As the world plunged into an armed conflict, known as the First World War, 1914 marks the birth of our Parish House. Now it turns 102 years old, and still true to the vision of our forebears, the edifice still houses various functions and offices that run the day to day life of our church.
The 2nd level which was renovated in 2004 is currently used by ABCD, a non-profit organization that runs a Head start program and other related support services. Its mission to eliminate poverty and its effects in the community is most laudable and fits to our church’s mission, among others, for community service.
How much can an old building do? Currently, our Pastor, the secretary, and the bookkeeper hold offices on this building. Another church, Casa de Fe Y Alabanza, finds a home on the 3rd level for their worship services and other functions. On the lowest level is the Corey Room, a fireproof depository for the church’s valuable papers, and artifacts that show much historical evidence in our 212 years of church life.
History. Under Dr. Charles Moss’s able leadership as senior pastor of the church, the congregation was growing rapidly. That same period, the church welcomed her first assistant Pastor, Rev. Frederick Cleveland, who created the Junior Church for the youth group.
In 1914, the need for more rooms for the expanding church school was necessary that prompted the church to put up a building on a separate location adjacent to the church main structure. On the very spot where the old parsonage (built in 1868) stood, the Parish House was built.
Upon her dedication on the 3rd day of October, 1914, church school was immediately started for all ages and the Morse Brotherhood convened in the large hall for their meeting every Sunday morning.
Once, during the fire in the morning of February 17, 1915 which engulfed the interior of the main church building, the Parish house faithfully provided shelter and warmth to the congregation during the church’s worship services.
Who can remember the big news like the start of the Great War, or the popular events like when Boston defeated Philadelphia 4 – 0 to win the world series or when Panama Canal was opened? Memory might fail us to recall news breaking events but not our Parish House. Its birth will stand to be remembered in the history books of Malden, Massachusetts and in the hearts of the members of First Baptist Church of Malden. Still the grand old lady stands stout and strong providing more avenues for church life and her ministries.
Article written on September, 2004, 5th revision September 14, 2016.