Support the First Baptist Church

On the evening of October 23, 2018, minutes after a rainbow was seen arcing over the church, the steeple of the First Baptist Church was struck by lightning and quickly became a devastating 7-alarm fire.

The burning church could be seen from many towns. The Tall Spire, visible from across Lake Quanappoit, appeared to be engulfed in a tower of flames. 

What had been a fixture in Wakefield as a vision of faith, hope, and beauty became a fiery inferno in minutes. 

This GoFundMe page is dedicated to supporting the First Baptist Church in the aftermath of the devastating fire that destroyed the historic 148-year old building. Jean McBain, the church’s treasurer, will be handling the disbursement of these donated funds. The church has been working with LDa Architects ( to create a design for the new church building, and we will be moving into the next phase of the Build/Design/Regulatory process this summer.  All gifts donated to this GoFundMe effort will be used to build and furnish the new church on the corner of Common and Lafayette Streets in Wakefield. We hope to create a welcoming building for seekers and believers, and community members for much-needed space for cultural, artistic, private, and civic events. We believe that we will exchange beauty for ashes by God's grace and strength and create a church building that will bring Him honor and glory. 

Immediately following the fire, Emily Brown started this GoFundMe page. This is her story:

As many have heard, a beloved Wakefield landmark was struck by lightning on October 23, 2018. Not only is this a historic building and a beautiful part of our town’s charm, but this has been a place of worship for more than 100 years. As the former pastor’s daughter and having grown up running through the halls, discovering secret hiding spots in the church, it breaks my heart that what I’ve considered a second home has burned down in the blink of an eye.


But having been raised in the First Baptist Church Of Wakefield, Massachusetts, I have also been taught that:

“The church is not a building;
the church is not a steeple;
the church is not a resting place;
the church is a people.

I am the church! You are the church!
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
all around the world!
Yes, we're the church together!“

Yes, the former “Tall Spire” building is gone, but the church is still alive and working in our community. The building itself has also been home to the Tall Spire nursery school and host to other various groups over the years.

Please support our church as we continue to worship, teach, learn, love, share, serve, and grow in our community. Please join our church family in our mission to bring God’s light to the world around us. Thank you for your love and support, and may God bless each and every one of you.

“Above all, love each other deeply because love covers over a multitude of sins.”  1 Peter 4:8

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8  

Our 2021 story in pictures:

Easter Sunday -- April 4, 2021 - getting ready to worship at 8 Lafayette Street.

Getting the "church" set up for services at 11:00 am on Sunday mornings. Our familiar "red doors" have been replaced with welcoming "red tents."

Even without a permanent church building, we've been able to conduct our missions of love and giving over the last couple of years. Here we are with bags of hope that were created for people who are homeless and in crisis.

In 2018, 2019, and 2020, we continued to deliver gigantic bags of toys to the Wakefield Police for the "Toys for Tots" program.

And we continue to be a congregation of people who love our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and seek to share and serve Him in all that we do. 

Thank you for reading our story. 

Your Friends of the First Baptist Church of Wakefield.
  • Marsha Carter 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Michael Alfone 
    • $100 
    • 3 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 5 mos
  • Tyler Lucey  
    • $24 
    • 5 mos
  • Barbara Worley 
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Emily Brown 
Wakefield, MA
Jean McBain 
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