First Baptist Church Swansea, Massachusetts, Monument

The First Baptist Church in Massachusetts, now in Barrington, founded in 1663, is the oldest Baptist congregation in Massachusetts and one of the oldest in the United States. The congregation was founded in 1663 by John Myles who brought the Ilston Book with him from Swansea in Wales. This was also the location that Native warriors attacked on June 20, 1675 where settlers were worshiping at the start of King Philip’s War. Click here for a historical narrative about the Church. Click here for a video tour of the Church’s history.


A bronze plaque marks the approximate location of the early church building which was then moved to Tyler Point in Barrington and then taken across the Palmer River to the Church’s current location. The monument was erected in 1906 on George Street, Barrington, through the efforts of historian Thomas W. Bicknell. It names Parson Myles with Nicholas Tanneer, James Brown, Joseph Carpenter, John Butterworth, Eldred Kingsley and Benjamin Alby, who built a meeting house just south of the Rehoboth border.


(Above photos) The first meeting house was built next to a cluster of houses, probably on this field, and the current Greek Revival meeting house, constructed in 1848, is located on Baptist Street in Swansea and is the fifth building occupied by the congregation.

  Click here for a larger copy of George Luther’s map of the early sites.

Click here for a history of the Swansea Baptist Church by Rev. Charles K. Hartman II.

Click here for a presentation on Rev. John Myles and the Swansea Baptist Church by Rev. Hartman.

Click on the map below for a Google map of the marker location on George Street in Barrington.