Trinity Gardens Seventh-day Adventist church in South Australia celebrated its 50th anniversary on March 4, 50 years to the day after the church was officially opened in 1967.
A special commemorative service was held and the founding members who had worked so hard to establish the church were honoured and remembered.
The worship committee, lead by Joy Stackelroth, prepared an inspirational program for the commemorations. As well as stories of founding members and their contributions, Pathfinder events and leaders were remembered. The school that was operated by the church between 1961 and 1993 was spoken of by former student Alicia Laborc and the efforts of the Emergency Foster Care organisation remembered by Rowena Amos. A recent trip to Thailand by the church’s youth was also spoken about by Daniel Watson and photographs were shown of the home built by the youth and the family they assisted.
Members sang the hymn “The church has one foundation”, the first hymn sung at the official opening of the church five decades earlier.
Founding families represented at the special service included Van Weenen, Browne, Banks, Jenkins, Maywald, Watson, Mitchell and Hartwig.
Pastor Eric Winter was the first minister in the new building in 1967 and returned to take part in the service. Pastor Andre Van Rensburg, who was the church’s pastor at the time of its 25th anniversary, also returned as the guest speaker for the day. Also present were Ian Watts, a previous pastor of the church, current pastor Jan Pollok and visiting pastor Will Grobler.
In October 1963 the Kensington church and Maylands church congregations amalgamated to form the Trinity Gardens church. Plans to build a new church on land owned by the Maylands church commenced and by 1965 foundations were laid and walls started to rise. Many of the skills needed to build a church—including those of tilers, carpenters, painters and electricians—were found among the members of the newly amalgamated congregation and ably lead by Newton Brooks. Vic Golding was the bricklayer for the building complex and also supervised the digging of the foundations and the installation of the five arches that would support the roof. For just over two years members worked days, evenings and most Sundays to complete the build.
A group of dedicated women, lead by Ruth Maywald, Bonnie Brooks and Ev Banks, undertook the hard work and long hours of catering for weddings to raise the necessary funds to furnish the inside of the church. The Catering Ladies, as they were known, raised enough money to pay for the carpets of the church, the organ and the woodwork that has become a feature of the high pitched ceiling of the church.
The church was opened by the Mayor of Payneham, Mr M Redden, and dedicated by Pastor S M Uttley.
After the service was complete a group photograph of the congregation was taken by Duncan Heidik to commemorate the occasion.
The day was rounded out with a church lunch and the opportunity to catch up, reminisce or enjoy the memorabilia and photographs on display.