Wednesday, November 19, 2008

In Providence for ETS

I am in Providence, Rhode Island for the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society. Providence is an absolutely beautiful and picturesqe town. It is cold here! Even the natives have said it is January weather in November. Above is the meeting house for the First Baptist Church of Providence, the oldest Baptist congregation in America and the oldest church of any kind in Rhode Island.

This plaque outside the church house notes the congregation's founding in 1638 by Roger Williams. The current building was erected in 1775.

Here's Pastor Rob Stovall standing behind the building. The church is on College Hill and a short walk up the street one find the Rhode Island School of Design and Brown University. We took a stroll through the sprawling Brown campus. This was the first Baptist school in America (founded 1674) by James Manning.

Rob and I wandered into "Manning Chapel" (the building also houses an Anthropology Museum). I took this bad photo above from the back balcony. If you look closely, you can see a group of students sitting on the floor and meditating in front of a small statue of Buddha. To think that Brown was once a center of evangelical fervor under the presidency of Baptist statesman, Francis Wayland (1796-1865)!

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