Myrtle Baptist Church: Our Living Church
Nestled within one of Newton’s thirteen villages, a stone’s throw away from Boston, Myrtle Baptist Church has fostered a family, down-home, country feeling, where God is always present. A stable of the African American community for 135 years and a place of spiritual solace for anyone in need, the church has a distinguished history in the city. It has garnered a reputation, throughout the Boston area and beyond, as a dynamic church where “Love Abides”.
Myrtle possesses a warm and welcoming spirit that visitors feel the moment they enter our beautiful, yet modest, main nave. It continues through the worship service and lasts until the final sip of punch at collation. We feel that it is not accidental when you enter our doors. God and Jesus make no mistakes. Therefore, we believe that you have come to Myrtle for a reason and, eventually, the reason will be revealed.
Our church is blessed with some of the most generous souls and brightest minds in the area, crossing multiple sociological, racial and economic lines. From media expert to medical doctor, janitor to teacher, or attorney to day care provider — we come together and worship our God as one, not judging nor condemning. Relying on Jesus, working and worshiping together are the foundations of our success and longevity as a church family.
Myrtle’s continued growth is evidenced by the many young adults and families now calling Myrtle their home church. Our members, approximately 500 in number, come from a wide geographic area, reaching as far away as 50 miles. That others want to be a part of Myrtle is a testament to the presence of God and Jesus Christ is in our midst, as well as to the gospel preached and the missions pursued here. The geographic reach of Myrtle’s ministries has challenged us to think differently about how we do God’s work in a responsive and effective manner. We have a good mix of all age groups which should ensure a bright future. Everyone finds comfort at Myrtle — children who love surprising us with their Bible knowledge as much as they love taking candy from the pastor’s desk; young professionals looking to bring their passion and professional expertise to edify the Myrtle community; and our precious elders, who inspire and ground us with their well-worn praises.
The spiritual growth and nurturing of our youngest members is front and center in our regular service. In fact, every third Sunday we have Children’s Church to focus solely on their need to worship primarily among themselves. Our children’s ministries may be more noteworthy by the practice of individuals than by grand group programming. Myrtle’s children have sponsored read-a-thons to raise money for presidential candidates, won citizenship awards and have provided untold wisdom at Sunday morning “Children’s Chat”, a brief, open conversation held during service, when adult members introduce various religious and ethical topics. We are especially proud of our Sunday School, which boasts about 75 children. Dedicated teachers employ traditional and novel methods of engaging all youth, our tentative toddlers through busy teens. Every week they live out our goal of providing religious education to future generations.
We are blessed to have several choirs, which are well known throughout the Boston area. Their heavenly sounds make it very hard not to move your feet and clap your hands during service. Our music ministry leaders are without equal and have also earned fine reputations within professional music and religious communities. Recently, some of our musicians and singers spearheaded a state-wide conference on the origins and history of African American spirituals, signaling that Myrtle values both the spirit and substance of our religious practices.
The church is financially healthy and lives by the creed that “God Will Provide.” Like all of our strongly held beliefs, it is short in words and deep in meaning. Our pastors have asked us to give to the offering as freely as God has provided for us. We listen and respond in kind. Because we have faith in God’s limitless resources, he has allowed the church to answer every internal need and allowed our missions to reach far and wide, a blessing for which we are continually grateful committed and a bounty to which we are committed to share.
Myrtle is a community of believers, led by the Word of God. We think of ourselves as selfless followers of Jesus Christ who truly care about one another. Another of our often repeated mottos is “God is Good, all the time. All the Time, God is good.” We use these words as a call and response between any speaker and the rest of the congregation. This back and forth is a perfect refrain for the black religious tradition that anchors our worship. We hold onto the simple truth of this message, which was constantly preached and demonstrated by our retiring pastor, as something familiar to bind us close. It will likely to be woven into the fabric of our expressions of faith and community for many years to come.
Thanks be to God, WE ARE the Myrtle Baptist Church of West Newton. “Where Love Abides.”
Spiritual Philanthropists; REACHING UP, OUT AND WITHIN.
We share the love of Christ with ALL of God’s children.