Browse Exhibits (3 total)

Prostitutes and Derelicts

Boston Chapel was founded during the 1950s in one of the worst neighborhoods in metropolitan Boston. This exhibit contains maps, photos and descriptions of those locations. The title of the exhibit is a quote from a Boston City Police Officer when answering a call at the Dover Street location.

In his Boston Nazarene Chapel personal account archival history, Boston Chapel stalwart Dr. Charles Gailey remembers, “Dover Street was known as one of the worst streets in the city of Boston. It was Boston's 'skid row'."

Dr. Hazel Goodwin writes: "My memories of Boston Chapel include going to homes to bring children to Sunday School. They were crowded and run down apartments..." Amy (Mrs. Robert) Landers writes, "Attending Boston Chapel from 1955-1959 was an integral and valuable experience during my ENC years. My task was to walk to the apartments in the Dover Street area, bring women and children to the Chapel, attend the services, and then take them home. Most of the stairwells were foul-smelling and dark. A few times the male students, including my future husband, voiced their concern for my safety."

According to official Boston Redevelopment Agency police records, "The shaded areas of the map are considered by Captain Mahoney (Boston Police Department) as worst areas in South End for crime and vice."

It was there that Eastern Nazarene College student-selected 26 Dover Street in Boston’s long-notorious South End -- their chosen site for their Boston Chapel ministry.

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22 Kids in a Station Wagon

One of the primary focii of the Boston Chapel ministry was to make sure children came to church and Sunday School. This resulted in car rides, bus trips and afternoon activities between services to ensure attendence. A testimony from an ENC student follows:

"As a student at ENC I participated in the work of the Boston Chapel project in the 1950's. At that time, Emerson Twining (class of 1956?) was the driver of a green van that took us into  South Boston for Sunday School and church. I don't recall how many were in the van, but I believe it was crowded.

I would help collect the children on Sunday mornings for Sunday School." ~ Mrs. Phyllis A. Wiggans (nee Collins, class of 1956)



Church Life and Testimony

This exhibit contains photos and ephemera regarding church life at the Boston Chapel as it moved from ministry to mission to established church.

"My memory of Boston Chapel where I volunteered to assist teaching Sunday School for at least a year is of dingy crowded apartments with many children. The children I walked to the Sunday School enjoyed it but I do not know how this influenced their family. The family upstairs from the chapel in my memory had chronic water problems because the landlord did not maintain the building despite paying rent. I remember one family - the mother attended faithfully but kept having children out of wedlock - now I look back and think of all the frustrations she must have had clearly it was a storefront giving the gospel and helping people but on hindsight I wish we had been able to engage more of the people in the community in leadership." ~Hazel Goodwin