Mount Pleasant history

View of Mount Pleasant Church from Kettering RoadOn September 15th 1872 our first service was held in the hayloft above the stables of a coal merchant in Exeter Road Northampton. On March 13th 1873 the church was formally constituted as 'The Union Church, Kettering Road' with 10 members. This 'upper room' accommodated some forty people but was soon too small and permanent premises were needed. A large site was acquired on the Kettering Road, just outside the town at that time - now Mount Pleasant is a town centre church. The first building was erected and opened on October 12th 1873. In 1877 the name was formally changed to Mount Pleasant Baptist Church, and in 1880 the church became a member of the Northamptonshire Baptist Association, joining the Baptist Union in 1881.

The church grew during the ministry of Rev. H.J. Durrant and there was a thriving Sunday School of 200 scholars. By 1886 it became necessary to have larger premises and the present church building was opened on November 2nd 1887.

During the ministry of Rev. F.T. Smythe the church grew rapidly, as did the children's work, and many different activities were developing so that it became necessary to add to the premises. The main block of halls behind the church were built and opened in 1892.

The 1914-18 war saw many members serving their country; the names of twenty nine of those who gave their lives are recorded on a plaque in the church. The church played host to refugees and provided hospitality for many wounded service men who came to the town (this happened again in the second world war). It was in 1921 that plans were made to build another block of halls behind the church, the lower hall being named the Memorial Hall in memory of those who had died. The opening of this hall coincided with the Golden Jubilee of the formation of the church.

The church has always tried to respond to the needs of the local community as circumstances have changed, and to reach out to those in need. With this in mind a review of the premises saw the need for updating, and the Millennium Project was set up in 1997. Gradually plans were formulated and the upper halls were renovated. In 2005 the concourse that spans the length of the sanctuary and connects the church to the Kettering Road via new glass doors, was completed. This atrium space opened up the premises for a variety of uses and provides access for disabled users. This has aptly been renamed the Open Door Centre, where a variety of activities address the needs of the local community.

 

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