OUR FOUNDING AND ROOTS

On November 27,1719, at the request of 33 petitioners, the town of Bellingham was incorporated. Though a number of the town residents were Baptist, there was no Baptist church in Bellingham. In the year 1737, eight Bellingham men attended the oldest Baptist church in Massachusetts, the First Baptist Church in Swansea MA, where they were baptized which was about 30 miles away.

They traveled to Swansea by horse and buggy on dirt roads to worship on the Lord’s Day. At that time, Swansea was the nearest Baptist Church to the town of Bellingham. Soon after the original eight men along with seven others subscribed this Baptist Church’s covenant on November 23, 1737. It became the fourth Baptist Church in Massachusetts.
In June of 1750 Elnathan Wight one of the original signers became the first pastor of the church. The first meetinghouse was located on High St.  He served the church until November 6, 1761, when he died suddenly at the age of 46.
The church was without a pastor for four years. A call was extended to Noah Alden to become their pastor which he accepted in 1766 and faithfully pastored here for 30 years. While Noah Alden served the church, he became a strong National leader in the quest for Religious Liberty. In 1767, the church became one of four constituent members of the famous Warren Association, and Alden was chosen the first moderator. As part of the association, he also served on the grievance committee, a group which rendered aid to the persecuted Baptist of New England.
Pastor Alden was also chosen by the town as its representative at the Massachusetts Convention held in Cambridge, on September 1, 1779, to frame a state constitution for the New Commonwealth.
It is not known to what extent Pastor Alden engrossed himself in the activities of the Revolutionary War, but in the list of citizens of the town of Bellingham to serve in the 4th Continental Army appeared the names of Elisha Alden and Noah Alden Jr., two of his sons. It was also under his pastorate where his cousin Deborah Sampson, a church member was the first female who entered the Revolutionary War disguised as a man. On May 20, 1782, Sampson enlisted under the name Robert Shurtliff. Pastor Alden remained a Statesmen who was steadfast in his defense of religious freedom.
When a convention was called to act upon the ratification of the Constitution of the United States, he was again chosen to represent the town and thus had a part in establishing our National System. He was the third generation of John and Pricilla Alden, Pilgrims of Plymouth. In 1796 he suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed. He continued with great difficulty to preach until a few months before he died on May 5, 1797. Noah Alden along with the First Baptist Church of Bellingham left a rich historic inheritance for the liberty of a nation and the service of liberating the soul of man.