The first fifty years – our Jubilee Celebration booklet
Celebrating 100 years of witness and service
OTHER PASTORAL APPOINTMENTS
THE LORD BUILDS HIS CHURCH
On 2nd February, 1985, Pastor F. C. Condon, a married second year student at the Theological College, commenced as Pastor to the church. In August, 1985, the church participated in Partnership Mission ’85 with Rev. Dr. D. Leslie Hill and Mrs. J. Hill, missionaries with the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convection, U. S. A.
By the end of 1985 a number of people had been added to the church on confession of the faith and baptism. The membership was increased to twenty eight. During 1985, a Playtime group for the mothers and their children was commenced using facilities and equipment previously used by the church play group. Because of the popularity of the group, it was extended to meet each Tuesday and Thursday mornings.
In March, 1986, the church participated in the Jim Adams’ Crusade with Rev. Dr. S. L. Gilbreath, Mrs. C. Gilbreath and Rev. D. Kilker from the U. S. A as the evangelistic team. This crusade had a great effect on the church and many were keen to be involved in not only the life of the church, but also outside evangelistic work.
Pastor Condon was able to attend the International Conference For Itinerant Evangelists in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. During July, 1986, the church helped sponsor Pastor and Mrs. Condon’s trip to the conference as a training mission.
In November, 1986, Mr. B. Coutts, Mr. R. Osbourne and Mr. P. Roby commenced a youth club for boys, called ‘The Seekers’, with the aim of reaching young boys who need help in the area.
Pastor Condon concluded a fruitful ministry in Granville from January 1988 to accept a call to the Penrith Baptist Church. The membership had grown to thirty-four.
In February, 1988, G. R. Devrell, a married third year Theological student commenced as Pastor of the church. Highlights of the year to date include a successful partnership mission with a group from Texas and U. S. A, the expansion of the Playgroup, growth in attendances of the Sunday School and ‘The Seekers’ group and the commencement of a Young Adults Fellowship. The church has also embarked on a bold step of selling the Manse in Merrylands for $97,000.00 and purchasing a new Manse in 13 Elizabeth Street, Granville for $100,000.00.
WHAT OF THE FUTURE
Granville Baptist Church continues to testify to the world that God is building His Church and shaping His people. Granville had known the heights of a large prosperous church, the struggles and ravages of two global wars and the depths of crisis in a changing socioeconomic environment.
Consolidation and adaption has been faced with determination and grit. Committed to Jesus Christ as the head, Granville church will continue to reach to its community with the compelling message “JESUS SAVES.”
We value your prayer support and encouragement as we, His family, face the future with hope, enthusiasm and courage. For these are what we learn from the pages of our history its people and pastors, who gladly spent their all in the Master’s service in Granville.
“ON THIS ROCK I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT OVERCOME IT.”
GRANVILLE FACES CHANGE
Rev. A E. Baker from Nowra was inducted to the Granville pastorate from 1967-73. His ministry at Granville coincided with the bulk of the children of long-standing church members reaching marriageable age. In his seven years at Granville, he baptised nine people, but more significantly he performed twenty-six marriages involving at least one child of a church member. These young couples invariably left the Granville area to start homes in the growing areas of the Sydney metropolitan area: Baulkham Hills, Castle Hill and the west. It was a blow as the church was ill-prepared to receive. The situation paralleled the war years: most young people no longer at the church and a large portion of the membership in retirement in the pews. Membership figures continued to indicate these trends decline to eighty-one. During these years attempts were made to consolidate the youth work with the appointments of students from the Theological College to assist Rev. Baker.
Following Rev. Baker’s resignation in 1973 Rev. N. Melzer a missionary on furlough from West Irian, was engaged in an interim ministry for the months of August and September, 1973.
On 21st November, 1973, a call was extended to Rev. J. K. Nolan. By 1976, the membership had declined to forty-five, only one person having been baptised in the preceding three years. Mr. C. Cowling, a student of the Theological College was assisting the Pastor with youth work from the early March, 1974. The financial position of the church was seriously inadequate, and at a Church Meeting on 20th November, 1974, it was decided to approach the Baptist Union of New South Wales “to enable the recommended stipend and traveling allowance to be paid.”
Rev. Nolan attempted to get the church moving towards the community: in August, 1975, a Playgroup was commenced at the church, and in the Church Meeting on 19th November, 1975, it was reported that twenty-eight children were enrolled; at the Church Meeting on 18th February, 1976, it was decided to move into a two day Playgroup due to the large numbers of children attending.
THE CHURCH IN CRISIS
On 17th December, 1975, the church met to discuss its future. It was reported that the Home Work Council was prepared to extend its subsidy until May, 1976 and concern was expressed at the continuing decrease in membership. Rev. R. F. Pope, Director of Church Extension, was present by invitation and indicated that “if the membership fell below ten persons, the Baptist Union would take over the affairs of the church.” The position was now critical; on 5th August, 1976, the Home Work Council discontinued the subsidy to the church.
Rev. Nolan resigned from the pastorate in November, 1976.
On 2nd January, 1977, Rev. N. Melzer commenced as Moderator of the church whilst the church explored its future. Rev. Melzer continued as Moderator, traveling to and from his home in Glenbrook in the lower Blue Mountains, until 19th March,1978. The church had continued to decrease in membership; down to thirty-eight by 1978.
THE CHURCH LEARNS TO SURVIVE INTO THE ’80’S
The church was now on the position that it was unable to support a full-time pastor and so it turned to the Home Work Council with a request for the allocation of a second year married student from the Theological College to the pastorate. Pastor T. Logan, a candidate with the Australian Baptist Missionary Society and a married fourth year college student was allocated. However, Pastor Logan graduated from the Theological College in November, 1978 and resigned from the pastorate following his ordination in the church on 10th December, 1978, to travel to Baiyer River in Papua New Guinea on missionary service with the Australian Baptist Missionary Society. During Pastor Logan’s twelve months at Granville the Manse, situated at 66 The Avenue, Granville, was sold in May, 1978, the amount of $37,500.00 was received from the sale. A new Manse, situated at 12 Carhullen Street, Merrylands was purchased in December, 1978, for the sum of $30,000.00.
Pastor P. Hazleton commenced as the second Student Pastor at Granville Baptist Church in February, 1979. He and his family were the first occupants of the new Manse at 12 Carhullen Street, Merrylands. Pastor Hazleton assisted two female members of the church re-open the Playgroup in April, 1981.
In January, 1981, Pastor Hazleton accepted a call to the Cooma Baptist Church. During his ministry the church continued to struggle. Of special note is the fact that two persons were baptised during his ministry; the first persons baptised at Granville for five years.
Pastor R. Hooper, a third year student at the Theological College, was allocated to the church for the period 1st February, 1981 to 31st January, 1983. In his first year at Granville, Pastor Hooper baptised four young people and was assisted in the youth work by Mr. R. Carrall a first year Theological student. In January, 1984, Pastor Hooper accepted a call to the Cowra Baptist Church.
Membership of the church totaled twenty-five. Pastor C. D. Boland, a candidate with the Australian Baptist Missionary Society and a fourth student at the Theo logical College, commenced in the pastorate on 5th February, 1984. In April, 1984, the Australian Baptist Missionary Society advised the church that Pastor Boland would be required to proceed to the mission field in Papua New Guinea in 1985 and would therefore terminate his pastorate at the end of 1984.
1950’S—A PERIOD OF NEW GROWTH
On 19th January, 1951, a call was extended to Rev. C. V. Barnard to take up the pastorate of the church. Rev. Barnard was a prolific visitor, and by 1954 membership had reached one hundred and fifty-five. Sunday worship services were full to overflowing; extra seating had to be provided down the aisles. The choir grew to over thirty members and the Sunday School and Christian Endeavour groups were thriving. Rev. Barnard closed his ministry in Granville in mid-1954 to return to the mission fields in East Pakistan.
Rev. C. H. Gray acted as Moderator for the church in 1954 until Rev. J. C. Owen accepted a call to the pastorate at Granville in January, 1955. Rev. Owen had only a brief ministry at Granville, tendering his resignation from the pastorate on 12th September, 1956. Perhaps catching the impetus generated by Rev. Barnard, membership continued to grow and peaked in 1955 at one hundred and seventy-one. However, following 1955, the membership began a downward slide which was to continue through the years and into the 1980’s. When Rev. Owen concluded his ministry in 1956 the membership was one hundred and forty-two; nineteen persons had been baptised during his ministry.
On 30th January, 1957, a call was extended to Rev. A E. Cundall, which he accepted. It was during Rev. Cundall’s ministry that the building which had been relocated from Blaxcell Street was demolished and a new church hall erected facing William Street. This hall was constructed mainly by voluntary labour, using many of the materials from the old hall, led by Mr. L. J. Whitelaw and completed in 1959. Rev. C. H. Gray, President of the Baptist Union of New South Wales (1959-60), officially opened the hall on 18th October, 1959. Also during Rev. Cundall’s ministry the Manse at 76 The Avenue, Granville was sold for 3,000.0.0 and 66 The Avenue, Granville, was purchased on 28th July, 1958, at auction for 4,500.0.0, as the new Manse.
The Sydney Billy Graham Crusade appears to have given a certain impetus to the church, and applications for baptism and membership increased. During these two years nineteen baptisms were administered. Further, the church’s own evangelistic rally being held in the new hall on 31st October, 1959, at which Rev. B. W. J. Cook was the speaker.
In October, 1960, Rev. Cundall announced that he would conclude his ministry on 30th June, 1961, and offered his services to assist the church negotiate the pastorate. After some lengthy discussion Rev. J. R. Robinson, who was Pastor of the Leeton Baptist Church was approached and accepted a call to Granville. His enthusiasm and drive were matched by organisational ability and great personal spiritual leadership qualities. On 21st April, 1965, Rev. Robinson announced that he would conclude his ministry at Granville in October, 1965, then proceed to Devonport, Tasmania.
Between 7th November, 1965 and and 29th January, 1967, Rev. L. B. Slade was the Pastor of the Church. In his one year of ministry, Rev. Slade baptisted four persons and the membership was increased to one hundred and fifteen. However, ill-health forced him to resign the pastorate.
The celebrations began with a Tea and Reminiscence Night on Saturday, 8th October, 1938, at 6.00pm. Chairman for the evening was Rev. R. S. Pickup, and the speakers were Rev. F. Robinson and J. E. Leech. On Sunday, 9th October, a Sunday School Anniversary was celebrated. Visiting speakers filled the pulpit: Rev. J. Robertson, at the l1.00am service, Rev. A. H. Orr, at the 3.00pm service and Rev. W. Cleugh Black, at the 7.15pm service, On Tuesday, 11th October, there was a Young People’s Night, which was chaired by the Pastor, Rev. J. D. Mill, and the speaker was Rev. S. A. McDonald. On Thursday, 13th October, the church celebrated with a Musical Festival with a choral performance by the united choirs of the Parramatta and Granville Baptist Churches choirs. On Saturday, 15th October, Missionary Rallies were held at 3.00pm, 6.15pm and 8.00pm, with speakers from China, India, Palestine and British Guiana. On Sunday, 16th October, the Church Jubilee proper was celebrated. Speakers were: Rev. J. H. Deane, at the 11.00am service, and Dr. Northcote Deck at the 3.00pm and 7.15pm services. On Monday, 17th to Thursday, 20th October, “Meetings For Deepening Of Spiritual Life” were conducted by Dr. Northcote Deck. It was a time of great local joy and rejoicing in the midst of a national stress and strife with all the pressures of the war so real to the country.
At a special Church Meeting on 25th April, 1936, the church had voted in favor of the purchase of a property immediately next door to the church buildings; a two storied building occupied by the Balmain Co-operative for 800.0.0. A loan from the Australian Mutual Provident Society was contracted for the purchase and repair of the building. The building was purchased and repairs completed and the words ‘JESUS SAVES’ painted on the three parapets of the building in large black letters. On Saturday, 20th March, 1937, the building was officially opened and named ‘The Baptist Jubilee Hall.’ In June, 1939, internal alterations were carried out in the church building; a new baptistry was erected.
Rev. Mill’s eight years at Granville were marked by exciting activity and steady growth. Both he and Mrs. Mill endeared themselves to the church: perhaps a reflection of this might be found in the ‘Jubilee Souvenir‘ pamphlet where the comment about Rev. Mill’s ministry is, ” … we trust they (Rev. and Mrs. Mill) will long be spared to minister for the King of Kings in this part of His vineyard.” It was perhaps tragically prophetic: Rev. Mill died in hospital from Leukaemia on Saturday, 20th January, 1944, after six months of very poor health. He had been plagued with illness for some years and was forced to take a short leave in 1941 during which time Principal G. H. Morling conducted an interim ministry at the church. On Wednesday, 24th January, 1944, a Memoral Service was conducted by Rev. C. J. Tinsley in Central Baptist Church, at which Principal G. H. Morling delivered an appropriate message.
These years saw several men called into full time ministry, including Rev. C. Gray, Rev. W. Rein, Rev. F. Hoad and Rev. Syd Brook.
Despite the joy and celebration which accompanied Rev. Mill’s ministry at Granville, the war had taken its toll of membership. Some went away to fight, others withdrew as the church’s organisations began to suffer from decreasing staff levels. An initial rise in membership to one hundred and ninety-two by 1937, followed by a sharp drop to one hundred and sixty-one in 1938 represents an exodus of young men and women to the war effort. A subsequent rise to one hundred and seventy-eight by 1940, may indicate a period of consolidation as the church took stock of its leadership, and then the rapid drop to one hundred and twenty-four members by 1944, most probably reflects the inability of the denuded leadership to maintain the work. Whatever the reasons, the war years witnessed a sharp decline in membership.
Following Rev. Mill’s death, Rev. F. Robinson conducted a short interim ministry from November, 1943 until May, 1944. The church called Rev. S. J. Earl on 14th April, 1944. Rev. Earl was keen to support the Australian troops overseas in a practical way, so he organised an opportunity shop in the Granville shopping centre which was manned by volunteers from the church. Proceeds from this shop were used to buy food parcels for the troops.
It was during Rev. Earl’s ministry also that a concerted effort was made to fully payout the loan from the Australian Mutual Provident Society on the Jubilee Hall. In a special fund drive in November, 1944, 353.16.6 was raised; just 80.0.0 short of the amount owing.
Rev. Earl submitted his resignation from the pastorate on 14th November, 1950. During his seven years at Granville twenty persons were baptised.
THE CHURCH ESTABLISHES WITHIN WORLD WAR ONE
On Wednesday, 31st March, 1915, the church accepted with regret the resignation of Rev. C. T. Way. His ministry at Granville was one of great activity and growth. Between 1909 and 1915 he baptisted twelve persons.
At a Church Meeting on Wednesday, 26th may, 1915, chaired by Rev. A. J. Waldock, it was agreed to extend a call to Rev. H. Halmarick for twelve months commencing 1st July, 1915. Rev. Halmarick accepted the call and ministered at Granville until 7th June, 1916.
The church considered three candidates for the pastorate, two of whom declined invitations to the church, and finally extended a call to Rev. S. A. McDonald, who ministered throughout the years of World War J, and on to 1920, during which time the work was consolidated. His ministry was an active one with each year of ministry witnessing fourteen baptisms and transfers of members to the church.
During 1919, the church was forced to abandon worship services in the church building when all public buildings were closed due to a bubonic plague epidemic scare. During this time Rev. McDonald conducted services on the grassed area immediately behind the church buildings.
The church experienced difficult times during, and immediately after the war years, however, it was a time of steady growth; the membership reaching seventy nine in1920 and levelling off over the next year. Rev. McDonald resigned on 3rd November, 1920, to take up the pastorate at the Dawson Street Baptist Church, Ballarat, Victoria.
On 12th January, 1921, Rev. H. Clark accepted a call to the church. Rev. Clark’s ministry was very fruitful despite the fact that he was absent from the pulpit regularly whilst fulfilling the requirements of hie office of Vice-President, and then, President of the Baptist Union of New South Wales (1921-22).
OUTREACH TO MERRYLANDS
During 1921 the church commenced a work in the adjoining suburb of Merrylands. Weekly mission meetings at Merrylands School of Arts supervised by Mr. W. Chandler of Granville Baptist Church received a huge response. Meetings continued in the School of Arts building until 1932, eleven years, when the mission amalgamated with the newly-formed Merrylands Baptist Church.
On 3rd October, 1923, Rev. Clark resigned the pastorate to take up the position of Commissioner for the Baptist Church House.
A call was extended to Rev. E. H. Swan of Goulburn to fill the vacant pastorate, which he accepted. Rev. Swan ministered from 17th December, 1923 to 29th May, 1927. He was a dynamic preacher and attracted many to the worship services and mid-week meetings. Rev. Swan tendered his resignation from the pastorate on 4th May, 1927, failing eyesight contributing to his inability to continue as Pastor. During his time the membership reached 108.
ASSOCIATION WITH BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE
From 1916 on, the church was very closely associated with the Baptist Theo logical College, which was located in The Avenue, Granville. Rev. G. H. Morling, who was Principal of the college from 1921 until 1960, became a member of the church. Principal Morling conducted many services in the church, as did students at the college. However, when the church decided to extend a call to Mr. J. H. Deane, a student of the college, in June, 1927 a stronger link between church and the Theological College was forged. Principal Morling was requested to act as Moderator until 1930 when Mr. Deane was ordained.
It was a period of unparalleled growth in the church: over a six year period he administered one hundred and eleven baptisms and the membership shot up to a peak of one hundred and ninety by 1932.
During Mr. Deane’s ministry a mission was conducted featuring Rev. John Ridley as speaker; many responded to the Gospel and became members of the church. The church was strenghtened and general zeal increased for the work of the church. Following his ordination, Rev. Deane remained in the pastorate of the church, and at the same time, functioned as Vice-Principal of the Theological College. However, consideration of health led to his resignation on 27th September, 1933, and shortly thereafter he moved to take up the pastorate of the Blackheath Baptist Church.
CHURCH PLANTED AT PARK HILL
The church again requested Principal G. H. Morling to act as Moderator and extended an invitation to Rev. C. G. Orford to an interim pulpit ministry at Granville for threee months. On 7th January, 1934 a call was extended to Rev. Orford to the pastorate, which he accepted until 15th July, 1936. Meeting on 2nd November, 1935, Rev. Orford suggested that the church take responsibility for a small fellowship meeting at Park Hill, South Granville. This fellowship had commenced under the leadership of a Mr. Chun whose poor health had forced him to retire from the enterprise. For three years members of the Granville Baptist Church conducted the services at Park Hill: in 1938 Park Hill was established as an autonomous fellowship. The Granville Baptist Church arranged a loan in Excelsior Street, Park Hill, for a building for the fellowship, which was constituted as an accredited church of the Baptist Union of New South Wales on
15th September, 1938 with eleven members. all eleven were members from Granville Baptist Church who transferred their membership to Park Hill. They included:
The Granville Baptist Church continued in close association with Park Hill Baptist Church for many years: 23rd December, 1943 marking the occasion of a combined thanksgiving service when Park Hill completed the final payment of the loan from the Baptist Union Trust Fund. This association continued until 1970 when Park Hill Baptist Church amalgamated with South Granville Baptist Church and ceased to exist as an independent church.
THE CHURCH DURING WORLD WAR II
On the 29th September, 1936, the church extended a call to Rev. J. D. Mill, who ministered through the years of World War Il, These were difficult years for the church: in the 55th Annual Church Report (1943), the Secretary, Mr. E. W. Watts makes the following comment, “Like other church organisations, our work has suffered through war conditions. Most of our young men being away serving King and country; the ranks of our workers in many branches has been depleted.”
Nevertheless, it was also a time of joyful remembrance as the church looked back on fifty years of ministry in Granville in 1938. Between Saturday, 8th October, 1938 and Monday 17th October, 1938, the church celebrated its jubilee with a variety of meetings and speakers.
The history of the Granville Baptist Church begins with the evangelistic thrust of the Parramatta Baptist Church in the early 1880’s, led by its Pastor, Rev. J. Straughen. Supported by that church, Mr. W. Ardill commenced Sunday School meetings in rented premises at The Victoria Hall, South Street, Granville, on 2nd September, 1883. Worship services also began in the hall and were met with encouraging response.
So great, in fact, was the response of the Granville community, that in a very short time the fellowship looked towards erecting its own building. Suitable land was purchased in Blaxcell Street, Granville, at a cost of 168.0.0, and a modest building erected upon that land at a cost of 268.0.0. This building was officially opened on 19th April, 1885, with Rev. J. Straughen speaking in the morning, Rev. J. A Soper conducting a Children’s Service in the afternoon, and Rev. F. Hibberd speaking in the evening. The fellowship was active, and firmly established in its own building and recognised by the surrounding community as a church.
On Thursday, 11th October, 1888, a public meeting and devotional service was held in the Blaxcell Street church building, at which Rev. J. Straughen, J. D. Brown, and J. A Soper and a number of Parramatta Baptist Church members were present. Rev. J. A Sop er, President of the Baptist Union of New South Wales (1888-89), presided, and at the close of the devotional meeting, the Granville Baptist Church was constituted as an accredited church in the Baptist Union of New South Wales with fifteen foundation members. The foundation members were:
Mr. J. W. Marcroft was elected Secretary, Mr. J. Clague was elected Treasurer, and Miss A.E. Whiteford as Organist.
Rev. J.Straughen continued to oversee the church in an honorary capacity, alongside his pastoral function at Parramatta Baptist Church, until his resignation in January, 1897. At a Special Church Meeting on 6th January, 1897, the church discussed whether to unite with the Parramatta Baptist Church, or act independently in the Granville area. It was decided to maintain the church in Granville, and Rev.E.Price undertook to act as Pastor in an honory capacity; this he did until 1901 when the church called its first full-time Pastor, Rev. C. T. Way.
Rev. C. T. Way commenced his ministry in February, 1901, and continued until June, 1905, when he accepted a call to” the position of Superintendent of Northern Rivers District.
Rev. H. D. Archer, who had been ministering in the Castlemaine Baptist Church, Victoria, accepted a call to the pastorate of the church and commenced on 22nd October, 1905. In 1907 he resigned and went to live in Bathurst due to poor health.
After consultation with Rev. A. J. Waldock, President of the Baptist Union of New South Wales (1906-07), the church issued a call to Rev. A. Metters of Devonport, Tasmania. Rev. Metters had a brief ministry at Granville during which time he also had pastoral oversight of the Liverpool Baptist Church. The pressures of a divided pastorate led to Rev. Metters leaving Granville.
A BUILDING TAKES SHAPE
The pastorate of the church was vacant for eight months until Rev. C. T. Way accepted a call to enter a second term of ministry in Granville on 3rd September, 1908. Rev. Way purchased a block of land on the corner of the intersection of William Street and South Street, Granville, intending to build a residence for himself upon it. At a special meeting of the church on Monday, 6th December,I909, it was decided to purchase the block for 130.0.0.
Building of the present day church was commenced in early 1911, the com memoration stones being laid on 29th April, 1911, by Rev. C. T. Way and J. Barker, President of the Baptist Union (1910-11), and Mrs. W. Buckingham.
On Saturday, 28th October, 1911, the new church building was officially opened by Mr. W. Buckingham, with a door opening ceremony at 3.15pm followed by a dedicatory service, during which an appropriate message delivered by Rev. B. Gawthrop. On Sunday, 29th October, 1911, the first services were conducted by Revs. C. T. Way, at 11.00am, C. J. Tinsley, at 3.00pm (assisted by former scholars of the Sunday School, Revs. F. Robinson, C. E. Marcroft and J. E. Leech) and J. Barker, at 7.15pm. On Tuesday, 31st October, 1911, an Inaugural Tea was held in the school hall, participants paying a ticket fee of 1/9d, and this was followed at 7.45pm by a Public Meeting chaired by Mr. W. Ardill, with messages delivered by Rev. A J. Waldock and Rev. L. E. Tranter, in the new church.
On the following Sunday, 5th November, 1911, speakers were Rev. Dr. T. Porter, at the 11.00am service, and Rev. D. Steed, at the 7.15pm service. Within’ a few weeks the first marriage was preformed in the new building between Mr. H. Patten, son of the Secretary, and Miss E. Marcroft, daughter of the Treasurer. A fitting and happy occasion for the whole church.
On Sunday, 21st August, 1910, farewell services were held in the Blaxcell Street building; Rev. E. Price speaking in the morning, and Rev. J. Straughen in the evening. The Blaxcell Street building was carefully dismantled, and re-erected upon the new site behind the new church building. During this relocation the
Sunday School meetings were conducted in the Columbia Hall, Good Street, Granville.
The Jubilee Souvenir Book 1888 – 1938.
A Brief History of Granville Baptist Church 1888 – 1987
compiled by Rev. F. Condon, 1987
As church Secretary for the past 32 years, it is my pleasure to write this foreword and declare that this book seeks to express the events of the past 100 years in the Granville Baptist Church.
It is hoped that all who read it will obtain a clear understanding of the witness and testimony of the many who have laboured for the Master.
We are especially thankful to those who have faithfully ministered from the pulpit the truth of the gospel. Many have come to know Jesus Christ as Saviour or been helped on their spiritual journey. Young men and women have entered into full-time service for the King of Kings.
Throughout the years there have been of course the highs and lows as the statistics herein reveal. However, we have valued every person who has shared in our fellowship, praising God for the contributions made to Granville’s ministry.
In recent years students of Morling College have had the oversight of the Church and thus it has been our privilege to share in their training and equipping for pastoral ministry.
We give thanks to God for the faithfulness of those many friends and members of our church who have gone before. This book we dedicate to their memory.
C. LAW, JP
Granville Baptist Church.
11th October, 1988.
Despite what may be regarded in human terms the highs and lows, we give thanks to Almighty God for the many blessings that have been bestowed during the one hundred years of witness and testimony in the Granville area.
It has weathered two world wars, the ravages of the depression and an almost change in community content.
It is appropriate that its history, even if only briefly, should be placed on record.
The story of Granville Baptist Church is a story of men and women reaching beyond themselves to the surrounding community with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is not a success story!
Rather, it shows the struggles, successes, failures and frustrations of very ordinary, human people in the process of making real to a community of ordinary, people, the experience of their lives.
It is not epic! It is purely history; the history of God’s action and revelation through His people at Granville.
Brief in its treatment, yet full of the wonder and mystery to God’s working through the people, this history is a monument to God’s grace in action: “.. I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it” (Matt. 16:18).