Dorchester Atheneum
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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First Baptist Society
First Baptist
Click image for more information
 The first service was held July 12, 1835, and in December 1836 the First Baptist Parish Society was organized. The Church was recognized by the Council on June 7, 1837, and the First Baptist Society in Dorchester was officially formed in Neponset Hall. The following year, the first meeting-house of the Society was erected on Chickatawbut Street. In 1907 the Church moved to its present location at the corner of Adams and Ashmont Streets. On December 28, 1938, the building was wrecked by fire, but it was rebuilt and improved.

The pastors and their periods of tenure were:

Bradley Miner, 1837-1846
Humphrey Richards, 1846-1854
Brainard W Barrows, 1855-1873
James F. Morton, 1873-1874
Joseph Banvard, 1876-1884
Nathan Bailey, 1889-1891
John Brainerd Willson, 1892-
Robert Lee Web

Although Tucci says the Ashmont Universalist Church was probably designed by Edward Freeman, he shows a picture of the First Baptist Church at the corner of Ashmont and Adams Streets labeled as the Ashmont Universalist Church. It seems possible that Edward Freeman designed the First Baptist Church instead of the Ashmont Universalist.

For more information, consult:

Dorchester Old and New, 1630-1930. Dorchester: Chapple Publishing Company for the Dorchester, Massachusetts, Tercentenary Committee, 1930.

Orcutt, William Dana. Good Old Dorchester: A Narrative History of the Town, 1630-1893. Second edition. Cambridge: The University Press, 1908.

Tucci, Douglass Shand. The Gothic Churches of Dorchester. Boston: Tribune Publishing Company for the Dorchester Savings Bank, 1972.

Readers' Comments
 From Abbey Hamilton, September 2004

My family were extensively involved with Frist Baptist from circa 1915 through around 1965. Dr. MacGuire was pastor there during the 1940s and very early 1950s. Rev. Isiah Sears from around 1953 through the mid-to-late 1960s. Rev. Gordon Gross in the late 60s and possibly early 70s. Many, if not most of the congregants in the 30s and 40s were transplanted Canadians from The Maritimes, particularly New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

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Created: September 28, 2003   Modified: December 20, 2009