Jun 041967
 

Merwyn Borders and family moved to Randolph from Massachusetts as Southern Baptist Commission church starter in upper New England.  A recent contact with him brought this insightful response regarding our timeline project:

“… from my journals and checking the index references in The Circle for The Baptist Fellowship, I have come up with some items that might be helpful to you. The first Bible study that eventually led to the formation of The Baptist Fellowship was held in our Mound Street home in Randolph on May 4, 1972. As I recall, three families were present: the McLaughlins, the Farmers (Ed and Linda), and the Borders. Linda reminded me that at the Wednesday Bible studies that followed in our and other’s homes she and other ladies led the “Wednesday School” for the children. It was not long after that that Tom and Diane Lyons joined the group.  The first Sunday worship service for The Baptist Fellowship was held Sunday, February 10, 1974, in the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Braintree. Linda thinks it was in the afternoon and I thought it was in the evening, but that doesn’t matter. This was the first of six different locations before worship was held in the new building on Route 66 in September of 1981. From the Adventist church we moved to the Randolph Village School, next to the Randolph Masonic Temple, then to the small Catholic chapel on the south end of town, next to the third floor above the Randolph National Bank, and finally, to the Randolph Union High School library. Some compared us to Moses and the children of Israel and their wanderings. Though we hoped we were not as disobedient as they were. I said that an advantage to meeting on the third floor of the bank was that if the rapture occurred on a Sunday morning, we would ascend to Heaven ahead of anyone else in Randolph! The church constituted on June 4, 1978. An interesting tidbit is that the church was active in resort ministry early on. Campfire sing-a-longs were held at Lake Champagne in Randolph Center and Bible booths were staffed at the Tunbridge World’s Fair, Also summer missionaries and youth mission groups were a vital part of the early days. A couple of the index references are to items about Marge Hart that I especially enjoyed recalling. The church was very mission minded in that it sponsored the new churches in Springfield, Woodstock, Hanover, Barre, and Gaysville. Strong lay leadership has always been evident in The Baptist Fellowship. In the early days as the church planter I was involved in starting fellowships around the state so often I could not always be present at the worship services and Bible studies. Capable lay people filled in when I was absent or would be late arriving at a service due to speaking elsewhere. I hope these ramblings will be helpful.”

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