History of Church of the Covenant
Central Congregational Church
In 1865, they undertook construction of the current Newbury Street building, and were one of the first churches to relocate to the then-new Back Bay neighborhood of Boston. The new edifice was erected during the years 1863 to 1868. The church occupied the main building November, 1867; completing the spire in 1868.
First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian, our other progenitor church, was, in truth, the very first Presbyterian church in the Boston area. In 1852, a committee of seven Scottish residents of Boston, who wanted to worship under the Presbyterian form, arranged for a minister to be sent to them through the Colonial Committee of the Free Church of Scotland. “Knox Presbyterian Church” held its first service on December 11, 1853.
In 1858, upon joining with what is now the Presbyterian Church (USA), they changed their name to First Presbyterian Church. On January 8, 1860 the membership began worshiping in their own building at the corner of Beach Street and Harrison Avenue.
In 1875 the city siezed the church property for municipal purposes. The membership then purchased land in the Back Bay on the edge of the South End. The cornerstone for the second building was laid in April 1876 at the corner of Columbus Avenue and Berkeley Street.
In 1926, the church began investigating ways and means of enlarging the church building to accommodate the growing congregation. Meanwhile the neighbors of the Central Church were struggling with a small membership but a large edifice.
Formation of Church of the Covenant
In 1931, the Central Congregational Church and the First Presbyterian Church began worshipping together, both congregations agreed to become a federated church while retaining some aspects of their distinctive identities, formally renaming themselves Church of the Covenant.