Salem Baptist Church Our History

To begin the history of Salem Baptist Church, we must look first to the town of  Warboys. In the early nineteenth century people travelled many miles every Sunday to worship. There were a number who travelled to Godmanchester from Warboys. However the journey was difficult, especially in winter when the muddy roads became virtually impassable.

In 1827 a handful of Christians in Warboys felt the Lord leading them to begin a work in their own village. A two room cottage was hired and soon services began. Richard Lay preached the word through the summer months, however he soon moved on when he accepted a call into the pastorate elsewhere. A school master called Mr Dunham became pastor in 1828 when the church was formed. The work began with five members, but soon another eleven were added. Mr Dunham’s ministry lasted only a year, however by this time the work was firmly established in Warboys.

The next pastor was David Irish. He came to Warboys in 1831. His ministry in Warboys lasted 25 years, and was greatly blessed. When David Irish left Warboys he was asked to visit Ramsey and to settle amongst the people there.  He agreed to do this, on the condition that a chapel was built. The church at Warboys agreed to this and in 1857 ‘Salem’ chapel was built in a prominent position in the High Street.

The Chapel building through the years

David Irish remained in Ramsey for the rest of his life, and by the grace of God established a work here that continues to this day under a long series of pastors. James Cattell was the next pastor, he took up the ministry in 1866. G W Sankey ministered between 1875 and 1880. After Mr Sankey the next pastorate of any length was  Mr J N Throssell whose ministry began in 1894 and continued until 1904. There was then an interregnum until 1911 when Harry Bull became Pastor. He pastored the church until 1927. Since then a number of men have pastored the work here:

L C Fensome 1928-1937

F W Reader 1939-1943

A J Wade 1944-1949

D E Westcott 1953-1960

N Riches 1963 –

P Marjoram 1976 - 1987 (remained as an elder after retirement)

N Goddard 1994 - 1997

In more recent years Rev Jeremy Brooks pastured the work for 7 years, and August 2010 saw the induction of Pastor Jonathan Chell, an occasion when the chapel was filled with people worshipping God.  Some of those who have attended the chapel for many years have since commented that they can recall times in the church's history when the chapel was that full every Lord’s Day. Our prayer, as a church, is that the Lord would be pleased to return us to such times again, that we might see his work greatly blessed here in Ramsey and souls added to his kingdom.