First Tabernacle Beth El, Boston

First Tabernacle Beth El, Boston

Church of God and Saints of Christ

Elder Gilbert White, Local Pastor
10 Putnam Street, Roxbury, MA 02119
(617) 671-5627 |Email Us

History of the Tabernacle

In 1902, the State of Massachusetts was introduced to this God-fearing institution, thus First Tabernacle was incorporated in Massachusetts and was given the title as Tabernacle #1.  The congregation was first pastored by Elder Jesse B. Thorton and was later replaced by the then Elder William H. Plummer (Bishop William H. Plummer, GFA). The congregation was a prominent institution in the Roxbury neighborhood. Under the pastorship of Bishop W.H. Plummer, the congregation owned and operated several businesses and was heavily involved in service to the community, most notably was the Widows and Orphans home established to service not only congregants but the community as well. Many orphans and widows were housed at the Widows and Orphans located on Arnold Street. During the pastorship of Bishop Plummer, many songs of the congregation were composed and are still being sung today. The talented choir would sing at various engagements throughout the state and city to promote the organization and to raise funds to support the various charitable programs of the church.  The spirit of the service was translated to future Boston saints as many became foster parents and even adopted children. The leadership of the church was turned over to Bishop Plummer by Chief Joseph Wesley Crowdy in Boston. After taking over the leadership of the organization, Bishop William H. Plummer, GFA departed for Belleville, Virginia (Canaan Land) and left Elder William T. Braxton as the local pastor. As Elder Braxton got older, Elder Isaac Edwards was appointed as the local pastor. Under his guidance the congregation brought properties for worship on Warren Street and later purchased a large synagogue on Fowler Street. This immaculate building had several spaces that could be used for worship service. The main sanctuary could hold over a 1000 people for any occasion. Keeping with the spirit of service, the edifice on Fowler Street housed an early childhood learning center where a number of the congregants worked and their children were educated.  It had always been said that Bishop William H. Plummer took the best out of Boston and many ministers and stalwart soldiers were members of the congregation. Because of the many fine universities and colleges in the area, students from around the organization matriculated to Boston. In earlier years, many saints who could not find work in the south came to Boston as well and made the city and the congregation their home. Prophet William S. Crowdy, had such an affinity for the Boston tabernacle he gave it the spiritual name “Bethlehem” as one of the five cardinal tabernacles within the organization.

Local Pastors of Boston

  • Elder Jesse B. Thornton – 1902
  • Bishop William H. Plummer, GFA – 1903-1917
  • Elder William T. Braxton – 1918-1946
  • Elder Isaac H. Edwards – 1946-1975
  • Evangelist James D. Morrison – 1975-1982
  • Elder John S. Martin (Evangelist) – 1983
  • Elder Jesse B. Brown (Rabbi) – 1984-1985
  • Deacon Mark A. Goode, Deacon in Charge – 1985
  • Elder Frank W. Johnson (Evangelist) – 1986-1995
  • Brother Nelson C. Wilson, Brother in Charge (Elder) – 1995
  • Elder Henry T. Brent – 1995-2002
  • Elder Gilbert G. White, III – 2002-Present