing prayer and Rev. Alexander McKenzie, D. D., of Cambridge, preached the sermon.

Mr. Hood applied himself to the duties of his position with energy, taking much interest in the young people, and preaching the Gospel acceptably to an increasing audience. In his response to our call he called attention to our financial condition as a hindrance to spiritual progress. Nothing loath to be relieved of the burden, if possible, the society, in December, 1883, appointed Messrs. Norton, Leonard, Craig, Babb, Ober and Parker a ‘Debt-raising Committee,’ with liberty to add to their number. They added Mr. Hood, and sent him to the Old South Society, Boston, from whom he secured two thousand dollars. The balance and one thousand two hundred dollars for repairs was secured on pledges, to be paid in two years. The pledge books were deposited in the bank as collateral for a loan with which the mortgage was purchased and the interest on it stopped. The pledges were paid in and the society was free from debt April, 1886. About the same time a bell was placed in the tower at a cost of five hundred dollars, contributed by citizens.

A Hutchings pipe organ, costing one thousand eight hundred and twenty-five dollars, was first used in public worship February 6, 1887. With the debt lifted, there came a different atmosphere. The young people's prayer meeting and the ‘Willing Hands’ were reorganized into the ‘Christian Helpers,’ whose members were enthusiastic in both branches of the work. The Sabbath-school increased year by year, having its largest enrolment in 1887, 265 members, and its largest attendance in 1888, 206; its largest average 162.

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