Who We Are
Where Have We Come From

January 1945

HASTINGS (Rev. Russell Grave).—We enjoyed having fellowship with our Presbyterian friends during their Assembly at Hastings, and were delighted to put our church equipment at their disposal. During their visit Rev. E. C. Walsh, of Mornington and Rev. Keith Cree, B.A., of Invercargill, occupied our pulpit with much acceptance. It was truly a day of music and gladness for our Sunday School Anniversary. The hymns by the children and choir under the baton of Miss M. Sowersby were beautifully rendered, reflecting great credit on our conductor. Glorious sunshine and a most artistically decorated church added to the success of the occasion. Rev. D. M. Cattanach and Mr Grave were the preachers for the day and gladdened young and old by their messages. The children's tea and concert completed our anniversary. A series of films presented by the Shell Oil Company were thoroughly enjoyed, as were numerous items contributed by the scholars. Our thanks to all who assisted. Our Men's Fellowship wound up for the year with a very successful ladies' night. Musical items by members and movie pictures presented by Mr Greer were a feature of the occasion. An attractive supper brought a most successful gathering to a close. A pretty wedding was solemnised by Mr Grave when Pte. Ernie Morgan and Miss Dorothy Potter were united in matrimony. We wish them well. The choir, of which the bride is a member, made a presentation. We extend to Mr Hodson and family our sincere sympathy on the home-call of Mrs Hodson.—P. W. L.


February 1945

HASTINGS (Rev. Russell Grave).—After a very successful year our Boys' Brigade held a break-up social and celebrated their tenth anniversary. Badges and certificates won during the year were presented and musical items by the boys. Opportunity was taken to make a presentation to Captain Hawkes, who has been in charge since the commencement of the Brigade. A very pretty wedding was solemnised by our pastor when Mr Horace Growden and Miss Pearl Kemp were joined in holy matrimony. The bride has been a good worker in our church activities, especially as a choir member. Several evenings were held in honour of the bride-to-be. Special Christmas services were a joy to all attending. Our minister's messages were full of cheer and inspiration, and the carol singing by the choir gave much pleasure. Our carol party was busy on Christmas morning, and by their effort £13 was collected for our Manurewa Home. An after-church social hour to welcome home many of our boys on Christmas leave was much appreciated. We are pleased to see Miss Valery Maddox at church again after her illness.—P. W. L.


March 1945

Hastings Acquires Manse: Splendid Property

The housing problem has been solved for ministers called to the pastorate of the Hastings Church. For many years the congregation carried a debt on its Church and Sunday School property, which, with the blessing of God and the liberality of His people, has now been removed. With a debt-free Church, it was possible to consider purchasing a manse, and God matched our possibility with His provision.

Mr C. F. Higgs, Church member and master builder, wished to dispose of his home, a five-roomed house with sleeping porch and attached office. Price and terms were extremely generous. The tenant was offered a rented house being used as manse, and agreed to move. So towards the close of the year we acquired our manse.

What is it like? It is situated in the highest part of the town, in a good locality. Its walls are American hardwood, its floors stained Oregon. It is an all-electric home, with spacious appointments and fittings of the highest quality. Its study is any minister's dream come true.

The minister and church are deeply conscious of God's direction and provision in this matter, and feel His call to greater dedication in His service. J. R. G.


HASTINGS (Rev. Russell Grave).—Our thanks are due to the following who ably supplied our pulpit during our minister's absence on holiday, viz. Rev. Mr Hopper Messrs Keith Dennis, H. Toothill, H. H. Burns, A. E. Morgan, and Colonel Burton, of the S.A. We are indebted to Mr John Bewley who conducted our choir during our recent broadcast. Our minister and his family are now happily housed in our new manse, and we wish them much joy in their new home. We are sorry to have farewelled Mr and Mrs Dave Armstrong and family, who have left on transfer to Auckland. Activities for another year are in full swing, and we pray God's blessing on minister and people. Our C.E. have been holding cottage meetings during January which have beer, much appreciated. A wedding of interest was solemnised recently, when Miss Bessie Heaven was united in matrimony to Mr W. Capper. Congratulations!—P. W. L.


April 1945

HASTINGS (Rev. Russell Grave).—Our S.S. is in full swing for another year, and with added scholars promises well. Our S.S. picnic was a happy event, when a goodly number of parents and friends joined with the scholars at Windsor Park. Baptist World Alliance Sunday was observed, our minister reminding his audience of our Baptist romance. A good number gathered for our annual meeting, when encouraging reports were read. Our finances are in a healthy position, and we have much to thank God for. Our thanks are due to minister and officers for service faithfully rendered during 1944. Mr A. Sims was appointed a life deacon. Messrs G. Kemp and F. Taylor were reappointed and H. Beckett and P. W. Lascelles to fill vacancies on the Diaconate. Mr George Wallace was warmly thanked for his work as acting secretary during our secretary's (Mr J. Thorp) leave of absence. A baptismal service, when five candidates witnessed for their Master, gladdened our hearts. Our Boys' Brigade nave commenced a Life Boys' Company in connection with their brigade, and we wish them every success. Our harvest festival services were highly successful. A beautiful display of fruit and vegetables arranged by our badminton club spoke of God's goodness. Appropriate harvest addresses by our minister and special music by the choir was much appreciated. A social evening to dispose of the harvest gift's, at which the choir under the baton of Miss Sowersby rendered anthems and items and Rev. Mr Grave gave us a travel talk on his trip through Switzerland, was most enjoyable. The proceeds of our sale, £12, have been forwarded to Manurewa Home. We have said farewell to Corporal Alan Gammon. Sergeant Albert Gammon has arrived home after several years' service overseas.— P. W. L.


May 1945

HASTINGS (Rev. Russell Grave).—It was with delight and much pleasure that, after years of patient waiting, the New Baptist Hymnal has been purchased and is now in constant use. Family pew Sunday was a happy event for all attending. An interesting address to our C.E. was given by Rev. I. Miller. Our Boys' Brigade, under Captain Hawkes, paraded in large numbers for their annual enrolment service. At an after-church social we welcomed home Sergeant Albert Gammon from overseas service. During our minister's absence at Gisborne Easter camp our pulpit was ably filled by Mr H. W. Austin, of Dunedin, who conducted both services. Our thanks are due to Mr Austin. A church parade of the Protestant Alliance Lodge, of which our brother, Mr Austin, is a member, was appreciated. Mr and Mrs Norman Taylor brought wee Brian to God's House for dedication. A pretty wedding was solemnised by Rev. Grave when Mr Harry Beckett and Miss Mavis Harding were joined in holy matrimony. The bridegroom is a deacon and keen worker in the church, and recently returned from overseas service. Several of our young folk, accompanied by our minister, travelled to Gisborne for their Easter camp, and enjoyed a time of rich spiritual blessing. Our deepest sympathy goes to Mrs A. E. Morgan on the home call of her sister.—P. W. L.


June 1945

HASTINGS (Rev. Russell Grave).—We, with so many others, mourned the death of President Franklin Roosevelt, and to pay tribute to a great man our minister preached a powerful address on "A Christian Statesman." Our Young Worshippers' League has been most interested in illustrated talks given by Mr Grave. Our Week of Prayer and Self-Denial was a time of rich spiritual refreshment for all who were privileged to participate. At a social hour given in honour of Mr and Mrs Harry Beckett, opportunity was taken to express our good wishes on their recent marriage and make a presentation to the happy couple. Mr Beckett is a deacon and a keen worker in all church departments. A wedding of wide interest was solemnised by Rev. Russell Grave when Cpl. C. J. Adamson and Miss Joan Lascelles were united in holy matrimony. The happy couple had been the recipients of several social gatherings from church and town organisations, and presentations made. Cpl. and Mrs Adamson will make their temporary home in Nelson. Our thanksgiving services were hearty and sincere. A primary demonstration and cradle roll service was well attended by parents and friends and did much to further interest in these departments. Our thanks are due to Miss M. Sowersby, our primary leader, and her helpers for their sacrificial service. We are sorry to report Mrs J. Gwyn and Mrs Howard Paynter have had to enter hospital, and pray that the Healing Hand of the Master will be on our sisters for good. We rejoice with Lieut, and Mrs Carswell Burt on the birth of a son. God bless him.—P. W. L.


July 1945

HASTINGS (Rev. Russell Grave).—We were pleased to welcome into membership Mr and Mrs Hodson, Mr and Miss Betty Graham and Mr Gjording. May God richly bless them. On the eve of their leader going into camp, our Boys’ Brigade paraded as a mark of esteem, in which Captain Hawkes is held. The Brigade has been under the guidance of Captain Hawkes for a period of 11 years, and has done splendid service for all the boys attending. Lieut. Les. Spurdle has been appointed acting captain in his stead. We are glad to report the formation of a Girls' Life Brigade under the capable leadership of Mrs Grave. During our minister's absence at Auxiliary meetings, our pulpit was filled by Rev. A. Hopper and three of our young men—Messrs G. Wallace, L. Kemp and H. Beckett, recently returned from overseas service. To these we say a big thank you. Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Ron Shakespeare on the gift of a wee son. To further augment our Sunday School work at Pukahu, services have been recommenced after a lapse of several years. Rev. Grave prepared the way by visitation and our choir presented a concert at Pukahu to further arouse interest. We are praying that as a result of this effort, many more may come within the sound of the Gospel. We are sorry to report the continued illness of Mr A. Price, and pray for him a speedy recovery to health. We extend our deepest sympathy to Mr and Mrs J. Fear on the home call of their daughter Dorothy after a long illness, borne with much patience. May our Heavenly Father fill the gap in the home with His presence.—P. W. L.


August 1945

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—An exchange of pulpits with the Rev. Ridland Jamieson and our minister was much appreciated. A church parade of the St. John Ambulance of 150 members proved a very happy gathering. An appropriate address by the Rev. Mr Grave was highly commented on. We were pleased to welcome Miss Eileen Coad and to listen to her lantern lecture and have her minister to us from the pulpit. We wish to congratulate Miss Coad on what was one of the finest missionary lectures it has been our privilege to attend. We are sorry for an error in last month's report. Mrs Grave was reported as captain of our G.L.B., whereas Miss Beulah Lord is captain, and is doing a good job of work. Miss Watterston, of the South Seas Evangelical Mission, depicted her work with a splendid set of slides. We were indeed sorry to bid farewell to Mrs J. Hall, who has left us to take up her residence at Dargaville. Mrs Hail has done yeoman service for our church over a long period of years, and will be greatly missed. Our Men's Club promised well for another year. The appointment of Mr Fred Taylor as secretary, with the addition of Messrs Graham and Jones to the committee, augurs well. An eloquent address by the Rev. D. W. Cattanach to our club on "The Church in Russia" was listened to with keen interest.


October 1945

HASTINGS (Rev. Russell Grave).—A successful B.B. week of socials, a sing-song, and church parade, ended with a remarkable financial reward of £138. The B.B. have generously made donations to our Manse Fund and G.L.B. The Orange Lodge paraded in strength for our morning worship. Our B.C. Winter Offensive, headed by Messrs R. Mardle, C. Stone and Miss Bade, did much to encourage outclasses. A tea table talk to our Bible Classes, also our evening broadcast service, were conducted by Rev. Ridland Jamieson and much appreciated. On V-J Day we held our thanksgiving service to express our thanks to God for our great deliverance. Keen enthusiasm is shown in our Men's Club, and we are indebted to all who have helped to make the meetings most enjoyable. We express our sympathy to Mrs J. H. Beilby on the home call of her mother. Visits from Miss K. Hobbs, of the S.A. Colombia Mission, and Miss M. W. Turner, representing the British Syrian field, have created missionary interest. Congratulations to Mr and Mrs Les Spurdle on the arrival of little John Leslie. Mr and Mrs Carswell Burt brought their wee son Murray to God's House for dedication. Our Bible Classes entertained the Methodist classes at a victory social. We wish to congratulate Mr George Wallace on his appointment as assistant secretary. Our minister held a spring flower service, and later distributed the flowers among our sick folk. We are pleased to see Miss Lorna Hall in her place again after her serious illness. At a social hour held after evening service opportunity was taken to welcome home Jim Trotter, Ken Halstead, Fred Hawkes and Lloyd Davidson. We pray for a speedy recovery to health for Miss Hill, also Miss Kernahan of South Dunedin, who has come to reside in Hastings.— P. W. L.


November 1945

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—The boys of the 2nd Palmerston North Boys' Brigade, attached to the Church of Christ, were entertained by our Hastings Brigade for a week-end of various activities. Our Men's Club was privileged to listen to Major Rangi Logan give us the history and achievements of the Maori Battalion. Solos by Mr Les Spurdle were much enjoyed. A pretty wedding was solemnised in our church by the Rev. C. B. Boggis, assisted by the Rev. Russell Grave, when Miss Olive Baker and Mr Jim Trotter were united in holy matrimony. The bride has been a faithful worker in our church and the bridegroom has just returned from overseas service in the Middle East. Mr and Mrs Les Spurdle brought their wee son, John Leslie, to God's house for dedication. We are pleased to welcome home from overseas Messrs W. Kemp and L. Mitchell. We celebrated World Communion Sunday around our Lord's table. The much looked forward to visit of our President and Mrs Nees was well up to expectations. A pastoral visit to Mr A. Hoby, our Baptist veteran, was much enjoyed. We rejoice with Mr and Mrs Ernest Burns on the gift of a son. Mr and Mrs H. Growden, a daughter, Mr and Mrs T. Hodson, a son, and Mr and Mrs Selwyn, a son. We are sorry to report the illness of Messrs P. Gjourdine, J. Palmer, Mr and Mrs Baxter, and Mrs Sutherland, and pray for them a speedy recovery to health.—P. W. L.


December 1945

HASTINGS (Rev. Russell Grave).—Our Sunday School anniversary, which was broadcast, was an outstanding success the singing being of a very high standard, and it reflected great credit on Miss W. Sowersby, who trained and conducted the scholars. The church was artistically decorated by Miss Sims and her helpers. The Rev. Russell Grave conducted both services, his appropriate addresses being much appreciated. The anniversary tea and concert were enjoyed by young and old alike. Our minister exchanged pulpits for an evening service with the Rev. Ian Cameron of the Presbyterian Church. During Mr Grave's absence at Assembly our newly-appointed Preachers' Band conducted our services with much acceptance. Mr Doug Bewley, recently returned from the Pacific, addressed a Bible Class tea on his experiences. We are pleased to welcome home from overseas Messrs Doug Bewley, Max Irwin, Charlie Rawlings, and Norman Taylor. A movie lecture by Mr Perry on mission work and life in India was interesting and instructive. We express our sincere sympathy to Mr and Mrs Ernest Burns on the home call of their little one. We are sorry to report the illness of Messrs A. Sims, Les Spurdle, Mesdames G. Kemp, and E. Burns, and pray for them a speedy recovery to health.—P. W. L.

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.