Rev. M. J. Minor, First Pastor
OUR FIRST PASTOR: REVEREND MANASSEH J. MINOR
(1935 - 1958)
Reverend Minor is remembered as a beloved and distinguished spiritual leader who was committed to his congregation and community. Throughout his pastorate, he served as a mentor to people of all ages. He was a foster parent, a social and political activist, and an advocate for the youth. His moral as well as his spiritual support for young people was legendary and helped increase our church membership. His successor, Reverend Robert L. Carter Jr., described him as a "great giant in Christian service."
One became a member of our church either by baptism or through Christian experience. All of our founding members came to the church with Christian experience. The first person to be baptized was Ruth Griffin (Jones), the nine-year-old daughter of Sister Elizabeth Griffin. As a community church, Metropolitan's membership reflected the surrounding neighborhood and incorporated the entire family in its various programs. Our membership included professional and non-professional families of African-American, Cape Verdian, and West Indian descent. No matter their age or background the church had organizations that used the talents and skills of all members.
These organizations included: a Junior and Senior Usher Board, Junior and Senior Choirs, a very large Sunday School that focused on the young people in the church, the Baptist Training Union, the Trustee Board, and the Deacon and Deaconess Board. In addition, we had community outreach committees, including Thanksgiving and Christmas food and toy distribution to our less fortunate neighbors. Our strong church and community involvement resulted in our hosting and being invited to interdenominational churches for worship. In 1952, Reverend Minor became ill and had to temporarily leave the church so he could recuperate. During his absence, a young theology intern from Boston University served as interim pastor for one month. Little did the congregation realize that this intern, Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., would later become world-renowned for his historical role in the Civil Rights Movement.
First Church Edifice at 777 Shawmut Avenue - Roxbury, MA
Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Interim Pastor
Rev. Minor in later years
On Sunday and Monday, May 8 and 9, 1955, Metropolitan Baptist Church of Boston celebrated two monumental occasions: the Twentieth Anniversary and the burning of the church mortgage. In commemoration of these, events Reverend M. J. Minor wrote:
"I want to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the officers and members and friends who have stood by me and supported the church for these 20 years. It has been 20 years of hill climbing. But with the help of God and your constant support, we have come thus far. I do hope that this milestone will give us an opportunity to render greater service in the future than we have in the past. I solicit your prayers in this direction."
Three years later, in 1958, Reverend Minor resigned his pastorate due to illness after 23 years of faithful service. He died on May 4, 1965. It took one year for the church to name Reverend Robert L. Carter Jr. his successor and the second pastor of Metropolitan. Below are pictures of events and activities that ocurred during the pastorate of Rev. Minor.