Founders of the Massachusetts Bible Society - 1809

The Massachusetts Bible Society began on July 6, 1809 and is an ecumenical, Christian organization dedicated to promoting Biblical literacy, understanding, and dialogue. This blog lists brief biographies of our founders who gathered in the Massachusetts State House Senate Chamber on that historic day to sign the Charter founding MBS. Please visit our website:

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rev. Joseph Chickering

Rev. Chickering was born in Norwood, Mass. on April 30, 1780, the son of a Congregational minister. He graduated from Harvard College in 1799 and spent several more years studying theology before being ordained to the First Congregational Church in Woburn on March 28, 1804. There he received an annual salary of $650 and 15 cords of “good hard wood.”

The History of Middlesex County describes a successful ministry until an “unfortunate business transaction” between himself and a member of the congregation led to his resignation in 1821 amidst the great sorrow of the congregation. One hundred sixty four members had been added to the Woburn rolls under his ministry with 270 baptisms.

As the Woburn congregation was still willing to recommend Rev. Chickering, he was installed on July 10, 1822 as pastor of the church in Phillipston, Mass. where he remained until ill health forced his resignation in 1835. He died in Phillipston on Jan. 27, 1844.

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