In all Congregational churches members held equal power, all of them responsible to each other under the covenant that formed the basis of their life together. In fact, ministers first became church members before he could be chosen and ordained by the church. Even then the minister's power was subject to the will of the congregation — he led by their consent.
Were Congregational churches democratic? The connection with later events in New England, especially the American Revolution, does suggest that something important was happening in the Puritan Commonwealth. But of course, not everyone had the right to vote — women had no official voice in church matters and dissenting Baptists and Quakers, when they were not being forcibly banished, still had to pay taxes for church support. But in other very important ways, Congregational New England was unique in the seventeenth-century world. Ordinary citizens had unprecedented power to make decisions about land and property, and to hold their leaders in check.
This Information is from the resources of the Congregational Library on Boston’s Beacon Hill. www.congregationallibrary.org