About Us

In 1774, the Warren Association voted to receive an annual collection for widows and orphans. MBCS was incorporated in 1821 when Mrs. Sparhawk bequeathed $1,000. By 1883, the Society was already supporting 31 widows and was overdrawn by $395.41. 

Over the Years

In 1916, an annual communion offering was instituted by Baptist churches to support the society in helping clergy widows gain independence. Beginning in 1939, this communion offering was split 50/50 with the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board (MMBB). By 1964, MMBB initiated the Retired Ministers and Missionaries annual offering, and the 50/50 split was discontinued. 

In 1992, “widows” was changed to “spouses,” and the charter was expanded to include spouses, ex-spouses, children, and other dependents. Grants became available to Baptist clergy toward repayment of educational loans in 1996. This program was expanded in 2000 to include clergy in accredited post-Master of Divinity programs. 

Additional Grants

In response to increased medical and prescription drug costs, the society made grants available to retired TABCOM clergy for assistance with non-reimbursed health care expenses, beginning in 2001. Annual grants are also available for non-reimbursed dental expenses and hearing aids.

In 2001, eligibility for widow/widower annuitant grants was raised to $25,000 in income and $100,000 in assets (not including home and car). In addition, this benefit was extended in 2001 to include retired clergy who are single. Retired TABCOM clergy and spouses may also be eligible for an annuitant grant.

By 2002, grants became available to children of TABCOM clergy (ages 16-24) to participate in a Career Finder program at the Center for Career Development and Ministry.

Executive Committee

  • President – The Rev. Ruth Harvey
  • Vice President – The Rev. Nathaniel Burnes
  • Auditor – The Rev. Dr. David Kilpatrick
  • Executive Secretary – Wendy Maxfield
  • Treasurer – Douglas Tatreau 
Clergy Stole for Priests and Deacons

Association Trustees/Representatives

  • Adonirum Judson – The Rev. Julie Flowers
  • Berkshire – The Rev. David Anderson
  • Boston Southwest – The Rev. Larry P. Showalter
  • Central – Not Filled
  • Merrimack Valley – Not Filled
  • Old Colony – The Rev. Gary T. Ludwig
  • Pioneer Valley – The Rev. Patrick McMahon
  • Samuel Stillman – Rev. Ashley Wiest-Laird


  • The Rev. Jennifer Flagg .
  • Mr. Lennart Long
  • The Rev. Douglas V. Scalise
  • The Rev. Daniel N. Auguste

History of MBCS

MBCS has been helping spouses and children of deceased American Baptist clergy since 1794, when the Warren Association voted to receive an annual collection for such purposes. MBCS was incorporated on February 3, 1821, when Mrs. Sparhawk bequeathed $1,000 for this compassionate ministry. 

Monthly grants are provided to spouses of deceased American Baptist clergy who have served in Massachusetts and currently have assets below $100,000 (not including home and car) and annual incomes below $48,000. 

Due to the faithfulness of individuals and congregations and the excellent stewarding of MBCS’ funds by the Investment Committee, in 1991, the society’s ministry expanded to include emergency grants to Baptist clergy for personal and/or family needs. The society often collaborates with the Conference of Baptist Ministers and the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board (MMBB) to meet such needs. 

The Chapel in Napa Valley