In 1822, six men and nine women established the First Baptist Church of Dunstable (later to become Nashua). Services were held in public meeting houses, schools, and homes, led by itinerant preachers until 1833, when a church building was erected on Main Street, north of the Nashua River, and a regular pastor was obtained. In three years, membership had grown to 350.
In 1848, the church was destroyed by fire, but a new building was erected and dedicated in 1850.
In 1884, a mission church was built in the Crown Hill district of Nashua known at first as the Crown Hill Chapel and later as the Crown Hill Baptist Church. This was destroyed by fire in 1930, and was not rebuilt. Almost all of its members joined the First Baptist Church.
In 1980, the church moved to its present location at 121 Manchester Street. The church has always been active in speaking out on issues affecting the community or nation. In 1964, the church body supported a recommendation on racial equality. With the coming of the ecumenical movement, interfaith services were held with members of the Jewish and Catholic communities, as well as other Protestant churches. Refugee families were sponsored, and opportunities were provided for foreign students to study in this country.
At present, the church contributes to four annual offerings of American Baptist Churches, the Love Gift offering, and offerings to the Pastoral Care Center of Nashua and to the Pastoral Counseling Service of Manchester. The church is involved in the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter.
Stained Glass Window
A central feature of the modern sanctuary is an antique stained glass window. The window was removed from a building on the corner of Main and East Pearl Streets. That building, was originally built in 1847 by the Third Orthodox Congregational Society, and later purchased by the Universalist Society in 1881.
After the Universalist congregation joined the Unitarian church on Lowell Street, the window was boarded up and almost forgotten. The building housed many businesses over the year, including the Nashua Trust Company. The historic window was discovered by a church member, the late Stanley Brooks, who worked at Crosby Bakery. Stanley thought that the window would be perfect for our new building erected in 1980. A generous gift by Frank and Marvis Mellen allowed the window to be removed, refurbished, and installed in its present location. The beautiful window is no longer forgotten by anyone who has been in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church.
Music is an important part of the worship experience at the First Baptist Church of Nashua.
We are fortunate to have this mechanical-action organ that was built in 1902 by the Hutchings-Votey Organ Company of Boston for The Church of Our Savior located in East Boston. In 1980 the organ was completely rebuilt by Philip Beaudry of Lowell Massachusetts for placement in our sanctuary.