A Baptist minister in Boston, Massachusetts, Thomas Paul was a pioneering Baptist organizer. He was affiliated with the African Meeting House and the Education Society for African-Americans. He worked to establish a long line of black leaders, many of whom came from his family.
Paul was born in Exeter, New Hampshire. He was the oldest of six brothers, three who also became preachers. He was educated for the ministry in Hollis, New Hampshire, at the Free Will Baptist church, and was instrumental in the founding of the first African Baptist Church in Boston in 1805.
It was said that Paul’s understanding was vigorous, his personal appearance interesting, and his elocution was grateful. He could spellbind thousands for hours and when he left them, if they did not have an organized church, they would have quickly organized a congregation.
Together with other black leaders, he contributed to the development of Black Liberation Theology by tying biblical teachings to social justice and the quest for African American equal acceptance in society. Paul also played a key role in Boston’s black community.
Paul traveled to Haiti, teaching and preaching to the Haitians. However, he was not as successful as he wanted because he was not able to speak French and effectively communicate with the locals. He returned to the United States and continued working until his death in 1831.
Carter G. Woodson. The History of the Negro Church; Washington, 1922, pp. 76-77