A friend of ours sent us an email invitation to a special prayer meeting being held Wednesday night, April 17, at Tremont Temple Baptist Church, located in downtown Boston. I just got this, so by the time I post, it’ll be “tonight.” The email was originally sent from the Pastor of Tremont Temple, Denton Lotz, and then forwarded to us.
We wanted to share this because of what the invitation says … what it really says … about our hope, faith, and courage … in spite of circumstances which may surround us.
“Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Members of Tremont Temple Baptist Church!
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of he Almighty
You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day …” (Psalm 91:1)
A great tragedy has come to Boston. The terror of bombs going off at the Boston Marathon, the tragic loss of lives, the destruction, the terror that struck the heart of the people of Boston reminds us again of a world without God and without hope.
Yet, as Christians we are a people of hope. We believe that Jesus Christ has overcome all the powers of evil and darkness. We believe that in Christ the power of God is present and gives us power to overcome. We will not be defeated or terrorized by a few evil people. We will put our hope and faith in the God who is victorious on a cross!
Therefore, tomorrow, Wednesday evening, we will continue to have our regular prayer meeting at 6:30. It will be a Special Prayer Meeting to pray for the families who are mourning the death of their loved ones. We will pray for the recovery of the wounded. We will pray for the solace of those in fear and still suffering. We will pray for Boston and that peace and order will return.
You are invited to bring friends to this Special Service of Prayer to be held at 6:30 in Currie Chapel!
May the Peace of Christ be with you!
Denton Lotz, Pastor”
After I read the invitation, I found the Church’s website, to gain information about the church. Loved the website, the videos of the choir, their mission and ministry outreaches … and then, I read the history of the church. And, boy did I get a history lesson!
I began to think, to realize again, what a large part of our nation’s history churches have been. I know, we are the “church,” the body of Christ. Yet, I began to think about how large a role the actual church buildings have played in our history. Think about it … before there were city buildings, often, the only place large enough to hold a public meeting was the church, so often located at the very center of town. Yes, the symbolism rings … at one time, the church was at the very center of our lives, just like our town squares. How many of you can remember when the church was called “the meeting place,” or, a more modern slang (in my time), when you were going to church, you were “going to meeting.”
In many towns and cities, like Boston and Hartford, the seeds of so many “movements” were either planted or cultivated in the church building, during these public meetings. I remember walking the “History Trail” through Boston, and being aware of how many churches were included in the walk. And, of standing inside the Old North Church … looking up at the church tower, thinking of lanterns, and how these churches are still sounding “warnings” today …
A few notes from the “Our Story” page at Tremont Temple:
“Tremont Temple Baptist Church has a rich history that has made it a leader in the Boston area for social justice, evangelism, and human rights. In the 1830s the struggle for social justice was seen in the fight for the abolition of slavery. In 1838 a group of men led by Timothy Gilbert started the Baptist Free Church. It was “free” in that there was no rent charged for pews, but more than that it was for the freedom of all people, being the first integrated church in America.
A group of 82 charter members organized the church in 1839.
Throughout its history many famous individuals spoke or performed here, including the singer Jenny Lind. Abraham Lincoln spoke here. The first reading in Boston of the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 took place here. Charles Dickens read for the first time in Boston his famous Christmas Carol here. Dwight L. Moody called the church “America’s pulpit.”
Tremont Temple is now in a period of renewal. We are united in our efforts to become a church that holds together the Biblical concerns of mission and evangelism. At the same time we are concerned about mirroring the Kingdom of God and thus our concern for social justice issues.
God has blessed Tremont Temple throughout our long history. We are aware, however, that history will not save us. Rather, it is our commitment to the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ that makes our church relevant to the city of Boston. We exist for the sole purpose of glorifying God and making Christ known to the people of Boston and the surrounding area. We have always been a church that welcomes all people. We are pleased that God has places in our midst an international community. What a joy to worship with the people of God from every continent and many nations. We invite you to join us for worship and experience the warm international fellowship that we have become!”
Here is a direct link to their website:
P.S. Hey, I just thought of something, in regard to church being so important in our daily lives “so long ago” … Growing up, I went to school, home, church, school, home, church … every now and then, get to go to the store or shopping (not often) … then, school, home, church, school, home, church …
Today … Guess what? school, home, church, school, home, church,every now and then go to store (mostly gas station) or shopping … then school, home, church … I know I am grateful for the first … maybe I become more grateful for the second …