South Australia

South Australia Baptist

South Australian Baptist Historical Records

(a) Main historical records of the Baptist denomination in South Australia:

Administrator, Baptist Churches SA,

35 King William Road,
Unley,SA, 5061

Email: info@sabaptist.asn.au
Phone: +61 8 8357 1755
Website: http://sabaptist.asn.au
Mail: PO Box 432, Unley SA 5061, Australia

(b) Other material:

The State Library of South Australia, Special Collections
(formerly known as Mortlock Library of South Australiana),

North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000
Correspondence to: GPO Box 419, Adelaide SA 5001.
Tel: (08) 8207 7250

The State Library of South Australia is a reference library and material is not for loan.

The Bray Reference Library contains material about Baptists and the Baptist Church generally and in Australia. However the State Library’s particular strengths are in South Australian material.

Archival records, and materials published in South Australia or relating to South Australia are held in the Special Collections (formerly known as Mortlock Library of South Australiana) and the majority of these - both archival and published - are for use under supervision in the Mortlock Reading Room. A reader’s pass is required for access to this Reading Room. Passes are issued on presentation of identification which includes current address.

Access to the Library’s on-line catalogues is available via the State Library’s web site: http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/

(c) Individual Baptist Churches

Access: contact the Secretary of the relevant church (contact details available from local telephone directory or Baptist Churches of South Australia office – see above)

Note: For general assistance with Baptist records and history in South Australia, contact:

Mr G Crabb or Miss R Gooden, care of the office of Baptist Churches SA (see above for contact details)


a) Baptist Churches SA, Office

Material at the SA Baptist Union includes records of the various committees and councils of the South Australia Baptist Union from 1863 to the present; it is uncatalogued. The material includes Minutes, reports, correspondence, newspapers, photographs, financial records and miscellaneous publications.

b) State Library of South Australia, Special Collections

For current details see: http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/site/page.cfm?u=377

Fact Sheet: http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/fs_fh_churches.pdf (page 23)


Truth and Progress (1868-1894)


  • The Baptist Record of South Australia (1923-1951) Bound
  • The Southern Baptist (1904-1912) Bound

Church Records

Archival church records are held as Society Record Groups (SRGs).

Those of the South Australian Baptist Union are held as SRG 465. Notes on the holdings of individual SA Baptist Churches are available at the Mortlock Reference Desk. Some restrictions apply. Written permission is required for access to, or copying from minute books less than 30 years old.

  • SRG 465 includes:
  • SRG 465/50. Marriage registers of Rev. G. Hogben (1881-1936)
  • SRG 465/51 Records of the South Australian Baptist Association and Union (1861-1973)

There is also an extensive collection from SA Baptist Churches including Minute Books of Church meetings, members rolls, cash books, ledgers, correspondence, and receipts from many churches and associations.

Archival records of individuals are held as Private Record Groups (PRGs). Those relating to Baptists in South Australia are:

  • PRG 9 - David Henry Hollidge (educator)
  • PRG 34 - The Fowler Family. (business men and missionary)
  • PRG 174 - George Fife Angas (businessman and philanthropist, sometimes called the ‘father of South Australia’.)
  • PRG 325 - Thomas Neill and family (pioneer and prominent family in Baptist affairs)
  • PRG 450 - Holden family (business family which became famous for Holden cars.)
  • PRG 463 - Sir Thomas Playford (long serving premier of South Australia. Correspondence c. 1952-1971)
  • PRG 632 - Rev Henry Estcourt Hughes (minister in South Australia and Victoria.)
  • PRG 964 - Rev Allan Tinsley ( Sermons c.1953-1968)
  • PRG 1003 - Rev Alfred Frederick Roberts (minister. Sermons c. 1936-1986, 1991 and unpublished biography)
  • PRG 1080 - Rev. John Roberts-Thomson 1905-1994. dates ca.1934-1993.

The Somerville Oral History Collection has a limited number of cassettes of interviews indexed as relating to Baptists in South Australia.

There are also extensive pictorial collections which may contain photographs of particular churches or individuals.

Published books, and pamphlets

Included in the South Australian published collections are books and pamphlets relating to Baptists in South Australia, including denominational histories, biographies and many local church histories and,

  • German people of Baptist persuasion in South Australia [1985] (Typewritten, handwritten and photocopied articles from Missionblatt, some translated by Glenn Roberts. Originally published between 1860 and 1873)
  • Results of mission work in India: an address delivered by Cecil Silas Mead at the half-yearly meetings of the South Australian Baptist Union, April 6th, 1900
  • A short catechism, in which is set forth the new Baptist creed concerning religion and the State by a church delegate. (Adelaide: W.K. Thomas, Ptrs.,1884)


The South Australian published collections have periodicals relating to Baptists in South Australia. These include several handbooks and reports of the SA Baptist Union (1908+), local church newsletters and the following:

  • Australian Baptist (18 July 1951-23 September 1953)
  • Baptist News (SA Baptist Union) 1988-Dec. 1995.
  • The Baptist Record of South Australia (1923-1951) + index.
  • Far and near SA Baptist Union Vol.1, no.1-v.1, no.2 July-Oct 1908.
  • News SA Baptist Union April 1970-Sept. 1988.
  • Newsletter SA Baptist Union v.6, no.1-v.10, no.1 Jan. 1966- Feb. 1970.
  • Our Home Field. SA Baptist Home Mission Dept., Vol. 1, no. 1 (June 1920)-v. 3, no. 12 (May 1923)
  • South Australian Baptist News. SA Baptist Union, Feb. 1996-
  • South Australian Baptist Newsletter. SA Baptist Union, No. 1-v.5, no. 11 1961-Dec. 1965.
  • Southern Baptist v.10 no. 2(12 Jan 1904) - v.18 no. 53 (26 Dec 1912) Access restricted
  • The Sunday School Advance: organ of the SA Baptist Union Inc. Sunday School Department. v.1 no.1 (April 1914) -v.2 no. 20 (Nov/Dec 1915)
  • Truth and Progress v.1 no.1 (Jan 1868) -v.26 no.24 (13 Dec 1894) + Index. Incomplete.
  • Annual report of the SA Baptist Missionary Society, Furreedpore Mission : established 1864 18th-19th 1884-1885.
  • Furreedpore Mission. Annual reports Furreedpore Mission Incorporated. 1920/21-1923/24.
  • Furreedpore Mission. Reports The Furreedpore Missionary Society (Incorporated) [Adelaide : Furreedpore Mission] 1909/10-1919/20.
  • The Missionary echo : the monthly paper of the Furreedpore Mission, relating to the work in the Furreedpore and Pubna districts Vol.8, no.1; v.10, no.11-v.12,no.2; v.1,no.1-v.4,no.12 May 1904; Mar 1907 June 1908; Jan 1911-Dec 1914.

II Historical Society

Baptist Historical Group of South Australia


  • Enquiries at Baptist Churches SA office or
  • Miss R Gooden, 3/1 Ferguson Ave, Myrtle Bank, SA, 5064.
  • Mrs M. Lines, 30 Lyn St, Aberfoyle Park, SA 5159

III General

Standard Publications:

  • The Baptists in South Australia, 1863-1914: Walker, John Simpson Unpublished thesis, Flinders University of SA., 1990.
  • “Duties of Manhood”: South Australian Baptists and Manly Character circa1880-1940, John Walker, The Pacific Journal of Baptist Research, 5/1(April 12009) 5-26
  • Extending the Kingdom: SA Baptist Church extension 1863-1880, John Walker
  • “A Holy Liberty in the Lord” South Australian Baptists and Female Gender Roles, circa 1870-1940, John Walker, The Pacific Journal of Baptist Research 5/2(April 2009) 39-62
  • Our First Hundred Years: The Baptist Church of South Australia, H. Escourt Hughes (Adelaide: SA Baptist Union, 1937)
  • Paradise of Dissent: South Australia 1829-1857, Douglas Pike (Melbourne: MUP, 1957)
  • Southern Baptists: the Baptist Church in SA in the 19th Century (Thesis) V. Andersons
  • Still Thy Church Extend (History of SABU) 1938-1963 A.C. Hill