Grafton, Joseph

Grafton, Joseph, a highly respected and useful Baptist minister, was born at Newport, Rhode Island, in 1757. His father was a sailor, but abandoned the sea to set up the business of sail-making in Providence. Joseph, at the age of fourteen, began working at his father's trade. He was hopefully converted in 1775, and joined the Congregational Church, which included Baptists dissatisfied with strict communion. He began preaching in 1776. While preaching to a congregation of "Separates" in Plainfield, Conn., he reconsidered his views on communion, and joined in 1787 the Baptist Church. He was ordained a pastor of the First Baptist Church in Newton, Mass., in 1788, where for nearly fifty years he continued his studies and labors in a successful pastorate and in habitual activity on behalf of missionary and benevolent undertakings. He esas actively engaged in founding the theological seminary at Newton, and was for many years one of its trustees. He died in 1836. He published four sermons and some occasional addresses. (L.E.S.)

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