Founders of the Massachusetts Bible Society - 1809

The Massachusetts Bible Society began on July 6, 1809 and is an ecumenical, Christian organization dedicated to promoting Biblical literacy, understanding, and dialogue. This blog lists brief biographies of our founders who gathered in the Massachusetts State House Senate Chamber on that historic day to sign the Charter founding MBS. Please visit our website:

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rev. Thomas Gray

Born in Jamaica Plain on March 16, 1772, Thomas Gray graduated from Harvard College in 1790 and then studied theology with the Baptist preacher, Rev. Samuel Stillman. Apparently he also studied Rev. Stillman’s daughter, and he married her in 1793.

On March 27 that same year he was ordained to the Third Church in Roxbury, a parish that had been struggling for seven years without a settled minister. Rev. Gray remained in that parish for 50 years, bringing it back to health and prosperity.

Francis Drake in his publication on the Town of Roxbury describes Rev. Gray this way: “Social and full of anecdote, Dr. Gray was greatly beloved by his parishioners. As a preacher he was practical, agreeable, and often effective. But it was as a pastor, in the faithful and affectionate oversight of his flock, that his chief excellence lay.” He was known even after his retirement as “the Shepherd of the Plain.”

Thomas Gray retired from the parish in 1843 and died on the first of June, 1847.

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