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Our Church Pioneers

Those who made our Church's history so rich and full.
They did their work well, and we are so proud of them.

Marcellus Seth Ayer
Our Beloved Founder.

He loved God and Christ, and he loved the concept of Spirit and spiritual communication. But, he knew that it was all just a doorway: a doorway into life's most amazing mysteries and revelations. He knew that what was being revealed through Spirit communication could be an answer to people's most perplexing questions. To him, Spiritualism was a gift to Humanity; not to be embraced by any one group, nor to be limited to simple phenomena and demonstration. It was a gift given to all people, of all faiths and denominations.

 

Hattie Ayer
Our Founder's Wife.

Hattie taught the children of the church through the First Spiritual Temple's Sunday school

 

Mrs. E. R. Dyar

Trance and physical medium for Church, from 1884 until her death on May 18, 1888. Shown here in trance, with spirit Christal. Christal was and continues to be the magnet for a group of spirits, known as The Temple Band, who help guide our Church.

 

Memorial Star in honor of Mrs. E. R. Dyar. Originally placed in the Boston Temple by our founder, it now adorns the Chapel Wall.

Mrs. H. S. Lake

Mrs. Lake was a trance medium for Church, from 1888 to the mid-1890's. Through her mediumship, many inspiring and informative discourses were given by Spirit. She was also very much involved in women's rights.

Mrs. N. J. Willis

Trance and physical medium for the Church, from the early-1890's until her death on December 6, 1911. She was deeply loved and respected by everyone who knew her. Through her mediumship, congregations and audiences of the First Spiritual Temple were hosted to hundreds of inspiring and thought-provoking trance discourses. She was, also, an exceptional evidential medium.

A. Viola Berlin

A legend in her day. President and Trustee of the Church from October 17, 1935, until her death on May 12, 1976. Under her direction, the Church hosted some of the world's most noted sensitives and parapsychologists, for the free monthly Wednesday Evening Lectures. Under her management, both she and the old Exeter Street Theatre -- an institute in Boston's history -- became known as the Grand Dames of Boston Theatres.

Florence Berlin

Trustee of the First Spiritual Temple, from May 4, 1939, until her retirement on November 4, 1980. Under her direction, the Church's Library grew ten-fold in size and is, now, considered one of the finest libraries of its type in the United States. In earlier years (1926 to 1940), Florence was secretary to famed Harvard historian, Samuel Eliot Morison. She passed away on January 18, 1987.

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First Spiritual Temple
The Ayer Institute
6 Jacobs Meadow Road, East Sandwich MA, 02537-1080


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