Park Street Church

Information about this center is no longer updated. This data was last updated on 17 September 2014.

Phone: 617-523-3383
Email: [home], [home]
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Since its founding in 1809 on the site of Boston's Old Granary Building, Park Street Church has been the center of many important events. In 1829 William Lloyd Garrison delivered his first major anti-slavery speech here, and it was here in 1910 that the Boston chapter of the N.A.A.C.P. was formed. On the musical front, America's oldest oratorio group, The Handel and Haydn Society, was organized here in 1815, and the song "America" ("My Country 'Tis of Thee") was first sung here on July 4, 1831 by the children's choir. In addition, the American Temperance Society was organized here in 1826, and the Animal Rescue League in 1889. In the twentieth century, Park Street Church was renowned because of its pastor, Dr. Harold J. Ockenga, who served from 1936 to 1969. He was co-founder and first president of the National Association of Evangelicals and Fuller Theological Seminary, and served as the president of the newly incorporated Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Today Park Street is a large, evangelical church that attempts to live the work of God through social justice and sharing faith.


Park Street Church is located at the Park Street T stop next to Boston Common along the historic “Freedom Trail.” Today, the church includes three conjoined buildings. The main meeting house was constructed in 1809 by the English architect Peter Banner. The church’s most prominent feature, a 217-foot steeple, was based on a design in the style of Christopher Wren. For many years it was the first landmark travelers saw when approaching Boston. The other two buildings are more recent additions and include classroom space, a youth room, a gym, and meeting rooms. The church is currently undergoing construction, but striving to maintain the integrity of the original structure.

Activities and Schedule

On Sundays, two services are held in the morning and two services in the afternoon with a coffee social following each one. The morning services are classical and more traditional, featuring organ music, often alongside strings and classical soloists. Afternoon services tend to attract a younger audience. Christian Formation classes are also offered for children and adults twice a day on Sundays. During services children younger than middle school can attend Children’s Church and there are childcare services provided for infants and toddlers. The church also has a choir and an instrumental group. Park Street has many annual activities including a Missions Conference in November when missionaries return and share stories from their work abroad. Because Park Street is such a large church, small group worship and fellowship is particularly important. There are over 100 small groups that meet regularly. Youth, Young Adult, College and Graduate student ministries are particularly vital since 35% of Park Street attendees are students and nearly 70% are in their 20s and 30s. Active blogs, webchats and weboards are a part of how Park Street members keep in touch. Please refer to the website for more information about services and activities. The church also caters to families through a series of activities like Family Night, a weekly fellowship meeting on Friday nights during the academic year. Park Street Church also runs a Christian-based nursery school weekday mornings from September to June and a vacation bible school (Kidsweek) during the summer.


Park Street Church is a vibrant, multi-ethnic, evangelical congregation. The church has an active program for Boston's international students called FOCUS (Friendship for Overseas College and University Students), sponsoring Bible study and Christian fellowship programs in Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese. FOCUS also includes social outings, hospitality programs, and ESL classes that are open to the community. Other church activities include City Works--an urban outreach program that involves Park Street members in tutoring, medical advocacy, and hunger ministry. Supporting mission work is central to Park Street and the church has sent out more than 300 full-time missionaries since the 1950s. About 40% of the annual budget goes towards supporting missionary work. Programs range from “short-term missions” (up to 1 year) to “global professionals.” Park Street has organized short mission trips to New Orleans, for example, to help post-Katrina. The goal of the local and global missions is to “give, send, go and especially pray.”