Tremont Temple Baptist Church - Boston, MA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Chasing Blue Sky
N 42° 21.452 W 071° 03.656
19T E 330273 N 4691531
Quick Description: The Tremont Temple Baptist Church in downtown Boston, Massachusetts, was founded in 1839, with a progressive vision for racial and economic equality, as America's first "Free and Integrated Church".
Location: Massachusetts, United States
Date Posted: 8/16/2013 2:19:35 PM
Waymark Code: WMHVN9
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Math Teacher
Views: 3

Long Description:

The Pluralism Project describes the Tremont Temple Baptist Church as follows:

"America's first "Free and Integrated Church," open to all regardless of race or economic standing. Tremont Temple is committed to world evangelization through the preaching and teaching of the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.

In 1839, Tremont Temple Baptist Church was established by a group of men who wanted to form a church that would not charge rent for the use of its pews, a common practice that excluded many people from attending. Tremont Temple was founded as "a church with free seats where everyone, rich or poor, black or white, should be on the same religious level," and as "the Sabbath home for the stranger and the traveler." Its present building, situated in the heart of downtown Boston, was designed by C. H. Blackwell and completed in 1894. The church has a large second-floor sanctuary with plush seats.

Tremont Temple has had a long ministry of inspirational music and preaching. The pulpit has been occupied by preachers and evangelists such as Dwight Moody, Evangeline Booth, Billy Sunday, Gypsy Smith, and Billy Graham. On his last visit to the U.S., Charles Dickens gave one of his famous readings at Tremont Temple, and Abraham Lincoln gave an address here before he was elected President.

The congregation of Tremont Temple today is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, with "an active and Christ-centered ministry." Located a few blocks from the Park Street T stop, the church attracts a diverse congregation, and Bible teaching, missions, fellowship, and service are all vital parts of church life. The church is seven floors that include a youth lounge on the fifth floor and office space rented out by private organizations. The church includes the main sanctuary, Converse Hall, on the second story as well as other smaller meeting spaces. The church is home to several other congregations, including the Ethiopian Evangelical Church,Vida Real, and Iglesia Bautista Hispano-Americana. These congregations do not meet in the main sanctuary, but instead meet in Lauramer Hall. In previous years, the church also housed a Cambodian fellowship and the New Covenant Presbyterian Church, Korean. The church is also home to the Boston Christian Counseling Center, a training and service center accredited by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors."

God has blessed Tremont Temple throughout our long history. We are aware, however, that history will not save us. Rather, it is our commitment to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ that makes our church relevant to the city of Boston. We exist for the sole purpose of glorifying God and making Christ known to the people of Boston and the surrounding area. We have always been a church that welcomes all people. We are pleased that God has places in our midst an international community. What a joy to worship with the people of God from every continent and many nations. We invite you to join us for worship and experience the warm international fellowship that we have become!"

The historical marker outside the temple reads:

Tremont Temple

Tremont Temple was once the renowned Tremont
Theatre. Most of the famous actors, singers
and lecturers of the day performed here.
John Gilbert, Jenny Lind, Daniel Webster and
Charles Dickens all made appearances.

In 1843, the Theatre became the Temple when
the Free Baptist Society bought it. It was the first
integrated church in Boston, the first to provide
free seats, and it was called the "Pulpit of
America" by Dwight L. Moody, the famous
evangelist. The Temple burned three times. The
present building was constructed in 1896.

Commercial District

Boston 200

The Tremont Temple Baptist Church relates the following:

"Tremont Temple Baptist Church has a rich history that has made it a leader in the Boston area for social justice, evangelism, and human rights. In the 1830s the struggle for social justice was seen in the fight for the abolition of slavery. The churches were at times defenders of the status quo and even charged for seating. In 1838 a group of men led by Timothy Gilbert started the Baptist Free Church. It was "free" in that there was no rent charged for pews, but more than that it was for the freedom of all people, being the first integrated church in America.

A group of 82 charter members organized the church in 1839. The basis of organizing the church was clear from the start: 1.) "Realizing our obligations, to make continued efforts to supply every human being with the privileges of Gospel, and 2.)….All who practice slavery or justify it, shall be excluded from the church and its communion." Therefore evangelism and social concern were held together right from the start. In defiance of the Fugitive Slave Law, Tremont Temple resolved that all slaves be cared for, and protected.

The present structure was completed in 1896. Three fires destroyed the church in 1852, 1879, and 1893.

Throughout its history many famous individuals spoke or performed here, including the singer Jenny Lind. Abraham Lincoln spoke here. The first reading in Boston of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 took place here. Charles Dickens read for the first time in Boston his famous Christmas Carol here. Dwight L. Moody called the church "America's pulpit."

In the 20th century Tremont Temple was famous for great preaches, including Harold Fickett, Gordon Brownville and Charles Hendricks.

Tremont Temple is now in a period of renewal. We are united in our efforts to become a church that holds together the Biblical concerns of mission and evangelism. At the same time we are concerned about mirroring the Kingdom of God and thus our concern for social justice issues.

Relevant Website: [Web Link]

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