Thomas Paul was a “free black man” from New Hampshire. He was born in 1773 and born again sixteen years later. At the age of eighteen he was ordained to the gospel ministry. In those days there were very few black churches, and those were primarily in the south. But it is estimated that by the close of the Civil War, there were four hundred thousand black Baptists in this country. Brother Paul considered it a privilege to take some of his neighbors to form the African Baptist Church in Boston. He served them as pastor for about twenty years. William Cathcart had high praise for Pastor Paul, saying, “We have heard him preach to an audience of more than one thousand persons, when he seemed to have command of their feelings of an hour together.”
When some of the black members of John Gano’s former church, Gold Street Baptist, in New York, invited Brother Paul to work among them he agreed. With the blessing of their home congregation the new group formed the Abyssinian Baptist Church. Paul served there for several years, then at the age of fifty, he went to Haiti as a missionary, serving there for some time before returning to America.
Following an interesting and blessed life, Thomas Paul went to be with the Lord on this day in 1831 at the relatively young age of fifty-eight.