| The Baker Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church was located at the corner of Columbia Road and Cushing Avenue.
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In March, 1876, Rev. W. G. Leonard was employed by the Boston Sunday School and City Missionary Society to organize a Sunday School in the part of the city called Mount Pleasant. For that purpose he leased the old Governor Eustis House on Shirley Street. In August 1876 a lot on Howard Avenue was leased and a Chapel building was begun. On October 30th Rev. David Sherman, Presiding Elder of the Boston District, organized a Methodist Episcopal Church. The chapel was finished and dedicated in November.
Sarah Baker was a member of the First Methodist Episcopal Church near Lower Mills from early years until her death in 1866. She lived next to that church for a long time, finally moving to her early home at Savin Hill. Miss Baker conducted a band-box business for forty years, and when she had gathered $5,000, she invested the money. She left this investment in her will so that at the end of twenty years, the money would be given to the Methodist Church to build a new house of worship within three-fourths of a mile from her Savin Hill home. The money became available in 1886, at which time no church existed within the required limit.
In 1899 the Trustees of the New England Conference asked the Mount Pleasant Methodist Episcopal Church on Howard Avenue, Roxbury, to disband and add the proceeds of the sale of its property to the Baker estate. The church was reorganized at Upham's Corner, and its first meetings were held in Winthrop Hall opposite the site of the proposed church. The site chosen was found to be nineteen feet outside the required limit, and special permission was obtained from the Court to use the Baker bequest. The money had grown to $22,642, and it contributed substantially to the construction of the Baker Memorial Church, which opened in June, 1891.
There is a story that in her bequest Ms. Baker said that if the church ever fell into disuse beacuse of a lack of congregation that the church could be used only as a stable for horses and could never be sold to the Catholic Church. Perhaps that is the reason the church was demolished even though it seems to have been available when St. Kevin's was looking for a site in the 1940s. St. Kevin's ended up in a telephone company building.
Charles H. Talmage, 1889-1893
Charles S. Rogers, 1893-1894
Frederick N. Upham, 1894-1899
Edward T. Curnick, 1899-1900
Charles A. Shatto, 1900-1901
Joel M. Leonard, 1901-1903
Edward E. Ayres, 1903-1905
Arthur P. Sharp, 1905-1909
William W. Bowers, 1909-1917
James E. Coons, 1917-1921
Walter Healy, 1921-1926
Frederick Palladino, 1926-1940
Henry William Bock, 1941-
In 1941 the parsonage was identified as 44 Brookford Street, Dorchester with telephone HIGhlands 9587.
For more information, consult:
Chaffee, John R. The History of the First Methodist Episcopal Church, Dorchester, Massachusetts. Boston: The Pilgrim Press, 1917.
Dorchester Old and New, 1630-1930. Dorchester: Chapple Publishing Company for the Dorchester, Massachusetts, Tercentenary Committee, 1930.
Our Golden Jubilee, 1891-1941. Dorchester: Baker Memorial Methodist Church, 1941.
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Created: September 22, 2003 Modified: March 7, 2004