Church opens after almost 30 years

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Tennant Creek, Northern Territory

The long-awaited Tennant Creek church was officially opened by South Pacific Division president Pastor Glenn Townend on October 24. 

About 150 church members came from Alice Springs, Mt Isa and Darwin to join the Tennant Creek members for the opening. Pastor Townend preached the Sabbath message, reminding those present about what it means to be a Seventh-day Adventist. 

A team of committed volunteers, led by Athol Grosse from WA, worked tirelessly to prepare the building for the special day. Rod Fulwood coordinated the volunteer involvement from the Northern Australian Conference (NAC).

Australian Union Conference Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Ministries directors Steve Piez and Don Fehlberg led out in the program along with then NAC president Pastor Brett Townend and local minister David Gilmore, as the large congregation spilled out onto the veranda.

SPD president Pastor Glenn Townend cuts a ribbon to open Tennant Creek church.

It was in 1979 that Steve and Ros Peters moved to Tennant Creek with their children and began Sabbath meetings in their home with other Adventist families contracted for employment in the area. Nita Garret and Masie Smith joined the group; they are the longest-standing Tennant Creek Adventists to this day.

An afternoon of celebration and an evening concert concluded the activities, with musical contributions from David Aitken (WA), the Mt Isa Fijian group (Qld), Pastor Siggy and family (Darwin), Charlie Bobongie (Tasmania), Pastor John Beck (SA) and others.