Start with Two Trees and a Paddock …

On Sunday 18 October 2015, we celebrated that 142 years later, the congregation is still worshipping here and sharing the love of God in the Bald Hills community!
For the occasion, many decided to go a bit retro and wear clothes or hats from yester-year…

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Don Whisson, who has been a member here for over 50 years, shared some of the Bald Hills story.

I wonder how many churches can trace their history back as far as ours.

According to research carried out by Deidre Carseldine’s late husband Garth, it was on the first Sunday evening after the full moon in October 1873 that local Bald Hills families met in an open paddock, located about where our church now stands, for the first Methodist worship service in their area. These services became a monthly event. A year later, the land was donated by the Carseldine family, and a church was built.

The congregation became part of the Valley Methodist Circuit, and it was quite a journey for the minister to travel out on horseback from Brisbane to conduct services. But within seven years, the congregation had outgrown the original building, and a second one was built in 1891. This second building is the church in which we still worship today, though it has had a new floor, and the roof has been replaced twice.

By 1911, the congregation had grown to the point where a parsonage was built in Ana Street, and the congregation became the centre of a new Methodist Circuit, which incorporated a small new congregation at Aspley. As is still the case today, people were prepared to volunteer their services, and consequently, the majority of building work over the years has been done by voluntary labour.

In 1960, the suburb was expanding, and the church had a growing Sunday School, and weekly youth activities. A few of the men got together and found a builder who offered to help them build a hall. Over the next two and a half years, they worked almost every Saturday on the building, until it was opened in 1963. I can’t begin to imagine the strain that such a task would have put on those men and their families.

The following year, the church was moved from its previous position, turned through 90 degrees, and relocated to where it now stands. It was later connected to the hall by intermediate rooms.

In 1977, we became part of the Aspley Parish in the newly inaugurated Uniting Church, and after a further 14 years of being a partner with Aspley and Albany Creek, these two congregations decided to become separate congregations, each with its own minister. Our congregation joined with the congregation of Bracken Ridge, who were also on their own, to form a parish. This relationship continued until the middle of 2013, when the Bracken Ridge congregation and ours decided that we could serve the Kingdom of God better as separate congregations, each with our own part-time minister.

So here we are today, celebrating 142 years of worship and witness in Bald Hills. We thank God for the opportunities to serve him in the past, and we look forward to whatever opportunities he will provide in the future.

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