The purpose of this church is to draw us closer to God
through praise, prayer, worship, devotion, and service
to become committed Christians who are reaching our
community with the Gospel, providing Christian
service to the community, and being involved in world
missions. Washington Baptist Church was founded in
order for Christians to know God and make Him known
to others through worship, fellowship, discipleship,
missions and ministry.
- Our History
- The building that currently houses the Washington Baptist Church was built in 1848 and was used by Baptist, Congregationalist, and Methodist societies.
- For over 20 years the congregation was led by a faithful deacon named Isaac Pratt during a time when pastors came and went frequently.
- Under the leadership of Pastor R. H. Trafton, the church took its first recorded offering for missions, collecting $8 on December 6, 1896.
- After the turn of the century, the church had no regular pastor for several years until a pastor was called to serve both the Washington church and the East Williamstown Free Baptist Church.
- On February 13, 1907, the first trustees were elected.
- In June of 1912 the church withdrew from the Free Baptist Convention and later affiliated with the Northern Baptist Convention (which later became the American Baptist Convention).
- Rev. Charles O. Dunham (1912-1915), a graduate of the Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, was the first pastor with seminary training.
- In the 1920s the parsonage was sold to help meet the church budget.
- The church closed its doors for regular worship services in December of 1935, meeting for a few weeks in the summer, although it never disbanded.
- Regular church services were resumed on June 11, 1939 under the leadership of Pastor Edward C. Emery as the Union Gospel Church, still affiliated with the Northern Baptist Convention.
- On May 7, 1963, the church voted to return to its historic name and once again became the Washington Baptist Church.
- The church withdrew from the Northern Baptist Convention in 1973 and affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention two years later.
- In 1989 WBC sponsored a new church in Barre, the Barre Baptist Fellowship.
- In 2000 the church was able to purchase property from the Catholic Diocese which included the Calef House and other buildings on 4 acres of land. The Calef House became the parsonage and the other buildings were remodeled with the help of numerous mission teams to provide a retreat center which is operated by Washington Baptist Church.
- In the summer of 2005, with a gift of $25,000 from a couple in Wisconsin and the help of four mission teams from North Carolina, the foundation of the building was repaired, sills and floor joists were replaced, and the fellowship hall, restroom, and kitchen were remodeled.
- In 2014 WBC sponsored a church plant in Chelsea, New Creation Fellowship.
- In 2018 WBC sponsored a church plant in West Topsham, Countryside Baptist.