History

 

Covenant Congregational Church was founded in 1881 by a small group of Swedish immigrants hungry to grow in their faith in Christ and committed to reaching out to others with the Gospel. They were part of a movement known as “Mission Friends,” Christians who gathered to encourage each other in the faith and join together to share in God’s work together.

 

Just 10 years after its founding, Covenant Congregational Church started one of the first Christian missions in central China. Fifteen years later, one of the church’s pastors, Rev. Carl Bowman, became president of what is now the Evangelical Covenant Church denomination. The church helped start other new churches in Cambridge, Everett, Malden and Norwood, a home for women who worked as domestic servants, and partnered with other churches to open The New England Seafearers’ Mission, caring for ship workers who are far from home.

 

In the last 20 years Covenant Congregational Church has experienced a rebirth nourished by the same enthusiastic faith that fueled its founding and early ministry. After many members moved to the suburbs in the 1970’s and 1980’s, attendance declined. At a low point in the 1990’s the church came together and determined not to relocate to the suburbs as some churches were doing, but to embrace the call to be a church of the city and for the city. The church called Rev. Judith McCullough as pastor in 1994 and she led the church until 2005 in reaching out to neighbors in Boston, becoming a racially diverse community united in Christ, and started the Brighter City Summer Program.

 

The process of revitalization continues today and there are signs of God at work everywhere you look. Teenagers are growing in their faith in the youth group. New ministries with people struggling with homelessness have taken root. A young adults fellowship is flourishing. People are coming to know new life in Christ. Youth and adults are participating in mission trips. The worship of the church now reflects the diversity of the people gathered to praise God and hear God’s word. In 2013, Pastor Fred Elliott-Hart introduced a Growth Pathway to encourage every member of the church to to grow as a follower of Christ through involvement in small groups and transformational relationships. The church received the 2013 East Coast Conference MOVE Award for vitality in ministry. In April 2014, five members of the church were recognized by Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with Excellence in Christian Service Awards for helping launch the church’s drop-in center for people struggling with homelessness, The Rest Stop.

 

God is doing a wonderful work at Covenant Congregational Church. And He is not finished with us yet!