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February 1932

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls). —A sale of work held in December proved a successful event, the gratifying sum of over £60 being raised for Church funds. Bible Class members gathered in a goodly number at a social gathering to mark the close of the year's activities, and a very happy evening eventuated. Appropriate Christmas messages were preached by our pastor, and at the conclusion of the evening service the choir, under the baton of Mr J. Bewley, choirmaster, gave a splendid programme of Christmas anthems and carols, which was much appreciated by a large congregation. During our pastor's vacation student pastor J. Reid, of our Baptist College, has occupied the pulpit, and his earnest and practical messages have testified to the excellent training of the young men who have dedicated their lives to the ministry. We were pleased to have a visit from our former pastors, Rev. T. Keith Ewen and Rev. H. E. Edridge. The former preached with his characteristic ability at a morning service, and the latter presided at the Communion service in the evening. Two of our church members, Miss Nellie Curd and Mr Peter Gibb, were recently united in the bonds of holy matrimony by the Rev. T. Keith Ewen. The church was prettily decorated for the happy event, which was witnessed by a large number of friends and wellwishers. The annual Sunday School picnic was favoured with ideal weather, and scholars and parents spent a most enjoyable time. It is pleasing to report that our quota for the half-crown missionary appeal was promptly raised, thanks to an earnest band of organisers. —F. E. Bailey.


March 1932

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls). —The concluding services conducted by student pastor J. K. Reid were of a memorable character. As the result of an earnest Gospel message one young man was led to accept Christ, and the deep impression made must bear fruit in other lives. To mark the Church's appreciation of his helpful ministry Mr Reid was presented with a number of suitable books for his library, and many eulogies were paid to his pulpit work and visitation. The gift and kindly references were feelingly acknowledged. On her departure for Palmerston North Miss Mona Murray, a member of the choir, received a tangible expression of her valued services, and the best of wishes were voiced by the choirmaster, Mr J. Bewley. Our pastor resumed his ministry much benefited by his vacation, and the prospects are bright for a new year of active service. A large congregation greeted him at his first service, and the well-attended Communion service at the close was characterised by an atmosphere of sweet fellowship. The Senior Christian Endeavour is experiencing a true revival. The meetings are attracting large numbers of the young people, and their reflex influence will, we know, be felt in other Church activities. —F. E. Barley


April 1932

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls). —At a gathering of the B. W. M. U., Mrs J. M. Barbour, who celebrated her eightieth birthday on February 29, was presented with a book, entitled "In Search of Scotland." The pastor suitably voiced the feelings of all present, and in wishing the recipient many happy returns of the day, humorously remarked that really, owing to her birthday falling in Leap Year, she was only twenty! We were pleased to receive a visit on a recent Sunday from Mr F. W. Gaze, our worthy President, also our General Secretary, Rev. M. W. P. Lascelles, who preached with his characteristic fervour. The secretary's report, presented at the annual meeting, made reference to the sustained efficiency of our pastor's ministry. Notwithstanding the disorganising effect of the terrible earthquake early in the year, the various Church agencies had rallied under his leadership. Tribute was also paid to the able support he received from Mrs Nicholls in her work amongst the young people. Thanks to the appreciated help from the earthquake fund, administered by the Central Auxiliary, the treasurer's balance sheet showed a gratifying credit balance. Mr F. E. Barley, who did not seek re-election after serving ten years as secretary and over nineteen on the diaconate, is succeeded by Mr J. Bewley. Mr P. W. Lascelles was elected for a further term as deacon, and Mr A. Woon was elected to fill a second vacancy, vice Mr Ralph Barley, who, owing to the physical disability of deafness, did not seek re-election. His record of twenty-one years on the diaconate was fittingly referred to by the chairman. Other appointments made were: —Mr R. H. Edridge, treasurer; Mr A. H. Sims, assistant treasurer; agent for Baptist, Mr R. E. Barley; correspondent for Baptist, Mr F. E. Barley; choirmaster, Mr J. Bewley; Sunday School superintendent, Mr Colin Murray; envelope steward, Mr P. W. Lascelles; joint organists, Misses Napier and McHutcheon; representative Manurewa Children's Home, Miss Eva Shakespeare; deaconesses, Mesdames Hall, Baker, Shakespeare, Neilson, and Kemp; superintendent Young Worshippers' League, Miss D. Nicholls; leader of Junior Christian Endeavour, Mrs Nicholls. — F. E. B.


May 1932

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls).—The church was beautifully decorated for the harvest festival services, which were appropriately conducted by our pastor. The choir, under the baton of Mr J. Bewley, conductor, rendered suitable anthems. At a rally of Bible Class members, camp echoes were featured, and a profitable Sunday afternoon was spent in rehearsing the happy experiences afforded to those privileged to enjoy the fellowship and inspiration of our Easter camps. A visit from Messrs Conway and Hanway, in connection with the China Inland Mission, was greatly enjoyed. A full schoolroom greeted them at an illustrated lantern lecture, which was most entertaining and instructive. Another missionary, Mr Snow, who is leaving to labour in an unevangelised field of service in Brazil, also gave an interesting address at a midweek meeting. The "Win My Pal" Campaign is receiving prominence in our pastor's messages. He is also preaching some striking sermons on "The Signs of the Times," setting forth the wonderful fulfilment of Bible prophecy. It is gratifying to report that a number of candidates are coining forward for baptism, and we are looking forward to a largely increased Church membership as a result. We regret the departure of Mr Wright and family, who are returning to Melbourne after worshipping with us for an all-too-short period. They have taken an active part in various Church activities, and will be greatly missed. -- F. E. B.


June 1932

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. Nicholls)—The Week of Prayer and Self-denial proved a time of great spiritual blessings. Cottage meetings were held at various homes throughout the town, and the good attendances attested the desire to fully observe the object of the special gatherings. Our pastor preached appropriately on the themes outlined for our prayerful and practical observance. The Young People's Sports Club has started its activities for the winter season, and Badminton enthusiasts are showing keen interest in weekly competitions. Our pastor has been appointed a member of the Good Cheer Canteen Committee, which is displaying practical interest in the army of unemployed by catering for cheap meals, and thus supplying welcome sustenance to many who otherwise might lack the necessities of life.—F. E. B.


July 1932

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. E. E. Nicholls).— We are sorry to report the departure from our midst by removal to Christchurch of Mr Frank Barley. The dislocation caused by the earthquake upheaval robbed Mr Barley of his permanent position, thus necessitating his departure. At a large social gathering of members and adherents Mr Barley was farewelled. Representative speakers eulogised Mr Barley's varied activities in church work, covering a period of 20 years. The paramount work he rendered was on the diaconate, where he served as a deacon for 20 years, 10 of which were occupied in the position of church secretary. Our brother's lucid literary gift was used in the ministry of comfort among our people in times of sorrow and bereavement. Our pastor presented Mr Barley with a cheque, wishing him Godspeed in his new sphere. Our Young Women's Bible Classes organised and held a social gathering, the proceeds being for missionary work. Our young people's work is encouraging, especially in Christian Endeavour activity. The ranks of our young people have been depleted by the sudden and untimely death of Miss Dulcie Jeffreys, who was found dead in her bed. Dulcie was a great Bible Class worker, and known throughout our Wellington province in connection with Easter Camps. Our deepest sympathy goes out to her parents. At a recent Communion service the right hand of fellowship was given to three new members. A branch of the Ropeholders has been started for our Sunday School girls, Mrs Halstead and Miss E. Shakespeare and Miss North being in charge of the movement.


August 1932

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay.—We have completed a year's work in our new Sunday School at Pukahu. This work is being well maintained under the control of Miss Sims, Mr Thetford, and Mr Wyness. A social gathering was well attended both by the scholars and their parents. Our choir has shown its approval of the work of the choirmaster, Mr J. Bewley. At a surprise party held in his home he was presented with a well-bound volume of the Baptist Hymnal. Representative speakers expressed the choir's appreciation of his services. A visit from Mr Troughton (missionary-designate for Japan) was much blessed of God in a deepened work among our young people. A packed house listened with interest to Mr Troughton's lecture on Japan, illustrated by motion pictures. The Rev. F. A. Crawshaw's visit was much appreciated by us all, although the inclemency of the weather depleted the attendance both at his lecture and service. We have had the joy of receiving two new members following the confession of their faith in baptism.


October 1932

Hastings Tent Mission

We have just completed the third week of our five weeks' evangelistic campaign. Hastings has witnessed wonderful scenes, old men, young men, elderly women, maidens, and also children making their way to the inquiry tent. Since the mission opened we have seen 83 people pass through the inquiry tent. The Rev. Joseph Carlisle has proved himself to be just the man required. People from the surrounding districts have come in and found Christ. We are expecting baptisms and additions to' our church and Bible Classes. The mission is still proceeding, and community singing is a striking feature of the service.


December 1932

HASTINGS (Rev. E. Nicholls).—On a recent Sunday morning a number of converts were given the hand of welcome by our pastor. It was a delight to see on one hand a girl in her 'teens, and on the other an old traveller of 77 years of age—both having found joy in Christ. Two baptismal services have been held during the month, and there are other converts asking to follow the Lord in His appointed way. During Labour week-end we had Mr Dave Armstrong, of Wellington, with us, and he addressed a combined Bible Class rally. His message was much appreciated. Our pastor has been absent from the pulpit for two Sundays; on one Sunday he visited Palmerston North to take the anniversary of our sister church, and we were privileged to have Rev. C. S. Matthews in our midst. His messages gave us encouragement and inspiration. On another Sunday we had with us Rev. L. C. M. Donaldson, of the Gisborne Church. We had a happy day of fellowship. Some 40 of our young folk journeyed to Napier recently to take tea with our friends at a Bible Class rally — J. R. K.

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.