A Progressive American Baptist Congregation
Join us for worship
Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
1151 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
Old Cambridge Baptist Church (OCBC) is a progressive community, related to the American Baptist denomination and churches. A daughter church of First Baptist Church in Cambridge, our congregation gathered in the (then) village of “Old Cambridge” in 1844. In 1868, the congregation constructed its present edifice at 400 Harvard Street under the direction of architect Alexander Esty. In its earlier history, the church was the home of middle class Cantabridgians as well as ex-slaves. A number of famous theologians and preachers, including Episcopalian Phillips Brooks, Lutheran Paul Tillich, Roman Catholic David Tracy have all spoken at the church. Samuel Miller (who later became Dean of Harvard Divinity School) was its pastor for many years and American theologian Harvey Cox has preached often from its pulpit. In the 1970’s, Yoko Ono and John Lennon sang from its chancel. During this same time, and through the prophetic leadership of pastors and laity, the church became a center of protest in the Civil Rights, Anti-Vietnam War and Women’s movements. Refugees from Latin America, Africa and other regions, have found sanctuary within this community. The movement for the rights of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people took root at Old Cambridge beginning in 1983 when the congregation officially proclaimed itself to be welcoming and affirming of sexual minority persons. In 2000, the church began what would become a forty-year contract with the José Mateo Ballet Theatre which now finds rehearsal and office space throughout the building.
The main floor of the church houses the Parish Hall, Sanctuary, prayer Chapel as well as the Pastor’s study, and offices for the Minister of Music and financial officers. Over the years, the downstairs office spaces have provided administrative homes to a host of agencies serving the homeless, the gay and lesbian community and refugees.
Our Mission & Ministry
Jesus and his teachings are our models for faithful living and spiritual practice. He believed that God had sent him to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and to let the oppressed go free. In that spirit, our people, individually and collectively, seek to offer prophetic witness related to the social issues of our times. Members of our congregation are active in areas of social change locally and throughout the world.
Below are some of the social justice concerns with which we are engaged and about which we pray together regularly:
• Peacemaking, support of Veterans
• Social and environmental justice
• Affordable medical care
• Human and civil rights
• Rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people
• Fair and affordable housing
Old Cambridge Baptist Church is a Welcoming and Affirming congregation of the American Baptist Churches
We invite you to join us in worship and social action!
We are a congregation of great diversity in economic means, racial and sexual identity, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. We maintain traditions of strong preaching, disciplined prayer, inspiring music, and a ministry of the laity which enables us to support each other in our spiritual journeys and to enact our individual and collective values in the wider world. We have a long tradition of honoring and empowering the gifts of women in our pastoral and congregational leadership.
Classes and programs include:
• Bible study
• Prayer and Spirituality Groups
• Christian Education for adults and children
• Advocacy for Justice and Peace
• The Outdoor Church
• Ministry to Youth & Families