A church that has been here in Mansfield since 1838, we are an integral part of Mansfield's Fabric. Sustained through a church fire and other key events in town History, ours is a varied and colorful past. Today we enter the 21st centrury with a state of the art web site. Some old, some new!

Church as it appeared during Rev. Roland Green’s pastorateThe first Church in Mansfield was a meeting-house on the South Common. After the meeting house was built it took five years for them to find a permanent pastor. The first pastor was Rev. Ebenezer White who remained pastor for 24 years until he died. The second pastor was Rev. Roland Green who was called in 1761. He was pastor for 47 years and during his pastorate a new meeting house was built.

Rev. Roland Green was the first person in Mansfield to have a chaise. The story goes that there was a man in West Mansfield that resented the minister having such a fancy means of travel so he hollowed out a log, attached wheels, hitched up his horses and rode around the meeting house during services.

Starting in 1811 differences in theological tastes and arguments over the anti-slavery issue caused groups to pull away from the meeting-house and form new churches in town. First the Methodists pulled away. In 1837 the Baptists pulled away and in 1838 the Congregationalists pulled away. After the Baptists pulled away they were meeting at the home of Mr. Tingley in Foxboro. This was a four mile walk. Some of the families in this group of early Baptists were: Athertons, Whites, Allens and Newlands. Judge Warren’s house was half way to Mr. Tingley’s and it became a resting place for those who were walking. In bad weather services were held in the home of Micah Allen which was near the Mansfield south common. This  house  once belonged to Rev. Ebenezer White.

The Baptists began to make plans for a meeting-house of their own in Mansfield. On January 16, 1938 there was a meeting of the shareholders of the proposed Mansfield First Baptist Church at the home of Simeon White (great grandfather of Herbert E. King). Simeon White had a business as the Mansfield tack maker and Micah Allen who listed himself as a millwright, was a wealthy land owner who had inherited much land from his father. These shareholders planned a meeting-house to be erected on land donated by Micah Allen. The meeting-house was to be a one-story structure, 40 feet by 58 feet with a vestry 20 feet by 14 feet. This is just a bit smaller than the current sanctuary and entryway. The proposed cost with pews was $2,800. It was to be built next to the tailor shop of Avery Allen (nephew of Micah). This was on the current site of the church. To raise the money for the building they sold 50 shares at $50 each. Each shareholder would get their money back when the building was complete and the pews were sold. They planned to sell all the pews except 1 for the minister and 2 free pews. The money from the sale of the pews would be given to the shareholders according to the number of shares each held. Micah Allen and Simeon White each purchased 10 shares. That means that each contributed $500 toward the new building. According to the percent of increase in the Consumer Price Index the relative value of this amount would be equivalent to $12,500 in (2013).   Mr. Henrey Coombs purchased 1/2 share for $25. That would be equivalent to about $625 (2013). Ancestors of the Wellmans and the Shepards also purchased shares.

Rev. Henry Coombs at age 85 when he was living in Middleboro. Pastor of FBC from 1838 - 1839 at Age 27.Micah Allen, who donated the land for the church, and his wife Anna lived in the beautiful home that is still on the corner of South Main St. and Willow Street. Micah also owned the house across the street  on the corner of Fruit and South Main. Between 1835 and 1836 he let the other house out to Irish workers who were building the Taunton Branch Railroad. According to Harry Chase, “Their nightly happy hour so riled his Baptist soul” that one evening Micah marched across the road and smashed their keg of whiskey with an ax. The graves of Micah Allen, his wife Anna, and their nephew Avery are in Spring Brook Cemetery in Mansfield.

At the first shareholders’ meeting in January of 1838, Micah Allen, Simeon White, and Levi Snow were chosen to contract carpenters to do the building of the new meeting house. The building was finished by August but on June 6, 1838 the Taunton Association officially recognized Mansfield First Baptist Church. Thus we take this as our official starting date. The first worship service in the new building was in August. It was a dedication service with an overflow crowd. The first minister of the church was Henry Coombs. He was 27 years old and was already a widower. He had been married to Carri White, daughter of Simeon White. Carri had died in childbirth in 1837. Simeon later married Martha Pierce Burt and they moved to Middleboro where Martha grew up.

At a meeting of the shareholders in August 1838, the shareholders surrendered all claims to the property to the First Baptist Church for their use forever. There were also three stipulations in the deed. One was that the church will fence the property and keep the fence in good repair. The second was that only ministers in fellowship with the Taunton Baptist Association (now the American Baptist Association) shall preach or perform divine services, and third is that if the church is not in fellowship or unison with the Taunton Baptist Association (American Baptist Association) it shall relinquish all rights to the land to those who are in fellowship with this association.