Our History
Following the Revolutionary War, Benjamin Randall returned to his home in Newcastle, New Hampshire and began a career in sailmaking.  During this time, George Whitfield, a British evangelist, came to Portsmouth, and Randall went there to hear him.  Somewhat less than impressed with the rhetoric of the speaker, he went home; but the power and message preached continued to convict and draw him.  He determined once again to go to the services, but was met by a man who told him that Whitfield had died the night before in Newburyport, Mass.

Returning to his home, the Holy Spirit continued to impress upon him that his religion was insufficient to meet the hunger of his heart.  Finding no rest, he finally knelt and in humble faith acknowledged his sin and surrendered his life and his eternity to Jesus Christ. 

After a short time, Randall felt the irresistible call from his Lord to go and tell others of His amazing grace.  He began preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ wherever the opportunity was afforded him. One of these doors of opportunity was in a rural community about 40 miles north.

Randall arrived in New Durham and preached in April, 1780 to a gathering at the home of Zechariah Boody.  Returning with his family to New Durham, the Church was organized on June 30, 1780 with seven members. Growth continued in those initial years, and the Ridge Church was constructed in 1818. With his passing in 1808, the Church continued to proclaim God’s Word through the 19th century. The movement expanded through new planted churches, the advance of missionary effort as far as India, and the founding of colleges and seminaries.  These ministries all looked to this first church as a base for support and encouragement.

In 1982, the New Durham Church had five members when Pastor Jim Nason arrived with his wife Pat and their four sons to begin a new ministry. The church continues to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to serve its community and the world with a commitment to obeying the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20.

First Free Will Baptist Church
P.O. Box 164, New Durham, New Hampshire 03855

© 2010 First Free Will Baptist Church

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