79 – This Day In Baptist History Past

A Church that burned down three times

March 19, 1893 –Tremont Temple burned once again, along with its valuable library and museum with portraits and other objects of great significance and value. The people once again devoted themselves to the task of rebuilding. In 1843, Timothy Gilbert, Thomas Gould, and William S. Donwell, purchased the Tremont Theater in Boston, Massachusetts for $55,000 and completely remodeled it at a cost of $24,284. Their motive was to secure a place of meeting for the Tremont Street Baptist Church and also to provide “free seats” for the poor and strangers who were not able to rent pews, which was the common practice of that period in Boston. The main assembly room, 90’ x 80’  would seat 2,000 people. This met the needs of the ministry until March 31, 1852, when it was totally destroyed by fire. Even though this was a great setback, it did not keep them from pressing on. On May 25, 1853, they laid the foundation for a new building, and on Christmas Day, they held their first public meeting with new pews and an organ. The owners transferred the new building to the newly formed Evangelical Baptist Benevolent and Missionary Society. The Society granted a lease to the Tremont Baptist Church for the use of the building as a place of worship and teaching of God’s Word as long as they supported a good and sufficient pastor and all the pews remained free of charge. On the night of Aug. 14, 1879, the comparatively new building was razed by fire, but the directors took immediate steps to rebuild and go on with the ministry. The objectives of Tremont Baptist was to maintain evangelistic preaching, to support and promote colporteur and missionary laborers in Boston and surrounding areas and to supply the spiritual needs of the destitute.

Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 112-113.

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