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Church History

I spent my afternoon reading the second part of the church history for my new church. Among others, things I have learned about the first hundred years are...

  • The church was founded by 11 men and 8 women, and the first meetings were held in a coffee bar. .
  • In 1907 and again in 1917 serious fires led to partial rebuilding.
  • In 1932, then in 1945 and again in 1956 the 'heating coil' in the school room burst... fortunately by the third time, they had cover from Baptist Insurance to pay for the repair. In 1963 they installed a new system that seemed to be still going strong in 1983 when the book was written.
  • The first 'lady' deacons were appointed in 1967 (that's five years earlier than my previous church, but still quite late compared to other churches I am aware of, many of which were 1930s)
  • Also in 1967, they were part of a local ecumenical initiative that included Roman Catholic churches before this was widespread elsewhere
  • They hung on in there in 1972 when two other local baptist churches, including the one that effectively planted them in 1882, left the BU (I assume over the Christology debacle of the time)
  • Like my last two churches, they are an Open Membership, General Baptist church, have experienced highs and lows.

Church history is fascinating - what we include and what we exclude, and why. In a few weeks' time, I am hoping to involve folk here in creating their own 'timeline' which will help us all understand how we see ourselves, and what that might have to say to us...

At least, so far as I can tell, there are no exploding heating coils left!


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