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This Day In Norwood History-March 17, 1950

Baptist Property On Washington Street Sold

91-Year-Old Structure To Be Razed;
Premises Must Be Vacated By July 1st

The 91-year old First Baptist Church on Washington St, which has been sold and will soon be razed for the erection of a modern business block. The actual demolition of the church will start in July. Members of the First Baptist Church are to build a new edifice on land they have purchased on the corner of Bond and Walpole Sts.

The ninety-one-year-old First Baptist Church on Washington street, has been sold and the work of razing the ancient structure for the erection of a modern business block is expected to
start in mid-July.

The sale of the church property was announced at a business meeting of the church held in the church vestry last Thursday night and the parishioners were advised that they must vacate the property by July 1.

The sale of the property came after a year of negotiations with several parties interested in purchasing the property. It was consummated last week by the deacons of the church who were authorized by a vote of the members to sell the property at a special business meeting held two weeks ago. The purchaser is Atty. Myer H. Slobodkin of Newton who has his offices at 11 Beacon Street in Boston. He is one of Boston’s best-known conveyancers.

Over a year ago the First Baptist Church bought a parcel of land from the Shattuck estate at the corner of Bond and Walpole streets and a new church will be erected at this site with the groundbreaking ceremonies expected to be held this summer or early in the fall.

Meanwhile, the parishioners plan to hold services in the building now on the property on Bond street. Plans to remodel the present building are now being considered and the Building Committee, headed by Frederick A. Sherwood, is to meet on the second and fourth Fridays of every month until the new church is built.

The Building Fund committee of the church is out to raise S50.000 as part of the construction costs of the new church and chapel. This committee will meet on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month until further notice. The meetings will be held for the present in the church vestry.

The new’ church and chapel call for an expenditure of about $200,-000. The growth of the church, especially in the Sunday school department, caused the church elders to consider the erection of the new church, the plans for which have already been approved and accepted by vote of the church members.

The First Baptist Church was organized in July, 1858 when Norwood was then known as South Dedham. There was at that time a Baptist church in Westwood and on October 13, 1858, 35 members of the Westwood church, then known as West Dedham, were dismissed to join with the Baptists of Norwood. They appointed a building committee and on June 7, 1859, after much preparation and prayer the cornerstone of the present church building were laid. On December 1, 1859, a public service of dedication was held in the newly erected church. Some years later, an addition was made to the rear of the church, giving needed space and additional room for the expanding Sunday School department. In the hurricane of September 1933, the famed white steeple of the church was toppled and a lighted tower was erected in its place.

The church has over 300 members. The present pastor is the Rev-Oscar W. Olsen.

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