Kurri Kurri Adventist church celebrates a century of faith and fellowship

Around 75 people attended the celebration.

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Past and present members gathered to celebrate Kurri Kurri Adventist church’s (NSW) 100th anniversary on November 25, 2023.

Around 75 people attended the celebration, which started with a focus on the church’s history. Gwen Stevens, a member since 1945, presented a life sketch written by her daughter, church clerk Robyn Stevens.

“She presented this with the help of others whose families have also had a close association with the church over many years,” said Ms Stevens. “There were wonderful testimonies of how God has blessed them and the church.”

Still located at its original site, the church was organised with 17 members on October 27, 1923. In the early years, the church had a close relationship with the Kurri Kurri Hospital. Seventh-day Adventist doctor Henry McMahon, who studied teaching at Avondale and medicine in Melbourne, was passionate about healthcare and education and encouraged Avondale students to study nursing at the local hospital.

The congregation experienced significant growth in the 1950s and ’60s when Dr Allan Hellestrand and his wife Adele, Dr Frank Harrison and Dr Jean Harrison settled in the area and joined the church.

“As our church reached the grand old age of 100 years, some of us can look back and see as many as four or five generations of our families have been part of the growth and fellowship of this church,” said Ms Stevens.

Speaking at the celebration were former North New South Wales Conference president Pastor Adrian Raethel and Kurri Kurri pastor Dr Robert Bolst. Previous pastors also attended the event, including Pastor Wilfred Pascoe, who also took part in the service. Dr Soyhun Eastman and organist Ralph Du Preez provided music.

“Kurri church is still a little church, but it is filled with love, respect and warmth as we gather together each Sabbath,” concluded Ms Stevens.

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