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Baptist Society.—Meetings of persons friendly to sentiments of this denomination were held in this place as early as the year 1773.1 The earliest known records of the society are dated Sept. 4, 1780, when ‘a number of the Baptist Society in Cambridge met at Stephen Robbins's to have some discourse about sending a letter to the Association, to inform them of our circumstances and to desire their prayers for us.’ This letter was signed by Thomas Williams, John Williams and Stephen Robbins. A compact of six articles, drawn by a committee, of which Capt. Benjamin Locke was chairman, was agreed upon Dec. 15, 1780, by Thomas Williams and thirty-eight others, four of whom only were religious professors. The design was to unite those who were friends of the cause, understanding its merits, and actuated by worthy motives. The first parish meeting was held March 6, 1781, and measures were taken to provide a place of worship, which resulted in the purchase of ‘Capt. Locke's house for a hundred dollars silver.’ A meeting was held June 4, 1781, of persons desirous of forming a church. This was duly recognized July 5, following, by a council. In Sept. 1781, the church was received, with twenty-seven members, John Williams delegate, into the Warren Association, assembled at Brimfield. Mr. Thomas Green was appointed by the Association to ‘preach at Cambridge, the third Lord's day in November,’ and was engaged by the Society in July, 1782, to preach six weeks or two months on probation, but continued in that service over a year, when the Society at length concurred with the church in calling him as the regular pastor.

His ordination occurred Nov. 26, 1783. In 1790 an arrangement was made with Mr. Green to preach once a month in Woburn. The Woburn members of this Society in that year amounted to twenty-two.2

Soon after it was agreed, owing to increase of members there, that he should preach half the time in Woburn, and the name of the church

1 For this sketch we are indebted to a History of the Baptist Church in Arlington, mainly written by Dr. Swaim, and published in the Arlington Baptist Church Book. The writer of that sketch quotes Backus's History to the effect that a Baptist church existed in Cambridge as early as 1761.

2 See Sewall's History of Woburn, p. 484.

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