|Churches of Our Ancestors | Massachusetts
Old Indian Church, Mashpee
Old Indian Church, at Mashpee, Barnstable County, Massachusetts, was built in 1684 by Richard Bourne. It is the oldest Native American congregation in the U. S.
The following is excerpted from William Christopher Smith's A History of Chatham Massachusetts (Hyannis, Mass.: F. B. and E. P. Goss, 1909-1913), p. 104:
At an early period Mr. Richard Bourne had interested himself in the Cape Indians, had mastered their language and in August, 1670, was ordained pastor of an Indian church at Mashpee, which he had organized. His report of the Cape Indians, made in 1674, shows that at Monomoit there were then 71 praying Indians, of whom 29 could read their own language, 15 could write it and one could read English. This result must have been due wholly to Mr. Bourne’s efforts. He was their general adviser and friend in these early days.