Baptist Historical Society of Queensland


No.6 October 1986

  • Free to members
  • Membership $5. per annum

President: Dr. David Parker
Secretary: Mrs. E. Chataway

Workshop Annual Meeting

  • Baptist Archives
  • Brunswick House
  • 225 Brunswick st, The Valley
  • Saturday November 8TH 1986
  • Commencing at 2pm

The 1986 Annual Meeting of the Baptist Historical Society will take the form of a working session and business discussion at the Baptist Archives, Brunswick St, Valley. It .will commence at 2pm and the business wi 11 cQmmence around 2.45pm. The annual reports will be presented and most important of all - there will be discussion about the future activities of the Society.

Afternoon tea will be served following the business. Enter via the rear entrance off Alfred and Esther Sts.



The Baptist Historical Society of N.S.W. continues to thrive with a busy programme of activities. It has about ~O personal members and about a dozen churches.

At a recent meeting, at which the President of the Queensland Society was present and gave greetings, the N.S.W. president, Dr Ken Manley, spoke about the 1~0 years of Central Baptist Church. He has been preparing the official sesqui-centenary history and spoke somewhat informally of his discoveries. The text of his lecture has been published in the BHS of NSW newsletter~ The Baptist Recorder.

Dr Manley will shortly be leaving N.S.W. to take up an apPointment as head of Whitley College in Melbourne. Special mention will be made of his work with the Society at its October meeting. Dr Manley participated in a historical conference under the auspices of the Baptist World Alliance in Singapore in mid-1986.

The N.S.W. Society will sponsor another essay competition which calls for papers of 5000-7000 words on any aspect qf Australian Baptist history or theme in Baptist life. Details will be published in The Australian Baptist.

The next publication of’the society will be a history of the Parramatta Church, written by Mr H. Watkin-Smith. The Society has also received a large volume of papers from the late Rev. William Higlett covering the period 1910-44. Some earlier material covering Mr Higlett’s time in Queensland is at the State Library of Queensland, and a copy of some of it is now in the Baptist Archives.


Some material from this BHSQ Newsletter has found its way into interesting places. The newsletter of the Church Archivists’ Society, based in Toowoomba, and with an Australian-wide circulation, reprints some of our material occasionally.

But recently two letters have come from overseas indicating a wider interest in our activi ties. One came from The Historical Comm:ission of the Southern Baptist Convention. So now our newsletter will be sent to them as well.

The second letter was from the archivist of the North American Baptist Seminary, South Dakota, which was previously located in Rochester, New York. This was the seminary from which some of the early German pastors graduated. Having heard of our German Baptist celebration, the archivist is wanting further information to add to their own records in the hope of bringing material about their graduates up to date.

In fact, the archivist wrote, “I recall visiting with Rev. Franz Orthner in the ‘305, telling me of his pastorate of the German-speaking Baptist churches in Minden and Lowood, Queensland, Australia.”

It is to be hoped that this contact will allow us here 1n Queensland also to fill in some details of the five American German pastors who contributed 50 much to an important segment of our early life.

1985-6 THE YEAR

The Baptist Historical Society of Queensland has been able to sponsor several public functions over the last year or so.

The first of these was a meeting at Taringa Baptist Church on Monday August 26th, 1984 devoted to the life and work of Hiss Martha Plested, Queensland’s first Baptist missionary. The attendance was very small, but as it consisted mainly of Australian Baptist Missionary Society committee members, it had its own special quality. The material presented was an augmented version of the Dr David Parker’s earlier article on Miss Plested. This material was well received by the Queensland A.B.M.S. committee and has nON been published as an attractive 12-page illustrated book, -The Martha Plested Story.Thanks is expressed to Rev. George Stubbs who took up the idea and Rev. John Ward who did the layout.

The October meeting was held at the Annerly Baptist ChUrch on 29th when Rev. Peter Van Donge spoke on the life of Mr E.S. Jones, a prominent leader of Annerly Church and a foremost Union official. H~ny local members, family and other friends gathered to hear an interesting account and to see the many records that had been collected. Mr Van Donge’s paper was summarised in the 4th issue of the BHSQ Newsletter.

At this meeting, Mrs” E.’ Chataway assumed the position of Society secretary and her husband, Rev V. Chataway became treasurer, to replace Rev. o. Gregory who had moved out of town.

Planning. began early for the most ambitious project yet, a celebration of German Baptist witness in the area west of Ipswich. The president and Mr Dick Scanlan of Laidley worked on preliminary plans and then a meeting of local church representatives was organised by Mr Scanlan. After th~. initial enthusiastic response to the idea, firm plans were laid, and thanks to the eager support of the churches, the function turned out to be a grand success with hundreds attending. (see page 4) It was held at Laidley ChUrch on July 5th, with Mr G. Roberts, who has done a good deal of research, as the main speaker. He was assisted by Rev. J. E. White, and many local church members contributed items, especially for the celebration in the evening. There was also a large display of historical items which aroused a great deal of interest.

A special issue of the BHSQ Newsletter was produced for the German Baptist Celebration, containing summaries of the histories of the churches and of the papers presented by Mr White and Mr Roberts. Tapes were also made of the occasion. Both newsletter and tapes sold well.

A display, featuring the German Baptist Churches, was mounted at the 1986 Annual Assembly of the Baptist Union of Queensland, along with literature inviting membership of the society.

At the end of the year, the membership of the SOCiety is still only a dozen or so, which makes it difficult to maintain a full programme of events. More members and friends are urgently needed!

Behind the scenes, there is a constant trickle of enquiries on matters historical and occasional contact with other historical bodies. There is still a good deal of Nork to be done on the Baptist archives, which are being used by students and researchers from time to. time. A few , Baptist college and other students are doing interesting work.


Overflow crowds packed ~he Laidley Baptist Church on Saturday, July 5, 1986 for a celebration of German Baptist witness which was sponsored by the Baptist Historical Society of Queensland and the churches of the area.

These churches, six in number, were originally com.enced by· German settlers i~ the last half of the 19th Century. They retairied their ethnic identity for about 60 years and formed a separate Conference or Union of German Baptist Churches before integrating fully with the Baptist Union of Queensland in the 1920s and 19305. Full details of the churches and the Conference were published in the last issue of this Newsletter which was a special edition distributed on the day of the celebration. It has sold well and copies are still available.

Horethan 300 people participated in the first session, featuring historical addresses by Rev. J.E. White and Mr Glenn Robert~ ~ho has carried out important documentation and research on these churches, their pastors and the Conference.

Those present included members and friends from the German churches (Kalbar, Boonah, Minden, Marburg, Tarampa, Tent Hill and Gatton) and large groups from Toowo.o .m ba, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Kingaroy • Rousing singing was led by MrG. Bargen and a map of the area and photos of the existing churches focused the attention of the audience. The presentation included a musical item and Scripture reading in Berman, and poems by one of the founding pastors, Hermann Windolf, who Has the subject of one of Mr Roberts’ addresses.

Previous to this openin9 seSSion, partiCipants inspected historical displays from each of the churches which were on view in the adjoining hall. These displays, which generated a good deal of interest, consisted of church and family records, artefacts, communion services, Bibles and other literature. There were even farm implements and machinery in the yard outside. . The second part of the celebration was a dinner in the forlll of a -Liebefest- conducted at the Laidley Shire Hall. This was followed by an inspirational programme contributed by members of the participating churches. A minor disturbance in the midst of all this was a power failure which threw the premises into darkness for 20 minutes. Emergency repairs enabled the programme to continue with only a of alteration to plans. The enforced fellowship in the gloom seemed to enhance the value of the evening!

Again, a capacity crowd attended this part of the .celebration, estimated at around 300 packing the hall and leaving standing room only. The various musical and vocal items, many in the German language, were enthusiastically received. The evening walconcluded bya supper after a short inspirational address by the president of the Historical Society, Dr. David Parker,~on the theme, “What is the meaning of these things?”

The response to this function was overwhelming and it was undoubtedly the most !Successful of all BHSQ functions. Thanks is due: to the churches of the area and expecially to Mr Dick Scanlan, his· local committee and their helpers who did such an outstanding job. The ladies were to be congratulated for the magnificent catering job!

It is to be hoped that this celebration will stimulate even more interest in the history 0+ the German Baptist witness. Special appreciation is due to Glenn Roberts for his invaluable work on this project. Further materials and information relating to this work would add even more to the store of knowledge. It may even be possible to publish the material in a more permanent way.


###By Thy Sovereign Grace, by the pastor, John Churchward

This year the Warwick Baptist Church has celebrated its 75th Anniversary. To mark the occasion, special services were held and a book telling the history of the church was prepared by the present pastor, John Churchward.

It ‘ is an A4 sized volume, of 110 Simply bound pages with several photographs and an attractive front cover with an impression of the church building. The title, By They Sovereign Grace is a saying that was frequently heard in the prayers of Rev. W.G. Doull, the first lIinister of the church after it became independent. As such, it forms a theme for the author around which to write his story.

The church was formed from a meeting on 11 October, 1911 when nine people resolved to approach the Baptist Union (or Association as it was then) to form a church, building on services that had been held in the district occasionally over the previous 20 years. The opening services of the new fellowship were conducted on 19 November by Rev. Ezekiel Barnett, President of the Baptist Union. It was a rainy day, but there was an encouraging crowd to hear the sermons on Ephesians 3.19 and Revelation 5.9.

Various rented properties were used for services for a few years until a hall owned by a local Brethren farmer was purchased, which served the church well until the present brick structure was erected in 1964.

For 20 y~ars, the church was served by pastors appointed by the Home Mission. They were only short pastorates, so that commencing with F.A. Leeder in 1912 and running through to Rev. C.J. Kajewski (1927-31) there were 16 altogether, with two years vacancy included! Finally, in 1931, the 67 members decided it was time to step out of the Home Mission fQld. Rev. W.G.Doull, formerly of Ariah Park, N.S.W., was the first of nine pastors to serve since that time.

The story of the church, its activities, people and outreach is told si.ply and effectively in these pages. The author has collected a great deal of information from local people and many other sources. There are lIany personal glimpses and on several occasions frank assessments of the situation are offered. The, narrative centres on the pastors whose ministries are sketched in warm terms. However, other segments of the church’s activities are not neglected by any means. And the story keeps moving as each phase of the church’s life is interpreted in the light of its overall growth and mission. The final chapter summari!5es the highlights and presents a challenging vision for the future. (Review copy kindly supplied by Pastor Churchward.)

Forthcoming Annniversaries

The Society now has basic details about all the churches of the Baptist Union of Queensland on a computerised data-base 50 it is easy to find which churches are due for anniversaries. Mr Graham Hobbs is to be thanked for the laborious work of locating and entering the data. Churches with anniversaries of date of constitution are as follows:

100 years:

  • Rosewood/Lanefield commenced 1871
  • Sandgate 1870

    75 years

  • Annerley 1865
  • Nambour 1910
  • Rosalie 1884
  • Wondai 1911

    50 Years

  • Sherwood 1926


At the Annual Meeting (see page 1 for details) it is planned to discuss activities for 1987 •.. Contributions to this discussion are welco1lled. The Society is looking for .interested members (and others -. potential members?) to be ‘willing to present ideas about ways their own historical interests can be incorporated in the overall programme.

If you are working on a historical survey of your church, or if you are writing a biography of a well known church leader, why not be prepared to offer this as a possibility for a BHSQ meeting.

One strong possibility for early in 1987 is a feature based on HI” Graham Hobbs’ work on Baptist Church buildings in Queensland. He has assembled a great deal of material which is of interest to Society members and to pastors and building committees. Watch for details.


Individuals, churches and other groups are invited to support the Baptist Historical Society of Queensland by becoming members. Membership subscriptions are the only regular source of finances. Members receive the BHSQ Newsletter, and are able to join in the Society’s activities and have a good opportunity to contribute to its historical work.