The Bahá’í Faith in Greater Boston

1899 Mrs. Kate C. Ives becomes the first Bahá’í in Boston.

The Green Acre Bahá’í School is established in Eliot, Maine, becoming an important learning center for Bahá’ís and non-Bahá’ís in Greater Boston and across the United States.

1905 Regular Bahá’í meetings are established in Boston, either in the homes of individual believers or in public spaces acquired for specific events.

1908 The first Bahá’í governing board is elected, taking the name of “Executive Committee,” the equivalent of the first Local Spiritual Assembly of Boston.

1912  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visits Greater Boston in the months of May, July, and August, and gives ten public addresses and lectures.

1913  The Boston Bahá’í community rents a room on Huntington Avenue for its weekly public meetings.

1914  The Boston Bahá’í community moves its public space to the S.S. Pierce building in Copley Square.

1919 The Boston Bahá’í community rents a twelve-room house on Charles Street. All of these locations are used to host weekly public meetings of what will later become the Boston Bahá’í Center.

1926 The Boston Bahá’í community hosts a “World Unity Conference” as part of a series sponsored by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of the United States. A report of the conference is published in the Boston Evening Transcript.

1940 The Local Spiritual Assembly of Boston is incorporated on April 5.

1945 The Boston Bahá’í community hosts “Race Unity Day.”

1950 The Boston Bahá’í Center is established at 116 Commonwealth Avenue. Weekly public meetings and youth gatherings are held here.

1952 The Boston Bahá’í Center moves into the Kensington building at 585 Boylston Street, a significant move as it was in this very building that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had given one of His many addresses during His visit to Boston in 1912.

Members of the Boston Bahá’í community appear on the “Our Believing World” television program on station WBZ-TV and present some of the core teachings and principles of the Bahá’í Faith.

1960 Amatu’l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khanum, a prominent and renowned Bahá’í and the wife of Shoghi Effendi, the head of the Bahá’í Faith from 1921–1957, visits the Boston Bahá’í community, and offers several addresses during her visit.

1967 The Boston Bahá’í Center moves to 40 St. Botolph Street.

1977 The Boston Bahá’í Center establishes a lending library as well as regular programming for children and collective teaching activities to share the message of Bahá’u’lláh.

1986 The city council of Cambridge and the Mayor release a proclamation recommending that the whole city read and take to heart: The Promise of World Peace, a document prepared by the Universal House of Justice. It can be found online at:

1990 The Boston Bahá’í Center moves to 495 Columbus Avenue.

1993 The Boston Bahá’í Center moves to its current location at 595 Albany Street.

1996 – present The Greater Boston Bahá’í community adopts and employs a systematic approach to grassroots community development taking root in Bahá’í communities all over the world, based around four core activities: study circles, children’s classes, junior youth groups, and devotional meetings.

2008 The Boston Bahá’í community participates in one of 41 regional conferences convened by the Universal House of Justice. These conferences marked the midway point of a five-year effort to expand Bahá’í activities at the grassroots level. The Boston Bahá’í community attends the conference in Stamford, Connecticut. A report from this conference can be found online.