Old South Encyclopedia

Old South Church in Boston, 1669-2019: A Concise Theological, Historical, & Whimsical Encyclopedia is now available for purchase! This encyclopedia is a fascinating chronicle of Old South’s unique place in Boston and America’s history. Produced as part of the 350th anniversary of the church’s founding, in a collaborative effort of over 100 contributors, the book’s 400 essays cover historic movements, notable people, timely issues, and tidbits and surprises across the centuries to the present day.

Illustrated, with cover art by Pam Roberts, it is dedicated to our former Church Historian, Evan H. Shu, of blessed memory. This 628 page hardbound book is It is printed on recycled paper and produced in the US. You can purchase your copy by clicking below. All proceeds to benefit (G)RACE Speaks, Old South's committee on racial justice.


We extend a special thanks to the members of the Tell the Story Task Force who labored away at this for several years. This was a lot of work! A million thanks to Tell the Story chairperson, Liz Morgan, without whom we could not have done this; our Project Manager, Rebecca Pasipanodya who received, posted, and edited virtually every entry; Sarah Monsma-Billings, expert in editing and publishing; Laura Walker Dunn, English teacher and lover of books; Chuck Gerlinger and Larry Bowers, attorneys and historians; Erik Gustafson, who kept our minutes; and, not least, former Church Historian, Evan H. Shu, of blessed memory.

What readers are saying:

"A perfect intermission during the day--pieces of history, biography and the unexpected from the past 350 years.  Remarkable collaborative scholarship."
– Leigh Estabrook, dean and professor emerita, School of Information Sciences, University of Illinois

“This book has enriched my understanding and historical perspective of the entire City of Boston more than any other book I can remember. The writing is sincere, concise, and colorful. In terms of religious history, social commentary, political strife, architecture and literature, the book has made me a more enlightened man.”
– Patrick Maloney, Boston artist and history buff

“After years as an Old South docent, I thought I knew all the answers.  Wrong!  My research for articles in Old South pre-Revolution history uncovered many fascinating and, to me, unknown aspects of the church's illustrious history.”
– Richard Yeo, Senior Docent Emeritus

“The Old South Encyclopedia is a fascinating read. I am working my way through from beginning to end, and discovering it to be interesting, and surprisingly readable. It is the perfect way to spend a quiet moment and learn an unbelievable breadth of information. Kuddos to all the contributors!”
– Martha Coleman, 4th Sunday Front Desk Receptionist and long term member of Old South Church

“As entertaining as it is informative, I love our Old South Encyclopedia. Full of history about our church, our people, and our fair city, this is the book I'll be turning to more and more as the days get shorter. It's perfect for a quick dip or a longer read and will provide endless engaging anecdotes for when socializing in person is 'in' again!”
– Christine Del Favero, Christine Del Favero, Director of Alumni Relations, Emerson College and Old South Deacon

Latest News

May 23, 2023 As you know, your Search Committee has been hard at work since the last formal update in late March.  We extended invitations to four…
By Kate Silfen, Church Historian | May 9, 2023 Council Meeting Report Rick opened the May Council meeting with a reading of the beautiful poem “Small…

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