Our story

Humble Beginnings

We don’t know much about who started the church and what their plans were. What we do know is that it began when a small group of Christians began meeting together in North Sydney.

This group eventually bought a hall on the present side at the corner of Orchard Rd and Albert Avenue, Chatswood. In October 1919 the church identified itself as a Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Swan. At that time there were already 35 members.

Therefore while we date the beginning of our church from this date in 1919 the reality is that the church began earlier than this date. It began when people decided it was good thing to meet together here in Chatswood. Although we don’t think it was too much before 1919 it obviously commenced before this date.

A place to meet

Original church building

Originally the first group of people met in a small wooden and tin roofed building. The first building that was specifically built for the church to meet in was completed in 1919 and the first service held in it on Sunday 6 December 1919.

Over the years the buildings have changed as our needs have changed. Halls were added and removed and added again. The property was extended from one small block to encompass four household blocks on the corner of Orchard Rd and Albert Ave. Additions to the church building were last completed in 2015.

The Growing Years

The church has a couple of significant periods of growth during its lifetime. The first was the Mill era and the second was during the time of Leigh Wedge.

The Mill era

The district and the church were still young when Rev. Mill came in 1921. The First World War was not long over, the depression had not yet arrived, and radio had not yet become a force. The home was a focal point of life closely followed by Church activities.

These years were marked by a strong proclamation of the gospel. The churches worked together to vigorously proclaim the gospel. On Sunday night churches would combine after their services and meet alongside the railway stations to preach the good news of Jesus. Hundreds of people would stop and gather on the streets for giant open air gospel meetings.

This church would be packed on a Sunday. People would especially come to hear Rev Mill preach on the second coming of Jesus. Special seats in those days were reserved for news reporters who would report his sermon in the Monday paper.

This is the testimony of one person remembering back on those days:

“Years and years ago, when I wasn’t (as now) a Baptist, there was a Baptist Church in Chatswood where every Sunday night without fail the then Pastor, Rev. J.D. Mill, could be guaranteed to faithfully preach the Gospel. It was there I could bring an unconverted friend on Sunday night and know he would hear the Gospel faithfully preached.”

The first period of growth was marked by a strong proclamation of the gospel in the life of the church. The second significant period of growth came under a pastor who was also committed to teaching and preaching the gospel.

The Wedge Era

Leigh Wedge arrived in 1958 and remained the pastor of the church until 1970. During this time there was another significant period of growth.Leigh Wedge was also a person who faithfully taught and preached the gospel of Jesus. He was particularly remembered for his clear exposition and teaching of the Old Testament.

A former Church Secretary remarked:

“It has been said that some preachers are proclaimers, but Leigh Wedge was a teacher who never failed to preach the Gospel.”

An Evangelical Heritage

This church has grown in the past as people have been committed to preaching and teaching the gospel. This Church has a strong evangelical heritage. We continue to have a strong commitment to preaching the Word of God and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus. We still believe that it is through faith in Christ alone that people are saved and are committed to preaching this message. We believe that the gospel is the power of God for salvation. This commitment to Christ, the gospel and the Bible as the Word of God has not changed over the years.