Excerpts from "The Messiah Miracle"
J. Foster Ober was commissioned to draw up plans of a church building located to the North and West of the Chapel [built in 1881] .... The congregation went to work with a will to raise the necessary funds with fairs, suppers, and other activities on which goodly sums were realized. The cornerstone of the church [seen below] was laid by Bishop Phillips Brooks on October 3, 1892. The tune "Auburndale" in the 1918 Hymnal was composed by Horatio Parker for this occasion.
On November 15, 1943, tragedy came to our beloved church, when the entire plant was completely gutted and destroyed by a fire of unknown origin. It was indeed a heart-rending sight when many stood in the ruins the next day .... But there amid the ashes and rubble was born the determination to rebuild as soon as possible.
Help came from unexpected sources: friend and foes, Jew and Gentile, [Black and White], members, former members, from the neighborhood, from sailors in the Pacific ... from a stranger in Chicago, from our sister churches, and from community offerings ... Services were held at the Auburndale Club. The stage serving as sanctuary ... and the lounge was used as a side chapel for early communion celebrations and baptisms.
Permission to rebuild was granted us by the War Production Board in May 1944 ... On Sunday, October 15, 1944, in impressive ceremonies, the cornerstone was re-laid by Bishop Sherrill assisted by Mr. McClintock ... The church was dedicated on September 30, 1945, by Bishop Sherrill and the service was attended by many ministers of the city ... Following the service the 500 people present were invited to meet the mayor, bishop, and rector in the living room of the new rectory. It was a great day for the parish and the crowning climax to a long up-hill struggle.
On November 22, 2015 after 144 years ministering to the Auburndale and surrounding communities on the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Auburn Street, the Parish of the Messiah celebrated it last Sunday service before merging with Trinity Parish
in Newton Centre. On November 29, 2015, Messiah celebrated it first worship service as a combined with Trinity Parish.
More than 70 years after that service in September 1945, the present members of this active community plan to carry on the traditions of those early members and rededicate themselves and the church as a place of worship, healing, and hospitality as they join communion with Trinity Parish. The parish will strive to initiate new outreach programs outside the walls of their new parish.
Click here to read the Wikipedia entry for the Parish of the Messiah.