The church didn’t leave behind its theatrical origins. It continued to function as a theater and promoted plays, movies, speeches, and other public events (Atlas Obscura). It invited some of the most prolific speakers of the 1800s to speak on the property. Frederick Douglass gave a speech on the abolition of slavery, and in 1863 Abraham Lincoln read the Emancipation Proclamation for the first time in Boston at the church (Boston Literary District). Charles Dickens even gave a reading during his time in the United States at the Tremont Temple (The Pluralism Project). Henry S. Wilson, the Vice President of the United States under Ulysses S. Grant, gave a speech promoting the repeal of prohibition at the church in 1867 (Wilson). After the property became a church, it hosted a number of preachers and evangelists such as Dwight Moody, Evangeline Booth, Billy Sunday, Gypsy Smith, and Billy Graham who conducted services there (The Pluralism Project). Speakers of such well known status in conjunction with the freedom of who came to worship and speak at the church enhanced the reputation of the Tremont Temple Baptist Church.
The church suffered unfortunate losses. In 1852, a fire struck the church and burnt the building to the ground (Atlas Obscura). At the time it happened, it was one of the most serious and destructive fires… in Boston for many years, and people lost their lives to the fire and art lost some of its finest trophies (Ballou & Gleason 256). For days afterwards, thousands of people mourned the destruction of the church. The church was rebuilt, however, and remained in tact for another 20 or so years. However, tragedy struck again when the church burnt down for the second time in 1879, and then for a third time in 1893 (Atlas Obscura). As unfortunate as the fires were, the church was reconstructed and never burnt down again. After those three fires, the church built their property more cautiously as to avoid a similar tragedy from taking place in the future. The church was restored in 1896, and that version of the church continues to stand at 88 Tremont Street today (Atlas Obscura).
Today, the Tremont Temple Baptist Church is still a well-visited site of worship in Boston. Still in its same location near the Boston Common, it stands as a massive, golden stone edifice that is still actively used as a church and, like its predecessors, seats a couple thousand (Atlas Obscura). It has continued its history of being a diverse, free space for people of all different backgrounds to join together in their religious practice. The church is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, attracts a diverse congregation, and Bible teaching, missions, fellowship, and service are all vital parts of church life (The Pluralism Project). Given its rich history and roots in the integration of religious practice in the United States, the church is under review by the Boston Landmarks Commission for its designation as a Boston landmark (City of Boston).