Posted by Karen A. Eberhart on April 11, 2012
The records for 4 Baptist churches have been donated to the John Hay Library during the past year to augment the Baptist Collection.
1. Shawomet Baptist Church, Warwick, RI, 1842-2011
2. Meshanticut Baptist Church, Cranston, RI, 1899-2011
3. Roger Williams Baptist Church, Providence, RI, 1867-2011
4. Niantic Baptist Church, Westerly, RI, 1851-2012
The records of these churches provide documentation related to the debate over the vitality of religious organizations in the United States. All four churches served as vital centers of worship for their communities for 100-160 years. They all survived the tumult of the economic, social and political upheavals and changing neighborhood demographics of the past 160+ years. The reason for their closure may be linked to a larger societal trend or may simply be the natural life cycle of an organization. They are now available for use by researchers interested in that topic or many others involving the role of religion in the life of a community.