Second Church’s history is intertwined with the history of Manomet village and the original Church of the Pilgrims.
In 2018, we celebrated our 280th anniversary! The history of our ministry is rich and diverse.
From our first minister, a young Harvard graduate to our longest-serving minister guiding the church
through the Revolutionary War, we invite you to come and experience our journey.
Early documents show that our forefathers wanted to worship away from “the cold doctrinaire attitude” of the original church of the Pilgrims located in Plymouth proper. Dismissal was granted, making the Second Church of Plymouth in Manomet the sixth to be gathered from the original Church of the Pilgrims.
The actual establishment of Second Church was on November 8, 1738. We are proud and grateful that there are families among us who trace their heritage back to the founding members of the church.
Second Church of Plymouth
Our current structure was dedicated on the present site in 1826. This is the third meeting house of Second Church. The land where our church building stands was given by Mrs. Polly Bartlett and valued at $56. The labor was performed by the parishioners, who tore down the previous building, which was located across the intersection where the 7-Eleven now stands. Some of the old materials from that church were used in the current building.
In 1844, Mrs. Phoebe Blackmer urged the Congregation to pass strong resolutions against slavery and for the temperance movement. She was the driving force behind Second Church changing the sacramental wine to grape juice.
A Female Benevolent Society was formed in Manomet in 1848. It is one of the oldest Protestant Church Women’s societies in the US. Its influence on the life and fellowship of the Church is far-reaching. The efforts of this society to raise money through endeavors such as their sewing circle products enabled the church to remain viable for many years.
After the Civil War, with railroad service coming to Plymouth, Manomet became a popular vacation spot. Many folk began to attend services here, and many of those early parishioners have descendants who have taken up permanent residence in White Horse and Manomet.
Until 1941, the interior of the sanctuary remained the same as when it was originally built. At that time, a new pulpit was added on the left, a lectern to the right, with an altar, cross and choir loft in between.
In 1961, The United Church of Christ was formed when the Congregational Christian Churches and the Evangelical and Reformed Churches joined to form a single denomination. Having always had a close association with other Southeastern Massachusetts Churches, when all these Churches were Congregational in policy and Calvinistic in theology, the Second Church of Plymouth voted to become a member church of this new denomination, the UCC.
A Capital Campaign began in 1996 enabling a great deal of work to be accomplished in our Church. The parsonage and sanctuary were completely renovated. New Sunday School space was created with moveable dividers and accessibility for the handicapped was provided.
- A rendering of Second Church by former church member Margaret Work in 1995
Under the leadership of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ, Second Church adopted a sister church within the Pentecostal Church in Chile. Our Sister Church is located in Val Paraiso, Chile and in 1998 three members of our congregation traveled there to bring greetings and strengthen our Christian ties beyond our countries borders.
During the 260th Anniversary celebration, in 1998, the Ladies Benefit Society had the original pulpit and accompanying chairs restored to their original condition and returned to the sanctuary.
During a period of growth and change, in 2000-2001, a Church sub-committee of the church studied, under the Rev. Alice Mann, the topic of “Churches in Size Transition.” We were seeking guidance on becoming a larger “program-driven” church, from a smaller “pastoral” church. During this transitional exploration, we also discussed the need for a new, larger building. However, no action resulted from these discussions.
A new Allen organ was installed in the sanctuary in the Summer of 2006. This newer, modern organ provides a glorious sound system for our Family Service band and traditional accompaniment for hymns at our Traditional Service. On October 15, 2006, this gift of music was dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Corrine Peck, organist at Second Church for 40+ years.
In 2018, we celebrated our 280th year, grateful to God for guiding our Church and instilling great faith in our members.
The Manomet community is a better place for our efforts. We look forward to the future and what it holds as we continue to build Christ’s Kingdom here in Manomet.
Special thanks to our church historian Marty O’Meara (now retired).