Growing in Faith - Striving in Practice
- Relying on the Holy Spirit
The history of the church dates back 200 hundred years to May 13, 1811 with the establishment of First Baptist Church which consisted of 19 members meeting in private homes and a school house until a building was constructed in 1821. The 150th anniversary booklet best describes the ensuing years, “Thus First Baptist Church was born and has remained through the years in which she has experienced rejoicing and weeping, growth and decline, until uniting and dividing.”
Uniting included the combining through the years of First Baptist, State Street Baptist and Highland Baptist into the First Highland Baptist and finally again into the First Baptist Church.
Dividing gave birth to several new churches including Carew Street Baptist, Chase Memorial, Grace Baptist, Church in the Acres and a “Mission Station in the southern part of the City” which was to become Park Memorial Baptist Church.
Both First Baptist and Park Memorial prospered through the first half of the twentieth century in spite of two world wars and the great depression. The 1960’s and 70’s however, with social-economic changes, urban deterioration, civil unrest and social concerns had its effect on both churches. First Baptist, an inner city church, after prayerfully exploring its many options for the future, made the decision to accept an invitation to join with Park Memorial where the resources of the two churches would best be used to further the Kingdom of God. After a year of meeting and worshiping together as two separate organizations, the final consolidation took place on January 24, 1982. First Park Memorial Baptist Church celebrated its birth as a new entity for the work of Christ.
To this day the congregation of First Park Memorial Baptist Church meets and worships in the former historic Park Memorial building (built in 1900-1901) located in the historic district of Springfield, Massachusetts adjacent to Forest Park. Our Journey After these many years later, we are still striving to be a people that are faithful to our church covenant, committed to our Purpose Statement to follow Christ as our Lord and Savior, and to nourishing and equipping our people spiritually, emotionally and physically in order to witness the love of Christ in our families and our neighbors, whoever they are and wherever they may be. We see the world as a mission field and are committed to the call of Micah 6:8 “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God.” Believing, as we respond to this call on our lives, we will not be far from God’s truth and the Holy Spirit’s redeeming power.