Baptist Fellowship looking for a home

Progress was made toward a more formal church group when Merwyn Borders called for an evening worship service.  From the Spring of 1974 until November 1974 the group met for such services at the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Braintree on 12A outside of Randolph.  During that time there were “summer missionaries” sent by the Southern Baptist Convention Home Missions Board.  A group we called “The Alabama Five” conducted backyard Bible studies and they reached people that added to the Bible study and the evening worship.

If Randolph was going to be the place for this congregation, however, there was a need to conduct services in Randolph, so from November of 1974 to early in 1975 the group met at the Randolph Masonic Temple then moved onto the Randolph Elementary School in 1975.  Thanks to a little inside help from Tom Lyons, the group moved its digs to the third floor of the Randolph National Bank which the group referred to as “the upper room”.  Another move was made in 1977 and services were held at the Steven Patrick Christian Manor’s Chapel (formerly a Catholic priest retreat).  The congregation met there until sometime in 1978 when they moved their services to the Randolph Union High School.   During the time at the High School the group experienced a great growth and the work was aided by many summer missionaries and youth choirs who came to do summer programs.

It was during this time period the BFR had a booth at the “Tumbridge World’s Fair” to hand out Bibles and Christian literature.  Merwyn reported in his book on page 147 that it was there that he and Linda, along with Tom and Diane Lyons met Fred and Eileen Blood from Woodstock who met David and Becky Waugh from the Baptist Chapel in Montpelier.   Merwyn suggested that the Bloods start a Bible Study in their home which they did, eventually employing David Waugh as pastor there.  Land was purchased and a building was built to house the Woodstock Baptist Fellowship.

Over the years many groups from down South have come and helped the BFR grow as it ministered to Randolph.  Help came in August, 1976, when a youth choir from Rice Memorial Baptist Church became the first group from New England to come and assist in “backyard Bible studies” as well as to perform concerts.  This was the church that Merwyn Borders had pastored when he was in Massachusetts.