A most encouraging start was made with public services at Hastings.
On Sunday afternoon, May 2nd, about forty friends came over from Napier, some by motor car, some by bus, and the rest on cycles. Approximately, an equal number attended from Hastings and the surrounding district. One devoted Baptist lady travelled over night from Marakakaho in order to be present.
The Oddfellows’ Hall was the meeting place, and the Napier Pastor (Rev. J. K. Archer) conducted the service, and preached upon “Our Lord’s Commission” (Matt. xxviii. 18-20). The Napier Choir and organist (Mrs. Reid) led the singing, and contributed an anthem. Hymn-books donated by the Vivian Street Church, Wellington, were used, and copies of the Rev. A. North’s Primer on Baptism were distributed.
At the close of the service, Mr. W. Turner, to whom a good share of local organising had fallen, expressed the appreciation of the Hastings friends of the widespread interest taken in the new cause, and the hope that next Conference will be able to settle a Pastor in their midst.
The following Sunday, Mr. M. W. P. Lascelles of Napier, conducted the service, which is being taken alternatively by Rev. J. K. Archer and different laymen.
Mr. H. B. Hughes, B.A., who has finished his course of preparatory studies with high honour, has accepted an invitation to take charge of the new cause at Hastings, and will begin there early in February.
He will be associated with Rev J. K. Archer, of the Napier Church, and we trust that under their united efforts a strong Church will soon be built up for this flourishing town. Mr. Hughes begins his ministry with bright prospects, and his friends wish him abounding prosperity.