Medford Church anniversaries.
he year 1922 has been a notable one for Medford church anniversaries.
Four have been observed, marking the lapse of a century, and its fractions of half and three quarters.
As incidental to, and part of Medford
history, the Register makes note of them.
The first in order was that of the First Methodist Episcopal, whose beginning was on July 28, 1822.
Summer vacations were not in vogue a century ago, and so many other changes have come in the years that it is well to consider for a little what the Medford
of that day was, and why the event celebrated took place.
As to amount, Medford
was practically the same area as today, though since reduced at one side and increased on another.
As to population, fifteen hundred. Five country roads radiated from the ‘market place,’ or business center, now called the ‘square,’ and these had but few branches.
Three distilleries were in operation, and ship-building was on the increase.
The civic center was the meetinghouse up High street. There the sovereign people gathered in town meeting.
, for the American
republic was still young.
Dr. John Brooks
had been for several years Governor of Massachusetts
, and lived just out of the market place.
The public conveyances were the stage coach and the slow-moving canal boat, for the railroad was thirteen years in the future.
The sewing machine
, the daguerreotype, gas, kerosene lamps
and electric telegraph were all unheard of. Public schools were of the [p. 62]
most primitive type and public worship was at the management and expense of the town, which levied a special rate or tax to pay the minister, who was settled for life.
Into such Medford
came the organization of a second
church, in 1822, on lines of religious thought held by a few residents fifty years before, which years were the last of colony times.
But they were a minority, though they had the courage of their convictions and dared express them.
Outnumbered and outvoted, they gracefully yielded to their associates and gave the newly called pastor their loyal support.
Then came the Revolution, which like all wars, had its debasing effects, however much patriotism may be commended.
The ‘state religion’ of New England
was of the Congregational
order of Pilgrim and Puritan
In the reconstruction that followed the Revolution came the rallying of other religious forces and effort in the organization of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1789 and the Protestant Episcopal
Both were essentially American and early pledged their allegiance and support to the administration of Washington
Neither were any too gladly welcomed in Massachusetts
by the ‘standing order,’ where the state religion was intrenched behind a tax levy on one's estate and ‘faculty.’
Such tax levied, it was a case of pay or go to jail.
Thus we may see that it took some courage for any dissenters from the established order to worship in any other form a century ago.
But during the first forty years of the republic, certain changes in the tenets of the established
order had gradually developed, and in Medford
, as in other places, the parting of the way was approaching, as the long pastorate of David Osgood was nearing its close.
and the adjoining towns of Malden
, ‘societies,’ i.e
. churches, of the new Methodist Episcopal order had been formed.
From the latter came one of its number preaching the gospel of full and free salvation, which differed somewhat from the Calvinistic [p. 63]
doctrine of earlier days.
The doors of the meetinghouse, the place of public assemblage, were not open to him or the doctrines he preached, but in a building down on old Ship street, people gathered to hear Josiah Brackett
, a business man, licensed by his church to preach, tell the story of salvation through Christ
The next gathering was in the ball room of the tavern, and one hundred people came—one-fifteenth of the entire population of the town.
Such was the beginning of the second
church in Medford
a century ago, the beginning of a new order which within two years was to be followed by the practical division of the old parish and the end of ‘state religion,’ and then again by other branches of the Christian church.
Today the denomination Josiah Brackett
pioneered has in Medford
five congregations which have grown from that effort, and it was with a feeling of gratitude and commendable pride that the First Methodist Episcopal Church, taking time a little by the forelock, led off in the series of anniversary observances—its centennial beginning with the morning service of Sunday, March 19. Rev. James E. Coons, D. D.
of Lynn District (of N. E. Conference), in which Medford
is, preached the sermon.
The text (Heb.
XI: 8), ‘and he went out, not knowing whither he went.’
During the weeks that preceded, various repairs had been in progress on the comparatively new church edifice, and this occasion was taken to provide for the liquidation of the balance of incurred expense, and the sufficient sum of $800 was pledged for its cancellation.
In the evening Rev. L. H. Murlin, D. D.
, president of Boston University, preached to a crowded house.
Aside from the features mentioned, this Sabbath's services differed not from those usually held.
According to the printed program, Monday, March 20, was ‘Historical Night.’
A pouring rain came in the afternoon and early evening, which doubtless kept many [p. 64]
Yet it was a goodly audience that gathered in the auditorium and patiently listened to the roll-call of the present membership of five hundred and seventyfive, and introductory remarks of the pastor, Rev. D. Harold Hickey
The features of the evening were the addresses of Herbert A. Weitz
, and Miss Katherine Saxe
The latter, a ‘child of the church,’ spoke of ‘Some Personalities of First Church,’ from her own acquaintance with the faithful worthies she told of.
The address of Mr. Weitz
is of much historic value to the church and community, the result of careful search and study, and covered all points and the entire history of the church for the century, and even went further back.
It should be printed and generally read, as it supplements all previous accounts and brings the church's history down to date.
Tuesday, March 21, was ‘Former Pastors' Night.’
Eight of them were present, and with their wives formed a long receiving line.
Dr. N. T. Whitaker
, whose pastorate was 1869-70-71, was followed by Revs. Watkins
in the order of their service.
A later pastor, (Vandermark) unable to come, was represented by his wife.
Their remarks were reminiscent, instructive and encouraging, often facetious, but all in happy vein.
From the dim and shadowy past came the congratulatory message of Rev. Edward Stuart Best
, pastor in '55-56.
It was like a benediction, the letter of ‘Father Best
,’ now in his ninety-seventh year, the oldest member of the New England Conference.
There was a considerable number of former members of the church that came to this reunion, and the occasion was one of much interest to them, especially in the interchange of reminiscences of the years agone.
Probably, of such, not more than three were members fifty years ago, while few of their children can remember with any distinctness the half-century observance.
On Wednesday evening the announcement called for [p. 65]
a ‘Union Prayer Meeting of the Methodist Churches
’—‘Love Feast, in charge of Dr. C. F. Rice
The chapel was not overcrowded.
Prayer was offered by the pastor, hymns sung.
, pastor of the Wellington church
, preached a short and excellent sermon and brief remarks were made by local and visiting members.
It was a profitable and enjoyable occasion, but not on the old-time lines.
Thursday evening's concert and readings marked the close of the anniversary program, making a way mark in the history of Medford Methodism
in marked contrast to its beginning a century ago.
This church now occupies its fourth house of worship.
The first three were not widely separated in location.
This, however, is near the northeastern border of the city, with no immediate neighboring church, and of late has styled itself ‘A Community Church.’
In 1822 it was an ‘adventurer,’ but it soon had its fellows, sometime rivals, but in the lapse of years coming to a better fellowship in common service.
Trinity, the second church of the Methodist Episcopal
order in Medford
, is in the western part of the city.
Though its birthday came on April first, it was a reality, and its history of fifty years one most interesting.
In a way, it also was an ‘adventurer.’
In the fifty years preceding, the various leading denominations had found place in Medford
, their houses of worship all near the square, except that of the Roman Catholic
, which, serving both Medford
, was near the town boundary.
In those fifty years the population had quadrupled, being in 1870, five thousand, seven hundred and seventeen, with but scant increase in the outlying sections.
Its increase began in West Medford in 1870.
There, first a Sunday school, and later in ‘68, a community preaching service was begun, and continued for four years. From this grew two churches.
Trinity had suitably remembered its fifteenth, twenty-fifth, thirtyfifth and fortieth birthdays, and naturally looked forward [p. 66]
to the attainment of fifty years with a commendable pride and interest, and five months in advance commenced its preparations, by appointing a general committee from its various departments.
One feature specialized was the raising of a ‘Jubilee Fund’ of two thousand dollars to ensure no deficit in current expenses, and to make some needed improvements in the church property.
A monthly paper of sixteen pages called Trinity Jubilee Chimes
, edited by the pastor, was issued and widely circulated during the last quarter of the ‘Jubilee year’ and the two months following.
The special features of Jubilee week, covering two Sabbaths, were announced in an attractive booklet program and carried out with much enthusiasm.
Sunday, March 26, was an ideal day as to weather conditions and a large expectant company gathered, and the keynote was struck in the processional hymn, ‘The Year of Jubilee is Come,’ by the vested choir of Trinity
's young people, who crowded their seats and sang, besides the hymns, special selections.
The usual order of morning service, in which the congregation participated with much feeling, was followed by the sermon of the pastor on ‘The Ministry of Jubilee.’
At the noon hour special note of the occasion was taken in the Sabbath School and in the Men
's Class by brief addresses of a reminiscent kind.
At six o'clock the young people of the Epworth League
had their special service, and at seven came the dedication of the ‘Jubilee lights.’
's second house was built, electric lighting had not attained its present excellent status and its cost had to be reckoned with.
But in the jubilee program it was assured.
The evening service began in a dimly lighted room, but at the close of the dedicatory prayer the new lights shone in beauty on the new Bible, the new flags, choir draperies and altar carpets, all blending in worshipful harmony.
At this service was present Rev. John Fletcher Brant
, who served as Trinity
's pastor in 1875 (it being his first regular appointment as ‘preacher in charge’ in the ministry) whose reminiscent address was both interesting and helpful.
A feature of the evening was the special selections by the choir.
Tuesday was devoted to ‘Our History.’
A rainy day was followed by a foggy evening, but Trinity
's people assembled in goodly numbers with a good representation of interested friends filling the auditorium.
The exercises, under the direction of Chairman Wells C. Warner
, opened by the processional in the usual order by the vested choir, and prayer by Pastor Bullock
As the occasion marked (nearly) the twenty-fifth anniversary of the dedication of the present church, it was fitting that the first
dedication hymn of Medford Methodism
Written by John Newland Maffit
in 1828 (for the first house of First M. E. Church on Cross street), it was on this occasion thrown on the screen and sung by choir and people.
After introduction by the chairman (who later, upon call, read from the records of the first two meetings for organization) the historical address was given by Moses Whitcher Mann
, an original member, and illustrated by one hundred and seven lantern slides.
Dealing briefly with the early history of the ancient town, the introduction of Methodism in 1822, the speaker told of the West Medford of the seventies into which Methodism came.
Tracing the history for fifty years, portraits of nearly every pastor and wife were shown.
The first official board and many of church workers and members of early years, and the ‘Ladies' Aid’ down to date were shown, and those within present memory continually applauded.
Rev. Charles Tilton
, who as pastor led the effort for final freedom from debt, was present, spoke in his usual happy vein, and offered the closing prayer and benediction.
On Wednesday evening came the Jubilee reunion.
Three former pastors, Cassidy
, in whose time the present church edifice was erected, Tilton
and Van Buskirk
Each was accorded a hearty greeting and spoke words of cheer and counsel.
Like a wonderful benediction was the presence of Rev. N. T. Whitaker
(pastor at Medford
in 1870-72), who organized the class-meeting in October, ‘71, and was present at the formal organization, April I, ‘72, and also preached the twenty-fifth anniversary sermon.
He has but recently retired from the active pastorate of Saxonville church.
In his advanced years of four score he found it a pleasure to attend both Medford
and West Medford festivities in memory of his services a half century before and the ‘grand old man’ was listened to with marked attention.
Then followed an impressive scene—the calling the roll of the honored pastors gone before, the entire assembly standing.
At the name of Jarvis A. Ames
(1887-88-89) an extract from one of his pastoral reports was read, which was like a message from an old-time friend.
Letters were read from several former pastors who were unable to attend, and quite a number of former members(now removed) were at this home-coming.
But two of the original members still remain.
Three of the Ladies
' Aid Society of 1873 were present.
Music was furnished by an orchestra and refreshments by the young ladies of the Epworth League
during the social hour that followed.
Thursday brought the closing snowstorm of the season and occupants for every seat at the banquet tables.
The young men were much in evidence, and cheering and victrola selections made jubilee music.
The Jubilee menu was done ample justice and the Jubilee address was by Rev. Dr. H. H. Crane
of Malden Center church, a wonderfully inspiring one.
On Saturday evening, under winter skies and with [p. 69]
winter travel the real birthday of Trinity Church was noted in the very rooms where the first meeting was held, by a quiet hour of prayer.
This was made possible by the kindly courtesy of present owners, Mr. L. W. Bragdon
On Sunday, April 2, Rev. James T. Beebe, D. D.
, preached an appropriate sermon and spoke to the Men
's Class about Boston University's School of Theology, of which he is dean, and where most of Trinity
's pastors have studied.
In the evening the Jubilee exercises were finished by the pastor's address, ‘A Closed Jubilee’— a report of the year's work.
For several Sabbaths preceding and on the two Jubilee Sabbaths the altar flowers were provided in memory of former members and relatives of the donors.
The later issues of the Chimes
made mention of the various features, and with the anniversary program may be found in the library of the Historical Society.
Next in order to celebrate was the West Medford Congregational Church, which was organized by an Ecclesiastical Council on June 12, 1872.
Like its neighbor (Trinity Church), it made early planning for its observance and carried it out well, though on somewhat different lines.
The observance included but one Sabbath's service and for convenience ended on June 11—just within the fifty years. On Thursday, June 8, the exercises opened with a ‘Pageant,’ in which nearly one hundred members of the church and parish took part.
The pageant was the thought and writing of the present pastor, Rev. Henry Francis Smith
, and consisted of seven episodes, the first ‘The Incarnation,’ and the seventh, ‘The Fruit of the Far Flung Years
,’ in which the entire number of participants were gathered.
In the first episode, the ‘Mother of our Lord
’ was seen kneeling beneath the shaded light (by Elizabeth Lowry
) while strains of ‘Magnificat’ came from the choir loft.
Episode 2 was ‘The Great Commission
The eleven apostles (of Ascension Day) and ‘two men in white’ were seen silently ‘gazing up into heaven.’
Episode 3, ‘The Christian Westward-Ho,’ brought the audience down the ages, by the presence of the ‘Spirit of Christianity,’ and of ‘Paul
,’ ‘Gregory the Great
,’ and ‘Augustine’ and the more visible personalities of Wickliffe
and Robert Browne
Episode 4 was styled ‘An Unfamiliar.’
This represented a gathering of the Puritans in Old England, planning for their migration to a new world.
The fifth, in time two centuries and a half later, was styled ‘Fifty Years Ago,’ and did honor to one of the good women who began a Sunday school in West Medford, Mrs. Rachel Barnes
She was impersonated by Gertrude Haynes
Then came the ‘Spirit of West Medford Church,’ by Katherine Powers.
Next came six men representing the ‘charter members’ (one was a son of one of them) who held a meeting and decided to organize a church.
Episode 6, ‘The End of the Golden Era,’ had seven spirits
, each representing some phase of church work: The Church School
, Woman's League, Good Cheer Club, Brotherhood, Christian Endeavor, Boy Scouts, Camp Fire, then two of the smallest of the Choir children, followed by a soldier in uniform, and last came the missionary (from this church, now in India
), the ‘Spirit of Mary Rogers
The closing episode of ‘The Far Flung Years’ massed all the participants in review, and its entire presentation was the result of much thought and effort on the part of the author and all that managed and carried it through so successfully.
During the presentation there looked out from the screen the portraits of the seven pastors of the church during the half century.
Three have gone on before— Messrs. Jaggar
, two—Messrs. Hood
, sent letters of regret.
But it was like [p. 71]
‘good old times,’ the coming
of the second, Rev. Marshall M. Cutter
The pageant was repeated on Friday evening with even greater success, and on Saturday evening was the ‘Anniversary Reunion,’ this also in the auditorium.
The pastor presided.
The historical sketch of the church and parish was read by Mr. Alexander Diebold
, and showed a careful search of record and grouping of the facts of a highly interesting history.
Addresses were made by Rev. Mr. Cutter
and Rev. Arthur Ackerman
, a son of one of the charter members.
He regretted the fact that he was the only one to go into the Christian
ministry from this church, and made an earnest appeal to the young people along that line.
He was followed by his brother Herbert, who was
one of the ‘charter members,’ but now of the Mystic Church
, in brief but happy remembrance of the early days.
(See Mr. Ackerman
's ‘West Medford Congregational Church,’ in Register, Vol.
This church has now on its roll the names of but two members of 1872. One, Miss Abby Teele
, was present but did not feel equal to the task of making reply; another, Mrs. Sarah Foster
, whose membership is fortyeight years, was introduced, and spoke her gratitude and pleasure.
Both were presented with floral tokens.
A social hour was enjoyed in the chapel, where an interesting collection of books, pictures and papers connected with the local church history which had been collected by Miss Katharine Stone
, was on view.
Refreshments were served by the young people and opportunity of renewing old acquaintance was well improved, as many old timers came home.
The services on Sunday were in the usual order and form in Congregational churches, but instead of morning sermon a brief and appropriate address by Pastor Smith
Baptism and reception of new members followed the celebration of the Lord
's Supper, Rev. Messrs. Cutter
But two (possibly [p. 72]
three) persons form a connecting link between that service and this church's first Communion occasion in August, 1872, held in Mystic Hall, and the two consider themselves favored by ‘Old Time’ in his flight.
At the evening service the sermon was by Rev. Oscar Maurer, D. D.
, of New Haven, Conn.
, a college classmate of the pastor, the prayer by Rev. T. C. Richards
of Mystic Church, the invocation by Rev. Dr. Morgan
, a recent supply pastor during Pastor Smith
's absence in oversea work.
The responsive reading was led by Rev. M. L. Bullock
of Trinity Church.
Of course, it was fitting that Mr. Cutter
, the first settled pastor, should have the last word, the benediction
, which he prefaced by a brief prayer that added to the impressiveness of the occasion.
The music was of a high order, and this church has the peculiarity of having two vested choirs, the ‘second choir’ entering the auditorium in processional hymn, and leaving their seats in the rear gallery by the opposite aisle in the recessional.
On this anniversary occasion both choirs sang the antiphonal anthem (by Turner
) ‘Sing to the Lord
June, the month of roses, is a favorable time, and the floral decorations of Saturday evening and Sunday were exceedingly tasteful.
As on the day of organization in 1872, between the ‘council’ and the recognition service in the evening came a terrific thunder storm, so on this anniversary Sunday came another with greater downpour of rain, both clearing for the evening hour.
So passed into history another pleasant memory of the anniversary of another church of fifty years.
After seventy-five years of church life, with, by the lapse of time, none of the early members and few of their descendants or those that knew them, Mystic Church gathered to do them honor and celebrate its anniversary.
Mystic Church has a history of its own, though somewhat interlocked with another that preceded it twentyfour [p. 73]
years before, and whose centennial in 1923, if observed, must be by Mystic Church, because of the union of the older with the younger church in 1874.
And Mystic Church made a good beginning this year toward that event.
On Friday evening, October 20, an illustrated lecture by the pastor showed the Pilgrims from old England
and the Puritans of New England
, the founders of Congregationalism.
Sunday, October 22, its announcement styled ‘Historical Day.’
The usual form of Sabbath worship was observed, and the pastor, Rev. Thomas C. Richards
, took for text of his anniversary address Heb. XI: 40: ‘Better things for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.’
He seemed to have studied Medford
history as well as local church history, for he told of the political situation and industrial improvements and inventions of that day. We quote a few extracts:—
Medford was an overgrown country village of thirty-four hundred people, with ox-carts and shirt sleeves.
No police force or water system was in the town and bath-rooms out of the question.
Trains on the Medford branch had just begun to run, but with better schedule than now. Ship building was the main industry, thirty in 1845.
The town was wealthy, twenty-sixth in the state in property and only fifty-second in population.
‘Every institution is the lengthened shadow of a man.’
Mystic Church owes more to Galen James, deacon and ship-builder than to any other.
At the age of thirty-two he led seventeen members out of the old town church, in protest, to establish a new church. Twenty-four years later he led the secession of sixty to organize Mystic Church.
The separation was not due to doctrinal, but to personal and political reasons.
It was a time of swarming.
The Baptist Church organized in 1842, and the Methodist work took on new life two years later.
Between 1840 and '50 population had increased fifty per cent and business was booming, especially ship building.
All pews in the High street church were rented.
alluded to the real cause of separation, as seen by one article added to the Confession of Faith of Mystic Church:— [p. 74]
‘This church regards slave-holding, the traffic in and use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage, gambling and such things as inconsistent with the Christian life.’
and read another article in that little book of principles adopted, and added,
It is interesting to think how this rule would affect the pastor and officials of the church today.
It was a progressive step for those days.
Galen James was in advance of his time.
Neither abolitionists or temperance advocates were popular, and his advocacy of such measures made him many enemies.
They called him ‘Pope James,’ and the Mystic Church folks ‘Come-outers,’ but it is noticeable that the fight for reform healed many divisions made by doctrine.
How shall we show our loyalty to their unfinished task?
Not by accepting their creeds and formulas, but by the same desire for truth, the same firm courage of our conviction, and intense sincerity.
We need today to be pioneers of progress, ‘Come-outers,’ dare to be in advance of our times and dare to lead and let others follow.
They dared to apply their Christianity to the great moral issues of the time.
Do we dare to do the same?
The quartet choir rendered excellent music, and led the congregation in the singing of the hymns.
At the noon hour the large vestry was filled on occasion of the ‘Historical Celebration, Reunion and Exhibit of the Work of the Sunday School.’
Former Superintendents Chapin
told of the school of 1876, and Miss E. Josephine Wilcox
, with forty years experience, gave a ‘History of the Mystic
Sunday School’ that reads wonderfully well and should be an inspiration to all workers.
(It is well reported in the Medford Mercury
of October 27.) The music was with orchestral accompaniment of violin and 'cello and the whole hour was one of great interest.
The evening service was by the Christian Endeavor
workers and was well carried out and brought many former members together.
Monday, October 23, was ‘Social Day’ with ‘The Women's Meeting’ in the afternoon with President [p. 75]
making the ‘Welcoming’ address, and Miss Wilcox
in conduct of the exercises.
brought the greetings of the Unitarian
and Mrs. Smith
of the West Medford Congregational churches
Wives of three former pastors also told of their times in Mystic Church.
These were Mrs. Hill
, Mrs. Barstow
and Mrs. Butler
, the latter in a poem.
Then came the ‘Women of Mystic Church’ by one of them, Miss Eliza M. Gill
, and read by Mrs. M. Susan Goodale
It was certainly a ‘tribute of praise’ of those worthies and a ‘labor of love’ for her church by its writer.
In the evening came the ‘Anniversary Dinner,’ to which ample justice was done.
Former Pastors Hill, Barstow
were present and made addresses— also the Rev. Barstow
's son, Rev. Robbins Barstow
After a mid-week rest, on Friday evening came ‘The People and History of Mystic Church in Picture,’ with address by one of Medford
's accredited historians, Miss Helen Tilden Wild
During the hour eighty-five ‘pictures’ were shown, and face after face of the solid, worthy and reliable men and women of old Medford
, attired in the style of their day, appeared before a delighted company as the speaker told of them and of their faith and works.
Mystic Church is fortunate in having three such faithful chroniclers as these, but Pastor Richards
avers that much credit is due Deacon H. N. Ackerman
, president of the Historical Society, for getting together the portraits for the preparation of the needful slides and their suitable inscription.
On Sunday, October 29, Rev. Nehemiah Boynton, D. D.
, a ‘son of the church,’ came home to preach the closing sermon of the anniversary.
We quote a few passages:—
This was my church into which I was born.
To it I owe more than to any other institution in the world.
It has permeated my life.
It was the church of my father and mother, where they obtained grace and patience to train the children.
The constable and the schoolmaster worshipped here.
I can see Rev. Solon Cobb— with a mustache every boy envied.
He believed a boy had a soul, [p. 76] and he put the stamp of his influence on our lives.
I shared the activities of the church as a waiter at church suppers, as librarian and usher, took up collections and blew the organ.
I stood before this altar as a boy and pledged my allegiance to the Christian life.
It was all before me then.
Now some of it is in the beautiful yesterdays. . . . The spirit of the old Book lives in the world today with a power of its own. . . . We have come to realize the kind of church Jesus wanted. . . . Our fathers had the Bible and a vision and handed them over to us. We are fitting it all to the needs of our lives, that we may hand our work over to our boys, not having spot or blemish.
At 4.30 P. M. the vesper service was conducted by the young people.
An excellent musical program was rendered and address given by Miss Ruth Richards
Such were the milestones set up as marking the progress of four of Medford
's churches during a century —way marks in the history of the town, now grown twenty-six times to a populous city.
Incidentally, we note that there are today twenty-six worshipping congregations, while the seating capacity of their church edifices is not so ample (proportionally) as that of the town meeting house of 1822.
is not over-churched
but rather (to borrow a word) under-congregationized
In 1822, the public worship of God was at the town's
expense and the ‘house of the Lord
’ built and owned by
Any dissenting from the state (or town) religion might, it is true, worship otherwise or elsewhere, but at their own personal expense and inconvenience.
The little company that assembled in the ‘College’ on old Ship street (which, by the way, was not a college building), with Josiah Brackett
as their preacher, were the earliest pioneers, and the next year followed by Galen James
and his associates.
The opening sentence of Dr. Coons
at the Methodist Centennial
was, ‘All the world loves an adventurer.’
To this we would add—when the venture is successful.
But how was it in Medford
a century ago?
The adventurers of 1822 were but few, almost unknown, not blessed with wealth, as their house of worship not erected till 1828 would indicate.
That it was so small, unpretentious and built of second-hand material shows somewhat of the effort, and also that Medford
's love for the adventurer was none too ardent.
Even the later ones led by Galen James
(of which Mystic Church is outcome) though possessed of means and able to erect a stately edifice, found old friendships disturbed for a time.
But the growth of all four whose birthday celebrations we have here noted proves that ‘nothing succeeds like success.’