The First Baptist Church in America is the First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode Island known as the First Baptist Meetinghouse. It is the oldest Baptist church congregation in the United States, founded in 1638 by Roger Williams in Providence, Rhode Island; the present church building was erected in 1774–75 and held its first meetings in May 1775. It is located at 75 North Main Street in Providence's College Hill neighborhood, it was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960. Roger Williams had been holding religious services in his home for nearly a year before he converted his congregation into a Baptist church in 1638; this followed his founding of Providence in 1636. For the next sixty years, the congregation met outside in congregants' homes. Baptists in Rhode Island through most of the 17th century declined to erect meetinghouses because they felt that buildings reflected vanity. However, they came to see the utility of some gathering place, they erected plain-style meetinghouses like the Quakers.
Roger Williams was a Calvinist, but within a few years of its founding, the congregation became more Arminian, was a General Six-Principle Baptist church by 1652. It remained a General Baptist church until it switched back to a Calvinist variety under the leadership of James Manning in the 1770s. Following Williams as pastor of the church was Rev. Chad Brown, founder of the famous Brown family of Rhode Island. A number of the streets in Providence bear the names of pastors of First Baptist Church, including Williams, Gregory Dexter, Thomas Olney, William Wickenden and Stephen Gano. In 1700 Reverend Pardon Tillinghast built the first church building, a 400-square-foot structure, near the corner of Smith and North Main Streets. In 1711 he donated the building and land to the church in a deed describing the church as General Six-Principle Baptist in theology. In 1736 the congregation built its second meetinghouse on an adjoining lot at the corner of Smith and North Main Streets; this building was about 40 × 40 feet square.
When it was built in 1774–75, the current Meeting House represented a dramatic departure from the traditional Baptist meetinghouse style. It was the first Baptist meetinghouse to have a steeple and bell, making it more like Anglican and Congregational church buildings; the builders were part of a movement among Baptists in the urban centers of Boston, New York, Philadelphia to bring respectability and recognition to Baptists. Central to the movement for greater recognition and growth was the creation of an educated ministry and the founding of a college; the Philadelphia Association of Baptist Churches sent Dr. James Manning to Rhode Island to found the College in the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1764. Beginning in Warren, the college relocated to Providence in 1770; the college president, the Reverend Manning, was called to be the pastor of the Providence church in 1771. During his ministry the present Meeting House was erected "for the publick worship of Almighty God and for holding commencement in."
Subsequent Brown presidents Jonathan Maxcy and Francis Wayland served as ministers at the church. The Brown family that soon gave its name to the University were prominent members of the Church, descendants of its founders and those of the Rhode Island Colony. Although the university is now secular, in honor of its history and tradition, the Meeting House continues to be used, as it has been since 1776, as the site of Brown University's undergraduate commencement. Construction began on the building in the summer of 1774, it was the biggest building project in New England at the time. Due to the closure of the Massachusetts ports by the British as punishment for the Boston Tea Party, out-of-work ship builders and carpenters came to Providence to work on the Meeting House; the main portion of the Meeting House was dedicated in mid-May 1775, the steeple erected in three days in the first week of June. Notable additions to the Meeting House have included a Waterford crystal chandelier given by Hope Brown Ives, a large pipe organ given by her brother Nicholas Brown, Jr. the younger.
The building was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1960, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966. In addition to weekly worship services, the Meeting House hosts concerts and lectures by world-renowned artists, performers and elected officials. Brown University holds commencement services of its undergraduate college at The Meeting House. In 2001, History professor J. Stanley Lemons wrote a history of the church, entitled First: The History of the First Baptist Church in America The First Baptist Church in America is affiliated with the American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island and the American Baptist Churches/USA; the church supports the Rhode Island State Council of Churches, the National Council of Churches, the Baptist World Alliance, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Many members have served in various denominational and divinity school positions, including the presidency of Brown University. List of tallest buildings in Providence, Rhode Island Oldest churches in the United States List of National Historic Landmarks in Rhode Island National Register of Historic Places listings in Providence, Rhode Island Official website Meeting House info Histori
Ajay Chhetri is an Indian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Hyderabad on loan from Bengaluru in the Indian Super League. Born in Khurkhul, Chhetri joined Bengaluru FC's Academy in 2016. In 2018, Chhetri was selected to join Bengaluru's B side for their I-League 2nd Division and Bangalore Super Division campaigns. In December 2018, Chhetri was part of the Bengaluru B side that won the 2018–19 Bangalore Super Division. On 18 September 2018, it was announced that Chhetri, along with four other teammates from the Bengaluru B team, had been called up to join Bengaluru's squad for the 2018–19 Indian Super League season, he made his first-team debut for the club on 9 February 2019 against Chennaiyin. He came on as a 90th-minute substitute for Harmanjot Khabra as Bengaluru were defeated 2–1. On 7 January 2020, Bengaluru FC announced that Chhetri had been loaned to new Indian Super League franchise Hyderabad FC till the end of the season; as of 9 February 2019 Indian Super League profile.
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Sue-Anne Hilbre Biggs is the Director General of the Royal Horticultural Society. Biggs began her career in the travel industry, where she worked for 30 years, was awarded an Outstanding Achievement Award by the Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards, she was made a CBE in the 2017 New Year Honours, for her services to the environment at ornamental horticulture industries. Biggs was brought up in Sheffield, she grew up in the Broomhill area of the city. For her seventh birthday, her mother gave her a packet of seeds and a small trowel, encouraging her to plant them in their garden, Biggs credits this as the source of her love of gardening, she attended Abbeydale Grammar School. She obtained a BA in English and American Literature from the University of Nottingham and a Postgraduate Diploma in Tourism from the University of Manchester. Biggs began working for Kuoni Travel in 1982 as a product executive. For 12 years she was the managing director of the UK Division. Biggs' role included working with the charities supported by Kuoni which included Plan International and the Born Free Foundation.
She left Kuoni. Biggs joined Thomas Cook in 2008. In 2008, Biggs was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award at the Travel Weekly Globe Travel Awards. Biggs left Thomas Cook in August 2009. Biggs had a longstanding love of horticulture, had been a member of the RHS for 18 years at the time she applied for the position of director general, she was encouraged to apply for the role by her husband. She was appointed to the post in June 2010. Biggs splits her time between the RHS headquarters at RHS Wisley. Biggs has stated that her first aim upon taking up the role was to bring everybody together as a team, following a major restructuring of the organisation, she has overseen several major changes to the society in an effort to change its image and make it a more inclusive and forward-thinking organisation. She wanted to make the RHS, "attractive to everyone – from the novice gardener to expert horticulturists". Biggs stated in an interview with Garden Design Journal that her proudest achievement was her work to make the Royal Horticultural Society a more "open and friendly society" and "bringing younger people and different communities into horticulture".
Biggs oversaw an increase in membership of 90,000 between 2010 and 2015. Biggs restructured management, improved service to customers and announced plans for several new projects including redevelopment of the Lindley Library and a new scientific research centre. Over 28,000 schools signed up to her Get Growing campaign. In 2014, frustrated by ticket touts reselling tickets to the Chelsea Flower Show for large profits, Biggs announced the launch of last minute charity tickets for the event with the money going towards horticultural apprenticeships. In January 2015, the former RHS operations manager Stuart Medhurst first appeared in court charged with stealing £700,000 from the charity over ten years. Biggs wrote to staff at the time, stating that the organisation had, over the past three years, been carrying out in-depth audits and that the society was now "in a much stronger and more robust position to ensure unacceptable activity could not take place within the society."Biggs was awarded a CBE in the 2017 New Year Honours.
The CBE was awarded in recognition for her services to the environment and ornamental horticulture industry. The award was presented by The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in March 2017. Biggs stated after receiving the award, "I feel fortunate to work in an organisation with such remarkable people promoting something I feel so passionate about, this award belongs as much to them as me."In 2017, Highways England proposed changes to the A3 road which would impact on woodlands that are part of RHS Wisley. Biggs was critical of the proposal, stating, "It would be criminal for this irreplaceable woodland to be lost when another viable plan would avoid cutting down these century-old trees and still meet the important need to widen the A3." Plans were put by Highways England that would safeguard the mature trees. The preferred option chosen by Highways England, was still criticised by Biggs as the new roundabout would remove the current direct connections between the A3 and the gardens adding an extra 1.5 to 5.25 miles to the journey of visitors.
In 2018, Biggs was inspired when she heard of Syrian refugees who were setting up gardens in the Domiz Camp in northern Iraq. She was reminded of when the RHS had sent seeds to British prisoners of war in Germany during World War II, the RHS sent 2000 packets of seeds to the camp in Kurdistan. Biggs lives in Cobham, having moved there from Sunbury-on-Thames in 2013, she enjoys plants and gardening in her spare time, spending time in her own garden as well as public gardens such as those at Hampton Court and Bushy Park. She has designed gardens for friends. Biggs had a garden in Umbria, Italy which contained sixty olive trees. In 2014, Biggs had breast cancer, she has spoken about how the beauty of the plants in her garden contributed to her recovery, stating, "I wanted to see my new garden grow, to see the wisteria flower again, to walk among plants and take in their scent."