The historic Old South Church in Boston, which was founded 340 years ago, is seeking to solve its ongoing financial crunch by selling one of its two copies of the first book ever printed in what is now the United States, the 373-year-old Bay Psalm Book.
The sale, set for Nov. 26 at Sotheby’s in New York, could bring the church between $10 million and $20 million, according to the experts.
The church’s “excellent” copy of the hymnal was printed in 1640 and is one of 11 copies known to be in existence.
On its website, Old South Church says it is “transforming this precious item into 21st century ministry.” The church, which is a registered national landmark, is dedicated to serving the poor, hungry, homeless and social outcasts in its urban setting, is “exceedingly expensive to maintain,” and is in need of a new roof.
Do you think selling this rare book and using the proceeds to fund ministry is a good decision for Old South Church?