The library owns a collection of Church ephemera including five volumes of writings and illustrations made by St. Mary’s Catholic School in honor of the 50th anniversary of arrival of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur in Lawrence. There are also images of churches throughout the libraries collections: postcards, stereo slides, and a small number of images in a separate collection of church pictures. There is also a separate Grace Episcopal Church collection.
The first (1846) church organized and built in the town of Lawrence was Grace Episcopal. At one time there were two other Episcopal Churches; St. John’s on Broadway and St. Augustine’s in South Lawrence. St. John’s has been torn down and St. Augustine’s has been closed. The First Unitarian Society was organized August 18, 1847. From 1850 the church was located at the corner of Jackson and Haverhill streets and has since been torn down. The Church of the Good Shepherd (Universalist) was founded November 15, 1847. The church building still stands at 199 Haverhill Street. It is the home a primitive Methodist Church.
Lawrence was home to a number of Congregationalist communities including the Lawrence Street (now the Iglesia de Dios), Central (167 Haverhill Street), Eliot, South (198 Broadway) and Riverside (209 Water Street). South and Riverside are still an active Congregational churches. There were a number of Baptist and Free Baptist churches such as First, Calvary, Second, and the First Free Will Baptist Church. A composite of these churches remains in the First-Calvary Baptist Church now located in North Andover. None of the five active Methodist Episcopal churches still exists although all of the buildings are in existence. The original churches were Garden St., First (on Haverhill St.), Parker St., St. Mark’s (Essex and Margin), and St. Paul’s. There is still a United Methodist Church on Haverhill Street. The United Presbyterian Church that was located at 96 East Haverhill St. was originally the German Presbyterian Church.
Irish Catholics would first worship at the Immaculate Conception Church in 1846. This would become just one church of St. Mary’s parish on the north side of the Merrimack River in Lawrence. Churches and schools that would be born and blossom over the next several decades, were serviced by the Augustinian bothers, Xaverian Brothers, and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Other churches in the parish were St. Augustine’s, St. Anne’s (French), St. Peter and St. Paul’s (Portuguese), St. John the Baptist, St. Lawrence O’Toole’s, Holy Rosary (Italian), St. Francis of Assisi (Lithuanian), the Church of the Assumption of Mary (German), Holy Trinity (Polish), St. Anthony’s Maronite (Syrian), and St. Joseph’s Melkite (Syrian). The Lithuanian National Catholic Church took over the building once owned by the Garden St. Methodist Episcopal Church.
On the south side of the river St. Patrick’s and Sacred Heart were conventional catholic churches. The Immaculate Conception Polish Catholic Church was located in South Lawrence.
Church images included:
- St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church
- St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church
- St. Laurence Roman Catholic Church
- Holy Rosary Catholic Church
- Immaculate Conceptions Catholic Church
- Grace Episcopal Church
- St. John’s Episcopal Church
- St. Francis Roman Catholic Church
- First Baptist Church
- Second Baptist Church
- Freewill Baptist Church
- Eliot Congregational Church
- South Congregational Church
- Trinity Congregational Church
- Lawrence Street Congregational Church
- Good Shepherd Universalist Church
- Lawrence Unitarian Church
- Assumption Roman Catholic Church
- First Methodist Episcopal Church
- United Methodist Church