Eliot Church of South Natick - Natick, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 42° 16.393 W 071° 18.961
19T E 309010 N 4682709
Quick Description: The Eliot Church building, currently the place for a community church that is a merge or two congregations, was originally built in 1828 on the site of the Praying Indian meetinghouse that dated back to 1651.
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 3/29/2009 10:56:13 AM
Waymark Code: WM63YP
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 1

Long Description:
Prominently placed in a small triangular plot between the sections of Eliot and Union Streets in the Natick village of South Natick, is the white church structure that houses the Eliot Church of South Natick. The church itself was built in 1828, but the site was where "Praying Indians" held their services from 1651 to 1716.

There is a historical marker by the church on the main corner about Rev. John Eliot's "Praying Indian Town" at this location. According to the church's web site, in the 1700s a communal church was established and attempted to bring both the Indian and English settlers together. This failed and the church closed, and the meetinghouse was vandalized and taken down. Some artifacts from the earlier church, including the pulpit of Rev. Daniel Takawambpait, are on display in the historical museum in the basement of the Bacon Free Library.

From the church web site:

"In 1828, the South Parish Congregational Church was incorporated under the laws of Massachusetts, and funds were raised to erect a new Meetinghouse on the original common land. That basic structure, with renovations in 1877, 1905, and again in 2005, is the church building you see today. The Church as an institution, however, is not quite the same. While the 1828 church called itself Congregational, its ministers were more and more drawn to Unitarianism until in 1870, under the ministry of Horatio Alger, Sr., the parish reincorporated as the First Unitarian Parish (later, Church) of Natick.

"...For a number of years it shared ministers with Sherborn, but eventually each of the churches wanted its own minister. Attention then shifted to the John Eliot Congregational Church, formed by neighbors down the street in 1860 and now also facing financial difficulties. Agreement to cooperate was reached in 1944. For the next more than fifty years the two groups worshipped and worked together, seeking accommodation between each other’s theological inclinations and organizational experiences. Finally, in 1990, each felt comfortable in dissolving its own church, merging the assets and the congregations, and forming together the united Eliot Church of South Natick."

Services reflect both congregations, and it is evident that the church is very proud of being part of both associations.

The web site also has a virtual tour of their belfry.

Other Source:

(visit link)
Date the Church was built, dedicated or cornerstone laid: 01/01/1828

Age of Church building determined by?: Church website

If denomination of Church is not part of the name, please provide it here: Membership in both the United Church of Christ and Unitarian Universalist Association

If Church holds a weekly worship service and "all are welcome", please give the day of the week: Sunday

Indicate the time that the primary worship service is held. List only one: 10:00 AM

Street address of Church:
45 Eliot Street
Natick, MA United States

Primary website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

Secondary Website for Church or Historic Church Building: [Web Link]

If Church is open to the public, please indicate hours: Not listed

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