NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) — The First Baptist Church in New Bedford, Massachusetts, known for a former member who developed Robert's Rules of Order, has been named a national treasure.
The designation by the National Trust for Historic Preservation will help preserve the deteriorating Greek Revival building and boost efforts to make space inside available to a community group.
The church was built in 1829 and gained international recognition in the 19th century when former member Henry Martyn Robert developed the parliamentary procedural guidelines, Robert's Rules of Order.
The National Trust website says Robert saw the need for the guidelines after a "raucous" church meeting.
Several of the church's pastors also were active abolitionists who worked to end slavery in America.