Kellyville Seventh-day Adventist Church, situated in Sydney, NSW, celebrated its 130th anniversary on May 20, gathering past and present members to honour its long history and commitment to mission.
Reflecting on this milestone, senior Pastor Martin Vukmanic expressed admiration for the congregation’s journey. “This is our fourth building, but all our churches have been connected by a love for God, a desire to share His message and a commitment to serving our community. Our members have always been ready to give their time and skills to build up the church,” he said.
Australian Union Conference secretary Pastor Michael Worker was the guest speaker at the celebration. He talked about the hard work and strong faith of the Kellyville church members. “The theme of the day was ‘Faithful Then, Faithful Now’, which is a testimony to the courage and tenacity of Kellyville church members over the last 130 years,” said Pastor Worker.
“The most recent relocation of the church was to follow their sense of mission calling to co-locate with the then-new Kellyville campus of Hills Adventist College. The church moved from relative comfort in facilities that were fully paid for to take on a massive building project,” he said.
According to Pastor Worker, this bold move led to the congregation taking on significant debt to reinforce their commitment to this church-school partnership. “Praise God that on the day of the 130th anniversary they were able to raise the [rest of the] funds to fully pay off their new facilities,” he added.
Kellyville church, one of the oldest Adventist congregations in Australia, started humbly with a tent mission on February 10, 1893, with 26 people in attendance. The mission, led by Robert Hare and David Steed, engaged their audience with biblical truths, and by June 24, 1893, a small church was built. The new converts provided the land, labour and the £90 ($A180) for the building materials and the chairs.
As Kellyville transitioned from a small village on the outskirts of Sydney to a thriving modern suburb in the intervening years, the church has continually adapted to remain relevant to its local community. Pastor Worker elaborated, “what a tremendous challenge, for each of our churches to continue to seek God’s leading, to adapt to a rapidly changing local community and to seek ways to meaningfully minister to their local community.”