I want to begin by calling your attention to the rear window on your right. Each of these six windows has an icon medallion in the center of the Roman Arch. In this window, we see an anchor, the Christian symbol for hope and steadfastness. This was a symbol frequently used in the catacombs of ancient Rome when it was illegal to be a Christian. Wearing a cross could get you killed in those days so the often used the anchor, a disguised cross, to show their hope in Jesus Christ.
It is highly appropriate that the anchor is the symbol of this window because several of the names of the men who are list on the vent below are founding members. They are people who took great personal risk, sometimes meeting in secret in order to express their Baptist beliefs.
DEACON SAMUEL WHITE – was one of the small group who met at the home of William Lapham to form the Baptist society and sign our constitution in march of 1821. He was an active member of this church for 44 years before he moved to Leominster. He ad his wife, Susanna, both died on the same day in April of 1865.
DEACON WILLIAM LAPHAM – was the first Clerk of this church. He was also one of the first persons in town to develop Baptist sentiments and was Baptized by immersion in 1819, two years prior to the founding of the Baptist historical society. It was in those years leading up to 1821 that Baptists met secretly on top of Nashoba Hill – the present ski area.
DEACON EDWIN ROBINSON—Joined this church in September of 1859. He served faithfully for 33 years as a member of the home mission society and as a Deacon.
When Deacon Robinson died at age 60, the following words were said about him at his funeral which took place in this sanctuary: “Our Church has sustained in Deacon Robinson’s death no ordinary loss. He loved the Bible, the church and his Savior. He was a man of integrity and conviction, cautious and conservative. He discouraged personal praise. There was no desire on his part to be known for other than what he was. He was willing to share as far as he deemed wise, in helping forward every good cause. He found a joy in working for the welfare of our church. He died as he had lived in the full comfort and assurance of the Christian faith.”
DEACON JAMES A. PARKER - - Our records show two James Parker who were members of this church. It is quite possible that they were father and son, but we are not sure. What we do know is that they were active in the life of the town, receiving payment for surveying town boundaries, serving as selectman, overseer, and auditor. In 1868 they were part of a construction crew for the Newton Schoolhouse and in 1861 were paid $5 for woo. Deacon Parker died in a store in Chelmsford Center and was buried in 1897.
DEACON JONATHAN PIERCE—Again, one of our founding members. Jonathan was on the committee that went to the Baptist Church of Christ in Harvard in Mark of 1822 to request that they release some of their members so that a Baptist Church could be formed in Littleton. In the early days of this church, the Baptist Society was just a small and despised group—they needed numbers before there would be enough to support a building or a pastor. He was a member of this church for 44 years, serving as a Deacon for 33. At his death, he was the last original resident member of the church and the following words were said at his funeral: “Deacon Pierce was emphatically a Bible Christian. He was decided in his views of the leading doctrines and ordinances of the gospel. He was uniform and prompt in his attendance upon all the means of grace….he was always ready to perform his part of the labor, and bear his part of the expense in the support of the gospel at home and aboard. In his removal his family, the church, and the community have sustained a loss that will be deeply felt. Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace.”
THE ANCHOR WINDOW, A PIECE OF OUR HISTORY: “MAY WE BE STRENGTHENED AND ENCOURAGED BY THE WITNESS OF THESE SAINTS.”