First Baptist Church in America

“…for the Publick Worship of Almighty God and also for holding commencement in.”

Founded by Roger Williams in 1638, it would be more than 130 years before the First Baptist Church in America found its permanent home at the base of College Hill (1775). Soon after the college moved from Warren to Providence, President James Manning was called to be the pastor of the First Baptist Church. During his ministry, the new meeting house was built, its ample size designed to hold not just parishioners, but also participants in the college’s graduations. Since 1776, all but two commencements have been held in the church. Today, Saturday's Baccalaureate Service is held in the church and the College Ceremony is held on the grounds of the church following the Procession on Sunday.