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Where Have We Come From

January 1948

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—Mr. and Mrs. Thorp, who were our delegates to the recent Assembly, occupied our pulpit on a recent Sunday morning and gave us a most interesting report of the proceedings. Our G.L.B. held a morning parade and were addressed by the Rev. Mr. Grave. To celebrate the centenary of "Abide With Me," written by the Rev. H. I. Lyte, a musical service was held, and a most impressive address given by our minister. After a year of happy gatherings at the manse the Crusaders wound up their activities with a high tea. All our Youth activities were brought to an abrupt end by the health authorities' precautions against the infantile paralysis epidemic. We wish to congratulate Mr. and Mrs. McAlpine and Mr. and Mrs. C. Burt on the arrival of bonny daughters, and Mr and Mrs H. Smith on a wee son. A lantern lecture by Miss Varley on the work of the S.I.M. was much enjoyed. Our prayerful sympathy has been extended to our minister and his family on the home call of Mrs. Grave, sen., and to the relatives of the late Mr. P. Gjording. Our congratulations to our Central Church on their undertaking a most practical piece of Christian work. We pray that the young folk who come within the walls of the hostel may be led to know Jesus Christ us Saviour. The church extends its sympathy to Mr and Mrs. Ted Church on the sad loss of their infant son.—P. W. L.


March 1948

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—The leader of our senior Men's Bible Class was cheered when a member recently confessed His Lord in the waters of Baptism. A faithful member of the church, and one who delighted to serve her Master, Mrs. F. Offens's Home Call has left a gap in our church life. We were fortunate to have Mr. Roy Bullen, of our Baptist College, to supply our pulpit during our minister's absence on holiday. Mr. Bullen's keenness in spiritual things and his desire to advance Christ's Kingdom, did much to endear him to our people. We were pleased to welcome home Mr. and Mrs. Grave, and pray for them much joy in service during 1948. Many of our folk are sick, and for them we pray a speedy recovery to health.—P. W. L.


April 1948

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—We were pleased to welcome home Mr. Ralph Barley from his trip to the Homeland, and as our representative at the Baptist Copenhagen Conference. Mr. Barley occupied the pulpit on a Sunday morning, and gave us an inspiring address on the doings of the Conference and his impressions of the various gatherings. A most successful annual church meeting was well attended, when reports from all departments showed a healthy condition. Reference was made to the faithful work of Rev. and Mrs. Grave. Mr. Ernest Burns was elected to the Deacons' Court. A pretty wedding was solemnised in the church, when Rev. Grave united in matrimony Mr. Hugh Mackenzie and Miss Joyce Gigg. The bride had served in various organisations and was a Bible Class leader. A treat which will be long remembered was the visit of Rev. L. W. J. Duff- Forbes of the Biblical Research Society. Mr. Duff-Forbes gave two lantern lectures and conducted our morning service. His stirring spiritual messages and his story of the work among the Jews aroused fresh interest. We were sorry to farewell Mrs. Sutherland, who has left us to take up her residence in Dunedin, and Mr. and Mrs. F. Helm to Papatoetoe. We congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Ken Halstead on the arrival of a wee daughter. A special service was held on Sunday afternoon, when Mr. and Mrs. Carswell Burt, Mr. and Mrs. Chas. Rawlings, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gammon, Mr. and Mrs. Houston Smith, Mr. and Mrs. J. McAlpine Mr. and Mrs. H. Growden and Mr. and Mrs. H. Jeffs brought their babies to God's House for dedication.—P. W. L.


May 1948

Infant Presentation Service

A special service of thanksgiving for the gift of these children and for God's blessing on their lives was held recently at the Hastings Church.

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HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave)—After a lengthy break our Bible Classes and Sunday School has reassembled and look forward to a year of happy fellowship. Opportunity was taken at our Sunday School annual prize-giving to make a presentation to Miss M. Sowersby and to voice our deep appreciation of the faithful and loving service so willingly rendered as leader of the Primary Department for the past twenty-three years. Miss Sowersby's work will long be remembered by the many scholars who have passed through her hands. A time of happy thanksgiving was experienced at our Harvest Festival services. An artistic array of fruit and vegetables, coupled with suitable food gifts for Britain, were tastefully arranged. Appropriate address by our minister and the singing of the cantata, "The Rolling Seasons," by the choir combined to make the day a very happy one. Manurewa Home will benefit to the extent of £13, and our Baptist Church. Hastings, England, food parcels, as the result of our Harvest Festival. We were privileged to have Dr. Miles conduct an evening service. The screening of the film, "A Century of Progress," was an opportunity to see and hear the new Sunday School projector, which has been generously donated by an anonymous friend of the school to mark the progress Baptists have made in other countries. Mr. J. R. Story's lecture and coloured movie films of the mission work in Papua and Brazil was well received and enjoyed. To Mr. H. Hickmott, who has suffered the loss of a brother, and to Mr. W. Bridgman the Home-call of his wife, we extend our deepest sympathy. A visit from Mr. and Mrs. W. Freedman, of the W.E.C., was much appreciated. To stimulate interest at our out-station at Pukanau, a sound film evening was presented. Our Sunday School at this branch is in a very healthy condition, and great praise is due to Mr. Charles Rawlings and his band of teachers. We regret the continued illness of Mrs. C. Rawlings, sen., and Miss Clark, and pray for them the presence of the Master.— P. W. L.


June 1948

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—A visit from our Union Secretary, the Rev. P. F. Lanyon, was much appreciated. We were pleased to welcome Mr. Phil. Budd, a member of our Whangarei Church and a missionary-designate to Colombia. Our congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Cliff Bewley and Mr. and Mrs. Doug Bewley on the arrival of wee daughters. Mrs. E. Nicholls has returned to Hastings to reside, and we trust she will find happy fellowship among new and old friends. A combined church parade of the Girls' and Boys' Brigades on Anzac Day added greatly to our service of remembrance. We extend our loving sympathy to the relations of the late Miss E. Clark. Following a short service in the church, the earthly remains were taken to Norsewood for burial. Our Week of Prayer and Self-Denial was a time of spiritual blessing for those who assembled for prayer at the several meetings arranged. Our Self-Denial offering amounted to £170. Our Sunday School superintendent and teachers were most disappointed at haying to re-close our school as a result of the poliomyelitis epidemic. Mother's Day was celebrated, appropriate addresses being delivered by our minister. We are sorry to learn of the illness of Miss Elsie Leipst in the Wellington Hospital, and pray for her and our other sick folk a speedy recovery to health.—P. W. L.


July 1948

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—A Chinese wedding of widespread interest was solemnised in our church, when Shirley Tai Chor was united in matrimony to Colin Che Poy by Rev. Russell Grave. We were privileged to hear Rev. N. R. Wood at our mid-week prayer meeting, when he gave us a most hopeful and inspiring address. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Walter Bentley on the birth of a bonny daughter, and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Beckett on a wee son. During our minister's absence in Wellington representing our church at the Central Auxiliary meetings, our pulpit was ably occupied by Mr. Stuart Mill, of the South Seas Evangelical Mission, and Rev. J. Copeland. We pray much blessing on the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Grave as they commence their seventh year of service. Our "Young Married's Club," a healthy organisation of newly-weds, maintains interest at their months meetings. For the many of our folk who are sick we would pray the Master's Hand of Healing upon them. Once again our Sunday School has resumed, we trust without further interruptions.— P. W. L.


August 1948

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—We were privileged to listen to Mr. Hector Hogarth, of the China Inland Mission, at a morning service, and hear his encouraging report of the work in China. We gladly welcome Mr. and Mrs. Davidson and daughter from Taranaki. A church parade of the Boys' Brigade and Girls' Life Brigade was largely attended. An enrolment service of the Boys' Brigade was addressed by Mr. Howard Trotman, Dominion organiser. Our Brigades are doing splendid work in training our young life in paths of Christian living. Mr. and Mrs. Doug. Bewley and Mr. and Mrs. Ken Halstead brought their wee daughters to God's house for dedication. An avenue for maintaining interest and presenting the Gospel in a different way is being used by medium of the moving pictures, and our Sunday school is fortunate in having a sound film projector. A number of our folk are sick and we pray for them a speedy recovery to health. We are looking forward to the coming of Mr. Jacques E. Hopkins, and pray that his messages in words and song may be used to the winning of many for Jesus Christ—P. W. L.


September 1948

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—The looked forward visit of Rev. M. J. Eade has come and gone, but left us richer in our spiritual experience and missionary zeal. Mr. Eade addressed a B.C. rally of past and present members, and his evening service, followed by the screening of movie films of our missionary work in India, was followed with keen interest. At the invitation of our Men's Club, the other church clubs in town had been invited to attend a men's meeting. The large gathering of men listened attentively to Mr. Eade's picture of the Indian situation as we see it to-day, and we were all encouraged by the healthy condition of our field. A visit from Mr. Colin Becroft, M. A., who occupied our pulpit on a Sunday evening, gave us an encouraging report on the Crusader Movement. Bible Class Week was a time of added activity among its members. Mr. Howard Knight of the C. I. M. brought a cheering message of his society's work. A well organised congregational social of games, competitions and movie films was thoroughly enjoyed by young and old. Many of our folk are sick, and we pray for them a speedy recovery to health. P. W. L.


October 1948

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—We were privileged to welcome to our church during the month of August the talented and well-known B.B.C. Gospel singer Mr. Jacques Hopkins. His messages in speech and song so clearly and simply proclaimed, were an inspiration to all and, we pray, have been the means of winning many for the Saviour. The church was filled to capacity for most of the meetings, and attendances averaged over 300 nightly. The B.W.M.U. held an afternoon for ladies of the Guilds of other churches when Mr. Howard Knight, of the China Inland Mission, was the speaker. He gave an interesting and cheering message of his society's work. A further talk, illustrated by lantern slides and movie film, was given by this gifted and spiritual speaker at our Tuesday, night's meeting. During Boys' Brigade Week contributors gave generously, and an all-time record for New Zealand was created. Over £203 was collected in Hastings for the advancement of Christ's Kingdom among boys. Our spring flower services were held on Sunday, September 5. God's house was made fragrant and beautiful with flowers of His own creation, and the messages at both services were appropriate and refreshing. It is with deep regret that we record the decision of Mr. and Mrs. P. W. Lascelles to make their home in Auckland. The various speakers at the farewell social told in no uncertain manner of the value of Mr. and Mrs. Lascelles as members of the church. Mr. Thorp, in a speech which lost nothing by its brevity, told how he had searched the minute books of the years gone by in order to assess in some way the work they had done, finding as he expected that they had been successfully filling responsible offices in the work of the church and Sunday School ever since its early days. Only since being overtaken by ill-health has Mrs. Lascelles been forced to give up active service for her Lord, and in their departure Mr. Lascelles leaves vacancies that are going to be hard to fill. At a Sunday morning service recently opportunity was taken to welcome back home Mr. Roy Grant, a church member who had served in Japan with the J Force. He witnessed well throughout his army life, and returned to us keen in the service of his Lord. Our congratulations and good wishes are extended to Mr. and Mrs. J. Trotter and to Mr. and Mrs. E. Morgan—both families have a bonny daughter to bless their homes.—R. N.


November 1948

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—During September we had the pleasure of hearing Rev. J. Ewen Simpson, President of the Baptist Union, at our weekly prayer meeting. The theme of his address was "Evangelism," and listeners could not help being gripped and aroused by the speaker as he unfolded his message. Another highlight of this month was the visit of Sister Jessie and her party of United Maori Mission workers at our Sunday morning service, and at a tea for young people prior to the evening service. Their story in speech and song was an inspiration and a joy to all who heard. Sunday evening service on September 26 was broadcast, when our minister delivered a very challenging address on "Is Religion Necessary?" The results of the recent Auckland Sunday School Union examinations have now been announced. Out of our 31 candidates, eight received more than 80 per cent marks, thereby earning a prize. The entire effort was very gratifying, but we would make special mention of Valda Hall, who came third in all New Zealand with 96 per cent. We pay special tribute to Mrs. Thetford, who worked untiringly giving the children special lessons in order to prepare them for the test. The dedication of Brian, infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Beckett, was witnessed with spiritual interest at a recent Sunday morning service. Our best wishes are extended to Mr. and Mrs. Ron Shakespeare, whose home has been blessed with a son; and to Mr. and Mrs. George Kemp, to whom God has given a daughter. We would specially remember before the Throne of Grace, Miss Gwen Gill, at present in Australia, in her long and trying illness. Our gratitude is expressed to Rev. Ridland Jamieson, of Napier, who recently conducted our special service of thanksgiving and prayer in connection with the Triple Appeal Thank Offering 1948—R. N.


December 1948

HASTINGS (Rev. J. Russell Grave).—On Sunday, October 24, we were privileged to have Mr. Bennett Williams of the African Inland Mission sharing the pulpit with our minister. This interesting speaker also delivered an outstanding lantern lecture at our Tuesday evening service, and a very instructive time was spent. During the Sunday our minister was away at Assembly, the morning service was taken by Mr. Roland Hill, and we have to thank him for a very interesting commentary on the story of the Prodigal Son. The evening service was led by members of the Bible Classes, who told us of experiences and blessing received at the Labour Day week-end camp at Napier. A very helpful and pleasant time was spent by the 80 young people who attended this camp. Spiritual leadership was in the capable hands of Pastor Rushbrook of the Pukekohe Baptist Church. Our own minister filled the office of Camp Commandant, while Mrs. Grave officiated as Camp Mother. Our company of the Boys' Brigade again distinguished themselves at Company competitions recently conducted at Palmerston North. The Founders' Day service taken by the Rev. Hayes Lloyd was an inspiration to all. At our Sunday School anniversary services held on November 14, the Rev. H. A. Mitchell of St. Andrew's conducted the morning service, and our own minister presided during the evening. Approximately 125 singers occupied the specially constructed choir seats and their message in song and verse was thoroughly enjoyed by a full church. We deeply appreciate the splendid efforts of Miss Sowersby, who trained the choir, and her willing band of helpers preparing for this bright and happy service. Our sincere sympathy is expressed to Miss Audrie Golyn, in the recent loss of her mother; to Mrs. Wyness, in Hamilton, in the loss of her husband; to Mrs. Davidson (nee Norma Gosling) in the loss of her mother. May God be near each of these good folk and strengthen them in their time of trial. We would also remember Miss Gwen Gill who is still ill in Australia, but hopes to be back in New Zealand before long. Let us pray- for her full and speedy recovery. To Mr. and Mrs. Allan Gamman, we extend our hearty congratulations in the birth of a daughter.—R.N.

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.