In 1837 the first Baptist meeting house was built upon the site of the old Proprietor’s Meeting House on the corner of Main and Spring Streets. Although Baptists had been meeting since the Baptist Society was established in 1780, they had not met in a building that was “wholly designated” for Baptist mission and service until 1837. An 1833 fire destroyed the building forcing parishioners to worship in the present Tisbury Town Hall up the hill on Spring Street. The present building on the corner of Spring and William Streets was built and dedicated on Sept. 4, 1885.
Today First Baptist, affiliated with The American Baptist Churches of MA, serves the Island in partnership with Community Baptist Church of Gay Head in Aquinnah,(The Gay Head Church is the oldest continual Native American congregation in the United States, 1690) The Federated Church of Edgartown ( ABC/UCC) and First Renewed Baptist Church (A Portuguese speaking congregation) which meets in the First Baptist building.
In addition to Sunday Worship, the Vineyard Haven church engages in local ministry by providing useage of its Parish House (fellowship hall) by AA groups, a day care, a childrens/toddlers music program, a puppeteering group for elementary age children and a food distribution center – all for either a minimal fee or free. We also support through our Missions Budget a number of local ministries, national and international ministries through our denominational giving to ABC-USA and periodically engage in short-term mission tours.
Fellowship opportunities include an Adult Bible Conversation group that meets Sunday at 9:45 a.m.,several dinners throughout the year, the Island Neighborhood Convention, and denominational gatherings. Evening Bible Studies through out the year in conjunction with the Gay Head Church.