South Brisbane church celebrates 120 years

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South Brisbane Seventh-day Adventist Church (Qld) celebrated 120 years on Sabbath, August 31.

Many past members returned “home” to share memories and reflect on the church’s rich history.

South Queensland Conference president Pastor Brett Townend gave a presentation of the church’s journey and challenged the congregation to “look forward”. He also told the children’s story and captivated attendees with his ability to crack a whip.

Pastor Wal Taylor, aged 102, wrote a beautiful letter about the church which was read out for all to enjoy. A Korean choir then blessed the congregation with a special item, “Blessed Assurance”.

A luncheon was also held after the service, giving attendees the opportunity to reunite and reminisce.

The Korean choir sings “Blessed Assurance”.

Thanks largely to the work of early literature evangelists, the South Brisbane church was formally established in 1898 from a group of 30 believers. A newspaper extract, dated October 14, 1898, reported “approximately 175 Seventh-day Adventists living in Queensland” at the time.

October 13-21, 1898, saw the first Seventh-day Adventist camp meeting in Queensland, at Logan Road, Woolloongabba. Ellen White was a principal speaker at the meetings, which attracted between 1000-3000 people.

During the camp, Mrs White experienced a vision about South Brisbane church, and how to best present the gospel message and expand the mission in Queensland.

As a result of subsequent evangelism efforts, over its 120-year history South Brisbane church has spawned three new churches: Springwood, Mount Gravatt and Logan.

South Brisbane’s current pastor, Gideon Okesene, is proud of the church’s thriving Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs, and Little Fish and Little Lambs programs, and the volunteers who work hard to create a dynamic church environment.

Pastor Townend cracks a whip during the children’s story.