Who We Are
Where Have We Come From

January 1925

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—Our Sunday School anniversary services were held on Sunday, November 2. The Rev. D. Gardiner Millar, of Napier, appropriately addressed large gatherings in the morning and afternoon. Our pastor, preaching to a crowded congregation in the evening, many being turned away. The singing of the scholars was a pleasing feature of the occasion, and reflected the highest credit on the training by the capable conductor, Mr J. Bewley. Our thanks are due to an efficient orchestra, who willingly gave their services. The following Tuesday the annual school tea and concert was held. After an enjoyable tea the parents and friends gathered in the church for the concert. The various items and dialogues by the children being much appreciated by those present. The Sunday School secretary presented a splendid report of the year's work. The superintendent gave a fitting address urging upon the parents the importance of sending the children regularly to Sunday School. By special request the hymns were repeated the following Sunday. The brethren and sisters of the L.O.L. were present at the morning service when our pastor delivered an appropriate address on the "Highest Form of Liberty." Our annual sale of work proved to be a great success, all the stalls being well patronised, the splendid sum of £110 being realised. With the Apostle Paul "we thank God and take courage."


March 1925

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—A pleasing feature of our Christmas Sunday morning service was the part taken by the members of the Junior Endeavour, their Scripture chain, solos, and united singing were much appreciated; great credit is due to Mrs F. K. Barley, who trained them. At the close of the service a retiring collection was taken on behalf of our veteran missionaries. During our pastor's absence on holiday the services have been ably conducted by our brethren.— Messrs Sowersby, Farmilo, Wyness, and Palmer. Our pastor resumed his duties the first Sunday in February, when he preached a stirring sermon, after which we held a record communion service. With others we deplore the prevalence of infantile paralysis in the Dominion.


April 1925

HASTINGS (Rev. Keith Ewen).—We held our annual church business meeting on February 24, at which the following officers were elected. Mr J. Fear and Mr R. E. Barley, retiring deacons, were re-elected. Church secretary, Mr F. E. Barley; treasurer, Mr R. Edridge (Mr Barbour having resigned); reporter to "Baptist." Mrs H. Ricketts; agent for "Baptist," Mr D. Armstrong; choirmaster, Mr J. Bewley; organist, Miss Napier; leader of Junior Christian Endeavour and representative of Manurewa Children's Home, Mr F. E. Barley; leader of Chinese Class, Mr R. E. Barley; communion steward, Mr L. Compton; auditor, Mr A. Turner; deaconesses— Mesdames Hicks, Widdop, Chappell, Baker, Hall, Compton, Stephens, Ricketts, and Nurse Osborne. Mr Barbour presented a very satisfactory balance sheet. A hearty vote of confidence in our pastor was carried unanimously, several of the brethren speaking in glowing terms of his ministry. The following Tuesday afternoon at the annual meeting of the B.W.M.U. the officers elected were:—President, Mrs Ricketts; vice-presidents, Mrs Collins and Mrs Sisson; secretary, Mrs Baker; treasurer, Mrs Goad. Our pastor presided, and gave us an inspiring address on the "Motive of True Service." The Women's Guild held its inaugural meeting recently, the pastor presiding, when the following officers were elected:—President, Mrs Sisson; secretary, Miss Ballard; treasurer, Mrs M'Cann. We are looking forward to another successful year's work.


May 1925

HASTINGS (Rev. Keith Ewen).—Our annual church social gathering took place on Tuesday evening, March 31, the pastor presiding over a large attendance of members and friends. The annual report, presented by the secretary, Mr F. E. Barley, was of a very encouraging character and revealed steady progress in the various church agencies. An increase of ten in membership was reported, and also a credit balance. Opportunity was taken to recognise in a tangible manner the devoted services of Mr J. M. Barbour, who has just relinquished the duties of church treasurer. Mr R. E. Barley fittingly expressed the officers' and members' deep appreciation of Mr Barbour's activities, and paid a glowing tribute to his unswerving loyalty and unremitting zeal in every duty he had taken up. Mr Barley's remarks were endorsed by the Chairman, who handed to Mr Barbour a cheque for a substantial amount, with the best wishes and highest esteem of those connected with the church. The recipient suitably acknowledged the gift and the kindly sentiments expressed. In a happy speech, Mr Farmilo referred to the helpful ministry of our pastor, and spoke of his ability as an expositor of the Word of God. Mr Ewen, in reply, signified his desire above all things to exalt the name of Jesus Christ. During the evening the following contributed musical items, which were well received:— Miss M. Bewley (pianoforte solo), Mrs F. E. Barley, Mrs L. Compton and Mr J. Bewley (songs). Refreshments were dispensed by the deaconesses of the church, and the pleasant proceedings terminated with the singing of the Doxology.


June 1925

HASTINGS (Rev. Keith Ewen).—We rejoice with other churches that the epidemic restrictions are removed, allowing the members of the Young People's Worshipping League to meet with us at the morning service, also that the Sunday School has resumed work. The two Sunday School scholars who are in the isolation ward of the Napier Hospital are making satisfactory progress. On May 1 a very enjoyable social evening was spent, when Mr and Mrs R. Edridge were welcomed on their return from their honeymoon. The first part of the evening was spent in musical items, contributed by members of the choir. Mr Stevenson spoke of the good work done by Mr and Mrs Edridge in the Sunday School, Mr F. E. Bailey of their work in the church, after which the pastor presented them with a silver teapot. Mr Edridge suitably replied. Supper having been served by the deaconesses, the remainder of the evening was spent in games. Our week of prayer has proved to be a time of rich spiritual blessing to all who attended. Each night a prayer meeting was held in a different home, the final meeting on Saturday night in the church, closing with the communion service. Both services on Sunday, May 10, were well attended, and a generous response was given to the self-denial appeal.


August 1925

HASTINGS (Rev. Keith Ewen).—Work at our church is steadily progressing. Additional interest has been added to the services by anthems rendered by the choir. The members of the Women's Guild are all actively engaged in preparation for the annual Sale of Work. Our monthly deaconesses' meetings are looked forward. to with eager interest, when reports are tendered by each deaconess on sick visitation in the homes of the people. The monthly prayer meeting at Mr Horace Paynter's, Havelock North, is increasing in interest, our pastor giving us helpful Bible studies. The services at Pukahu are being well sustained, one of our deacons having started promising evening services. We regret the loss of Mr and Mrs W. Collins, who have decided to return to the Old Country and take up their permanent residence in Leicester, England. At a choir social opportunity was taken to farewell Mrs Collins, who has been an active member of the choir; she was presented with a suitable gift. On the following Tuesday evening, after a profitable meeting, the many friends who were present had the opportunity of saying good-bye to our departing guests, Mr Collins being then presented with a farewell gift. After his reply he handed to the pastor an historic picture, which is to be hung in the church vestry.


October 1925

HASTINGS (Rev. Keith Ewen).—During the month the officials of the Sunday School organised a shop, with a view of raising funds to put the roof of the building in better repair. About £32 was raised. A Sunday School concert and prize distribution was also held this month before a large and appreciative gathering of friends. Our mid-week prayer meetings have improved in a wonderful manner, last Tuesday evening over 50 being present, many of our young people taking part at these meetings. The members of the Y.M.B.C. invited the members of the Y.W.B.C. and young people of the church to a social evening on September 9, when a most delightful evening was spent in games and social intercourse, finishing up with a very enjoyable supper. A large gathering of members of the B.W.M.U. met on September 15 to listen to Miss Rice's address on her work in India. The meeting proved most impressive, Miss Rice in her address touching the hearts of all present. At a special church business meeting two brethren of ripe experience and sterling Christian character in the persons of Messrs Ray Price and H. S. Farmilo were unanimously elected to fill two vacancies on the diaconate.


December 1925

HASTINGS (Rev. Keith Ewen).—A Young People's Institute has been formed. Successful Sunday School anniversary services were celebrated on Sunday November 1. The morning service was conducted by the Rev. F. Copeland. The Rev. J. Ings addressed the afternoon gathering, and our pastor preached to a crowded congregation in the evening. A special feature of the services was the bright singing of the scholars under the capable conductorship of Mr J. Bewley. Valuable assistance was rendered by an efficient orchestra. On Monday evening the children and adults sat down to an excellent tea. A most enjoyable programme was submitted by the children at the concert, which was thoroughly enjoyed by a large and appreciative audience. The annual report given by the Sunday School secretary (Mr C. Barton) was of an encouraging character. Then followed a helpful address by our superintendent (Mr Stevenson). The anniversary collections realised £22. The brethren of the Orange Institution met for worship with us on Sunday, November 8.

N.Z. Baptist Magazine

Since the first days of the church, Hastings Baptist submitted regular summaries of church life and events to the New Zealand Baptist Magazine.  As part of the centenary archive those updates have been collected and reproduced here.  It is a catalogue of people and moments that have shaped the church’s story.