The oldest Baptist church congregation in the United
States was founded by Roger Williams in 1638.
Worshiping first in private houses and later in austere
meeting houses, the Baptists made a new and bold move
in erecting this magnificent building in 1775, a period
when Providence enjoyed economic success. The largest
surviving wooden structure from Colonial America, it
combines the simple hall of a traditional New England
meeting house with the most fashionable English
architectural features, such as the steeple, modeled after
a version of the one at St. Martin in the Fields (1724), on
Trafalgar Square in London, by architect James Gibbs.
Brown University, founded as a Baptist college, has held
its annual commencement in the church every year