Who We Are
Where Have We Come From

February 1934

HASTINGS (Rev. E. Nicholls).—The new year brings a note of change into our work. Our pastor received a unanimous call to the work at Wanganui. After prayerful consideration, he announced from the pulpit that he had decided to accept and would commence at Wanganui the first week in March. At a specially convened meeting on January 4 his resignation was received with regret, and mention was made of the five years' faithful ministry through a very difficult period of the church life. At the same meeting the Church extended a call to the Rev. C. Boggis, of Island Bay, and awaits his decision with prayerful interest. The visit of the Union President was enjoyed by our people, although, coming as it did, in Christmas Week, many could not attend owing to the pressure of business. His Sunday morning message, "Our Baptist Witness," was a telling tribute to the growing work of our denomination. The Sunday School picnic was held on Boxing Day. Quite a number of parents and friends enjoyed the day on the mountain slope with the children. Our many branch activities are in recess this month. The pulpit is being supplied by our own local preacher during the pastor's holiday.—R. E. B.


March 1934

HASTINGS (Rev. E. Nicholls).—Our pastor is back from holiday, but only for a few Sundays prior to his departure. The annual business meeting of the church was held on February 13, presided over for the last time by Mr Nicholls. Mr J. Bewley, our able secretary, read his annual report. In all departments spiritual progress was reported, although with many others we have experienced a falling off in financial support. Mr J. Bewley was elected secretary, Mr R. Edridge treasurer, and Mr J. Sim assistant. Miss McHutcheon and Mr W. Keen were thanked for their work at the organ, and re-elected. Representative Manurewa Homes, Miss Shakespeare. Mr J. Bewley consented to act again as choirmaster, and Mr R. Barley was reappointed Baptist agent and reporter. We gave thanks for past mercies, and press forward in hope and courage to the work ahead.—R. E. B.


April 1934

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. C. B. Boggis) — We are in the midst of farewells and welcomes (as reported on another page). The final weeks of the ministry of Rev. E. Nicholls were sealed with spiritual blessing. On February 25 there were packed congregations mornings and night. Mr Nicholls' parting appeal was from the words, "What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?" The appeal was powerful and well backed up by an earnest solo from the pastor's wife. The large congregation was stirred, and conversions were registered. A baptismal service followed, and seven converts were immersed. The day concluded with the Lord's Supper, when our retiring pastor had the pleasure of welcoming 13 new members. It was a wonderful Sunday, and we sang the doxology in our hearts for a spiritual harvest. A Christian Endeavour dual send-off was extended to Rev. Mr Nicholls and Stuart Wyness, the latter destined for the Baptist College. Mr Wyness was presented with books, and Mr and Mrs Nicholls with an enlarged photograph of the senior Bible Classes. The Rev. C. Boggis has entered into his work.—R. E. B.


June 1934

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. C. Boggis).—The Rev. Boggis and his wife have taken every opportunity at various welcome social gatherings to get in touch with the workings of the church departments and our people, old and young. The harvest services were well attended, the church being splendidly adorned with God's gifts, and subjects suitable to the occasion were dealt with in an able manner. Attendances have been fairly good both morning and evening. A new feature introduced by the pastor is the monthly news sheet, which will go into every home. Notwithstanding a drenching week, cottage meetings for prayer were held in the homes of our people at all points of the borough. A fine spiritual note prevailed. Mothers' Day was commemorated with a telling address. Everything augurs well for a forward move, especially in the Discipleship Campaign.—R. E. B.


July 1934

HASTINGS, Hawke's Bay (Rev. C. B. Boggis).— The Auxiliary meetings at Napier gave our church a great uplift. Our Sunday morning service was conducted by the Rev. Boulton Smith, whose message was appreciated. In the evening a large congregation welcomed our late pastor, the Rev. E. Nicholls, who preached with his old fire and enthusiasm. During the month we said good-bye to Mr Colin Murray, who has ably filled the office of Sunday School superintendent. At a large tea meeting the Rev. C. B. Boggis and other workers voiced the appreciation of the young people and the church of the splendid service rendered to our Lord by Mr Murray in the Sunday School and as deacon of the church. A handsome travelling rug was presented to him as a memento of the affection of our people. The children's gift was a useful fountain pen. Mr Rollings visited us and gave a splendid lecture on William Carey to an appreciative gathering. The work of the church is forging ahead. The after-service open-air meeting at the railway crossing is a new feature in our work. We record good attendances at Sunday services and week-night meetings. Our pastor is doing splendid work. We are asking for great things and expecting great things, especially in the Discipleship Campaign. Mr W. Taylor, for many years a member of our choir, is in hospital. We pray for his recovery. —R. W. B.


August 1934

HASTINGS (Rev. C. B. Boggis).—The missionary interest has been stirred by the visit of Miss Cowles. Our veteran missionary, Miss Beckingsale, also paid us a visit and spoke to the B.W.M.U. Mr Thetford, one of our deacons, is acting as superintendent pro tem. A "bring and buy" social, convened by the young people of the church, provided a pleasant evening and augmented our mission funds to the extent of £3. Our pastor's addresses at the prayer meetings on Psalm 23 and other great Scriptures have been helpful to the many who attend. Mrs Partridge has relinquished her leadership of the Junior Y.W.B.C., and the work has been undertaken by Miss Davidson. We rejoice at the recovery from serious illness of Mrs A. Woon and Mr W. Taylor. The visits of pastor and choir to the Memorial Hospital are appreciated by the patients.— S. E. B.


September 1934

HASTINGS (Rev. C. B. Boggis).—We report good work and steady progress in all departments. Sickness has militated somewhat against large congregations. Our pastor made an exchange with the Rev. C. W. Duncumb one Sunday morning. The Rev. R. B. Gosnell, of the Methodist Church, also gave us one service in a general pulpit exchange through town. Rather a unique evangelistic service was a feature of the month. Four of our men gave a short talk on "What Christ Means to Me," and the pastor summed up in a few well-chosen words. Mr R. Horn, one of our aged faithful attendants, passed to his rest and reward. We shall miss his saintly presence. Mrs Vic. Hudson underwent a serious operation and is progressing favourably. News reached us from Bundaberg, Australia, of the death of Mr Colin Dunkley, who was our choirmaster, organist, and Sunday School superintendent for a time before his departure to Australia.—R. E. B.


October 1934

HASTINGS (Rev. C. B. Boggis).—A social evening for members and adherents took place in the schoolroom early in the month. The evening was pleasant and profitable, with song, recitation, and speeches from the Rev. C. B. Boggis and other workers. The visit to our church of the Maori Choir was very interesting. Under the baton of our choirmaster, who had trained them, our Maori friends gave a fine programme. September 9 was Young People's Day. A special rally of the Bible Classes was held in the afternoon, followed by a tea. Between the tea and evening service the young people held an open-air service in the town. The evening service was devoted to the cause of youth, several of our younger people assisting the pastor. A twenty-first birthday party was given to Mr W. Kean, our assistant organist. A kitchen evening was given to Miss Ruby Gwyn, one of our choir members, who is being married to Mr E. Palmer in the near future.—R. E. B.


December 1934

HASTINGS (Rev. C. B. Boggis).—Mr J. Thorpe has taken over the work of the Sunday School, which has been vacant since the removal of Mr Colin Murray. Miss Beckingsale has been a frequent visitor to our church. The children enjoy her missionary talks illustrated with Indian costume. The Badminton Club put on a fine concert with a unique programme to close its session. The addresses of our pastor Sunday by Sunday are proving very helpful and uplifting. The Salvation Army adjutant took our morning service during Mr Boggis's visit to Assembly. Two baptismal services within the month are a sign of spiritual progress.— R. E. B.

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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.