Through Waters Deep – Tour of Boston, Part 2
The city of Boston is fascinating—chockfull of history and color. While best known for its key role in the American Revolution, the city also played a role in World War II, with busy shipyards and naval bases—and more! The city’s reputation for revolutionary foment seemed a great backdrop for Through Waters Deep, set in the tumult of 1941, as isolationists and interventionists argued the correct course for the nation’s future, and as rumors of sabotage and espionage ran rampant.
I’ve been blessed to visit Boston a number of times. In July 2014, I made a research trip and took lots of pictures to help me visualize the story. We’ll follow the Freedom Trail, established in the 1950s to connect Boston’s multiple historical sites. Follow as we visit:
Boston Common and the Public Garden
Paul Revere House and Old North Church
Charlestown and USS Constitution
Old State House, Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market
Today we visit Park Street Church. When writing Through Waters Deep, I chose Park Street as the church my hero and heroine would attend, due to its long history in Boston and its role in the birth of the evangelical movement in the early 1940s. In July 2014, I was able to attend a Sunday service at Park Street and take pictures (before the service started).
In 1809, Park Street Church was founded to support traditional Christian teachings in a time when Unitarianism was growing in strength in New England. Taking a strong stand for biblical teaching, the founders faced much opposition. From the beginning, the church believed in the cornerstones of missions, evangelism, Christian education, involvement in social issues, and biblical teaching. To this day, the church keeps the same Statement of Faith adopted in 1809.
Brimstone Corner: Park Street Church, Boston (Moody Press) presents the history of this church up to 1968, showing cycles of stagnation, intense external opposition, and stirring revival—while refusing to budge from the fundamentals—an uplifting account of how God can use even one small church to have an impact on the world.
Park Street Church has a long string of historical firsts. From 1810-1867, Park Street was the tallest building in Boston, until surpassed by Church of the Covenant. In 1819, Park Street sent the first team of missionaries to the Sandwich Islands (Hawaii). In 1829, William Lloyd Garrison, founder of the American Anti-Slavery Society, gave his first abolitionist speech at Park Street. And the patriotic song America (My Country, ‘Tis of Thee) was first performed on July 4, 1831 at Park Street.
From 1936-1969, Dr. Harold J. Ockenga served as pastor of Park Street. In the first part of the twentieth century, the rise of secularism in mainline churches led to the rise of fundamentalism, with its call to separate from the culture. In response, Ockenga and others gave rise to the modern evangelical movement, which kept fundamentalism’s stand for theological truth, while rejecting its trend toward isolation from culture. In 1942, the National Association of Evangelicals was formed, with Ockenga as president.
On May 30, 1943, Dr. Ockenga began an outdoor evangelical ministry on Boston Common. At the first service, 3500 servicemen and civilians enjoyed music and teaching, and many came to Christ. The services continued through that summer and the next, until opponents caused the city to cancel the permit. Not to be silenced, Ockenga continued conducting the services from the church steps, and later from the “Mayflower Pulpit” on the side of the church—across the street from Boston Common.
For Lent in 1944, the congregation of Park Street Church decided to forego one meal a week and to donate the money saved to a new War Relief Fund, designed to help the churches of Europe rebuild after the war. The idea swept the nation to other churches, and on Easter morning $600,000 was collected. In 1950, the War Relief Commission was renamed World Relief, which remains active to this day. In another landmark for Park Street, Billy Graham began his first transcontinental crusade at the church in 1949.
Park Street Church website: http://www.parkstreet.org/
Englizian, H. Crosby. Brimstone Corner: Part Street Church, Boston. Chicago: Moody Press, 1968.
The pictures of the church will make the story really come alive! It makes books so much more interesting when they are about real places that we can see and visit. Thanks for taking the time to discover all these pictures and research the history of Park Street Church!
Thanks, Sue! I’m glad you liked the post!
Sarah, you are helping me plan my next vacation with the Boston posts.
Wonderful! More posts coming…
I am loving the opportunity to learn more about Boston! I would love to win this book 🙂
[…] below (US & Canada only please), the video post, or any of the upcoming Tour of Boston posts (Part 2, Part 3), which will show the sites featured in the novel. You can earn a maximum of four entries […]
[…] below (US & Canada only please), and/or on any of the upcoming Tour of Boston posts (Part 1, Part 2), which will show the sites featured in the novel. You can earn a maximum of four entries by […]
Thanks for the very interesting info about the church and its contribution to the evangelical movement. What a legacy.
I loved learning their history. Very inspiring.
I am so glad you are sharing this piece of history with us, especially the story of a church standing firm.
I found it so inspiring!
Awesome pictures and post! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for posting the pictures. I always find it interesting to see actual locations in books. It does help make the story more real!
Your books are so amazing. I get lost in every single one. I can’t believe how even more palpable the pictures make the story!
Thank you, Emmy! Visiting the places certainly helps me write!
Love all this History….Boston is beautiful to tour…Great job..
We didn’t visit this church when we were in Boston! Thanks for the insider look :-).
Thanks for the history lesson! That church has a neat history!!
It does! I’m glad you liked the post!
There is so much history and beauty in Boston! Thank you for sharing, Sarah!!
Thank you so much for sharing! Please continue to add me to the giveaway.
I will 🙂
I fell in love with Boston when I was a little girl reading about the Revolutionary War, hearing my grandmother’s stories, and even more when our son was at Harvard. I so want to go back!
It’s such a fascinating city!
Thank you so much for the look inside this historic church — both literally and thru the eyes of history. I love all your writings.
Thank you, Sharon!
The pictures brought back memories from my visit a few years ago. Would love to go back.
Thanks, Suzanne! It’s one of those cities you don’t really tire of visiting.
Park Street church in Boston is such a beautiful church! So glad to hear they are still evangelical. Enjoying your tour of Boston and would love, love, love to win Through Waters Deep.
I found their history so inspiring!
Wow! I’ve never been to Boston but this makes me want to visit! can’t wait to read the book.
It’s worth a visit! Lots of interesting things to see.
I’m planning a trip to Boston so this was especially interesting!
Wonderful! Enjoy your trip!
Beautiful church and history of the church
I thought so too 🙂
historical places and their histories and stories behind a book makes it come to life more.
I couldn’t agree more. I’m so thankful I was able to make a dedicated research trip!
Really enjoyed reading about the history of this church. Looking forward to ready the book.
some interesting places to visit
Very much! Worth a trip.
What lovely pictures of the church! I’ve only been to Boston once, and would like to go again, even though the pace overwhelmed me!
Yes, it’s busy like all cities. But it’s so fascinating.
Thank you for the photos and history of Park Street Church. I enjoy having a bit of background for the book. I’m looking forward to reading Through Waters Deep since I’ve enjoyed your other books.
Thanks for the tour and giveaway!
Thank you for sharing some wonderful photos and the bits of history for this area.
You’re welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed them.
Thank you so much for the tour and information about Park Street Church. I did not know any of this, and really enjoyed learning about it.
I learned all this while researching the story. In previous trips to Boston, I’d passed up Park Street because it wasn’t “old.” 🙂 I missed out.
Thanx for the historical tour. That was very enlightening. It is particularly special that the historical beliefs are still adhered to. I’m enjoying all this background to the book.
I love going to Boston. I went so many times with my family. I never get tired of going there. Great post. I can’t wait go to the places that you have on your posts.
It’s one of my favorite cities too!
This is a beautiful church. I love reading all the history of it that you included in this post.
Great pictures. I love that you give the history of the different places. Will make the book come alive!
So excited to read your next book. I would love to visit Boston, love this post. Every time I read your books it’s like living in the 40s, I have to break out my Artie Shaw and Swing records when I read. Can’t wait to read Through Waters Deep!
Can’t go wrong with Artie 🙂
Thanks for sharing the pics.
Thank you, Kim!
Beautiful church and I great history behind it! So inspiring 🙂
Wow…Park Street Church is beautiful. I’m more excited to read the book now:) thanks for the giveaway opportunity!
great photos! Love to win your book!
Oh Sarah, that Church is so beautiful on the outside and that stairway inside, Wow! So wonderful to hear the “beginnings” of a Church and how much was started and done through the strong Faith of the Pastor and the members (body of Christ).
I agree. It’s an inspiring story of what one little church can do.
Thank you! I enjoy all of the history.
I love your attention to historical detail and the information about Boston’s Park Street Church is just one example. Would love to win a copy of this must-be-outstanding-book!
I coordinate our monthly Book Chat at our church and I definitely see potential for a delightful discussion with this one, wow! Many of the ladies are retired educators AND devour historical fiction. Definitely an addition to our church library. Thank you for the “tour”.
Thanks, Linda! I love book clubs! Discussion questions are included in the back of the book, and I love doing chats with clubs via Skype or speakerphone. Let me know if your group chooses the book.
It’s cool that you took your own pictures of these sites. It makes me feel like I’m there with you observing history.
Thanks, Kathy! I’m so thankful I had a whole week to do research!
Thanks for sharing about the church and the history behind it. Very interesting!
Sarah, What a difference God’s people can make when we work together. For my last novel, I kept finding connections to a small church in Omaha, Trinity. Wonderful to hear about Park Street Church!
Wonderful! I love how local real history can actually make our fiction more interesting 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing all of this! And for the giveaway 🙂
Sarah, as always your research is so thorough – I learn something almost daily from your facebook posts. Thanks for raising the bar for historical fiction novelists!
Thanks, Wendy! I’m glad my nerdiness serves a purpose 🙂
Thadnk you again.
I meant thank you.
I figured 🙂 You’re welcome! I saw you at a distance in the church plaza this morning…
Loved seeing the inside of Park St. Church. Hubby and I were there in June and couldn’t go inside due renovation. Can’t wait to read your book! Sounds wonderful!
That’s too bad! It’s lovely inside – classic simplicity.
I really enjoy your books. The characters and locations come alive for me. Thanks for writing. 🙂
Thank you, Debbie!
Never been to Boston but would love to go. Please enter me in, I would love to win the book 🙂
[…] Boston’s multiple historical sites. Earlier we explored Boston Common and the Public Garden and Park Street Church. Later this week we’ll explore Charlestown and the USS Constitution, and the Charlestown Navy […]
Thank you for this FABULOUS tour of Boston! 🙂
I didn’t know about the role Boston played in WWII! Fascinating!
Would love to win the book!
I love how much time and research you put into each novel. It truly is a craftsmanship! And each one has its own unique geographical setting and attention to historical detail. Such a treat to read!
I like a challenge. But then I kick myself halfway through 🙂 It’s still fun though!
I would love to hear that organ there and sing in the choir.
I loved singing to the organ that Sunday! I go to a typical California rock & roll, praise song, lyrics on the screen type of church. So singing hymns from a hymnal to an organ was divine!
That’s amazing that Billy Graham began his first transcontinental crusade there! There are so many incredible historic moments in our nation’s cities that have gone unrecognized, especially when it comes to seeing the work of God.
So true! I found it thrilling to find great nuggets of Christian history in a city not known for faith.
I enjoyed the beautiful pictures of the church, thanks for sharing!
teamob4 (at) gmail (dot) com
Thank you for sharing about the church. Enjoyed it.
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