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The First Baptist Church in Bristol, Rhode Island, originated in the conscientious convictions of a pious physician, Dr. Thomas Nelson.  He came to Bristol in the year 1801, and feeling the want of the church privileges to which he had been accustomed, he determined to remove, and with this end in view, sailed for New York.  A terrific storm arose, the packet was wrecked, and all on board were lost except two, one of whom was Dr. Nelson.  The impression made upon his mind was such that he felt himself another Jonah, having attempted in vain to flee from the presence of the Lord.  This was at the close of 1807.  He returned to Bristol and in a few years welcomed into the town a number of the same faith as himself.  In 1811, there were enough, it was thought, to constitute a church, which was accordingly formed on August 22 of that year, with twenty-three members.  By the close of the following year, this number was more than doubled.  

   "The real history of any congregation of followers of Christ emerges from the lives of countless numbers of people who worship, work and share life with one another.  The First Baptist Church of Bristol can reflect upon years of history filled with dedicated people who loved the church and our community of Bristol.

     Times of revival and rebuilding have been punctuated by periods of struggle and conflict. But the spirit of God is present in people’s lives and in the church. We share a vibrant tradition and anticipate a fruitful ministry for God in the First Baptist Church of Bristol."     Rev. Frederick Gilbert, Pastor Emeritus, First Baptist Church, Bristol, Rhode Island   

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