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February 1928

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—The church has many activities to report in all branches of the work. The choir rendered two musical programmes under the capable conductorship of Mr J. Bewley. The proceeds were given to the organ fund. The new organ is a great adjunct in the brightness of the service, besides being a distinct improvement to the internal decoration of the church. On Christmas Sunday morning the Young Worshippers led the singing, and a nice sum was collected at the retiring collection for our Baptist orphanage. At a special tea rally the Young People's Institute bade farewell to Maxwell Nelson, who is moving on to Christchurch. For some time he has acted as secretary to the Sunday School, and was a great worker among the young people's movement. He was suitably recognised, and farewell greetings were voiced by the pastor and other leaders of the young people's work. The Sunday School is meeting in the mornings during the summer months as an experiment in regard to attendance. Our pastor delivered vigorous, telling New Year messages. There is the clear note of the evangel in all his utterances, and good must be the ultimate result of such faithful preaching. Mr Ewen is recuperating in Wellington during January. The pulpit has been ably supplied by our laymen. We are fortunate as a church in having so many men who can help with the work during the vacation. The health of our aged sister, Mrs Horton, who is 96 years of age, is giving some cause for anxiety, but we thank God for her long years of service and testimony.


March 1928

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—Our pastor is back again in our midst full of vigour for the winter work. The visit of Charlie Barton, our late Sunday School secretary, now of the B.T.I., was enjoyed by all. Mr Barton and his fellow-worker, Mr Doug. Nielson, occupied the pulpit on several occasions with great credit during the pastor's vacation. Their ministrations at the Sunday service and the week-night meetings were enjoyed by our people. Great activity is evident in our institute work. Between 50 and 60 are meeting each Sunday—between the ages of 15 and 25. A special feature of the institute work is the mid-week rally at the homes of our people. Some 50 or 60 gather each week. Games are indulged in from 7 to 8.30 p.m.— from 8.30 to 10 the time is spent in prayer and singing. We are praying for a great blessing on Mr Wilson's young people's mission early in March. We have received quite a number of new members by transfer during the month.


April 1928

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—The annual business meeting was held on March 11. The pastor presided over a good attendance. The officers for the closing year were thanked, and R. Barley, who has served the church for 16 years in office, was re-elected for another term of service. The treasurer gave a splendid financial statement showing an income from all sources of over £1200. A hearty vote of confidence and appreciation of the ministry of Mr Ewen was passed by the meeting. A great spiritual work is being done. The harvest services took place on March 18.


May 1928

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—All departments have settled down in earnest for the work of the winter. The harvest services proved a great success. Our pastor preached appropriate sermons to crowded congregations. The gifts of nature were displaced in splendid array by our hard-working ladies' committee. The produce was sold in the school on Monday evening, and found generous buyers for the good of the funds. Our pastor was absent from his pulpit on April 15 with a heavy cold. Mr Vic. Hudson stepped into the breach for both services, and his efforts were appreciated by all. Our young people returned from the Easter camps with a newer enthusiasm for the good work. We are still awaiting the visit of the Rev. Mr Wilson for a short mission when he has sufficiently recovered from his motor accident.


June 1928

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—The outstanding feature of the month was the week of prayer. The usual procedure was carried out in holding cottage meetings at four outlying districts of the town. Each night goodly numbers assembled at the various meetings which were led by our brethren. On Saturday night a final prayer meeting was held in the church, terminating with the Lord's Supper, presided over by our pastor. On Sunday, the Rev. T. Keith Ewen preached two fine telling helpful sermons relative to Mothers' Day. The self denial offerings were taken up in the service and the Sunday School. The visit of the Rev. M. W. P. Lascelles during the month was appreciated. Our congregations have been good for the month, especially the morning when the pastor gives helpful talks calculated to uplift and help all attending.


>July 1928

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—The work of the winter is in full swing. Congregations are good, and the addresses of our pastor are helpful and inspiring. At the week-night prayer meeting some 50 or 60 gather for a real uplift and a spiritual feast. About £37 was collected for the self-denial effort. A special concert was held for Sunday School funds. A packed audience gathered to hear a fine programme of vocal and instrumental items. A splendid Institute social, led by Mr Hudson, gave pleasure to about 70 of our Bible Class members. The health of our eldest member, Mrs Horton, who is 98 years of age, gives cause for anxiety. Quite a number of our school children are studying for the coming Scripture examination. We were pleased to have a visit from Fred Smart, who is in the B.T.I., Auckland. The young people's Christian Endeavour has been revived, and is doing splendidly under the guidance of Mr Will Fitzgerald.


October 1928

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—It is with gratitude we report good progress through a very difficult winter. Mr F. Offen has reorganised the Envelope scheme, so that the finances of the church may be placed on a sounder footing. A very successful choir concert was given in the schoolroom for the reduction of debt in connection with the alteration to choir seats. A large and appreciative audience listened to one of the best efforts ever organised by the choir. We were favoured by a visit from Dr Whitley, of London, who lectured on John Bunyan. The attendance at the week night prayer meetings and the institute have been splendid. We take courage and go forward.—R. Ewart Barley.


November 1928

The Rev. Keith Ewen is retiring from the ministry having reached the three score years and ten. He expects to live in Wellington, and to undertake preaching appointments. He is still in full voice.

{joomplu:945 detail}
Baptist College Students
Standing – 3rd from the right: N. R. Wood, C. B. Boggis


>December 1928

HASTINGS (Rev. T. Keith Ewen).—This report covers two months. The Church regrets to report that our pastor feels that owing to advancing years he cannot carry on the arduous duties of pulpit and pastoral work in a large district like this. His resignation came as a surprise to most of our people. At a largely attended meeting of our members a minute was recorded regretting the pastor's resignation, and thanking him for his helpful and beneficent ministry covering a period of seven years. The last month has been busy in every department. The children's anniversary was a special success. The singing under the baton of our choir master, Mr J. Bewley, was a marked feature of the occasion. Appropriate addresses were given by the Rev. J. Ings, Mr J. Milner, and our pastor to crowded congregations. The celebrations were continued on the following Wednesday, when a splendid programme was rendered by the children to an appreciative audience. At our week-night meeting Mr Ewen gave an interesting report on the recent Conference. It was our privilege to listen to a travelogue talk on "Echoes of the World Baptist Congress," by our Union Secretary, the Rev M. W. P. Lascelles. The Young People's Institute held its anniversary on Sunday, November 17. The Rev T. Ewen spoke to a large gathering in the afternoon, after which the young folk sat down to a fellowship tea. In the evening a mass choir led the singing, and the service was taken by members of the institute. There is great scope and opportunity in our Church. We are praying earnestly that God will send us a pastor filled with the Spirit to carry on the splendid work which is being relinquished by the Rev. T. Keith Ewen.—R. E Barley.

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.