Who We Are
Where Have We Come From

February 1949

Farewell to Rev. J. Russell Grave

Rev. J. R. Grave has resigned Hastings and goes to North-East Valley. At the conclusion of the evening service at the Hastings Baptist Church on Sunday, January 2, members met to farewell the minister, Rev. J. Russell Grave, who, after more than six years in Hastings, is leaving for North-East Valley Baptist Church, Dunedin. Valedictory speeches were made by Rev. K. L. Button (on behalf of the Hastings churches), Rev. Ridland Jamieson (Napier Baptists), Mr. W. Kean (Wellington Auxiliary), Mr. C. Wake (Pukahu Sunday School and Church), and on behalf of the Hastings Church by Messrs. C. Rawlings, J. Fear, and J. R. H. Thorp. Gifts were made to Mrs. Grave and Miss Margaret Grave by various organisations in the church, and as a token of esteem and respect in which he is held by members, Mr. Grave was asked to accept a cheque. Mention was. made of Mr. Grave's activities in connection with the National Council of Churches, and also with the musical life of Hastings, and the hope was expressed that Mr. and Mrs. Grave would find much joy and usefulness in their new sphere of service. The departing guests suitably replied, expressing their regret at leaving Hastings. At the close of the gathering, supper was served by the ladies of the church.


HASTINGS.—The annual prize-giving of the Sunday School provided opportunity for making a presentation to Mr. and Mrs. Thetford. who recently retired from active Sunday School service. The value of Mrs. Thetford's 26 years of teaching, commenced in 1917, and Mr. Thetford's work as teacher and later superintendent for 11 years, cannot be measured, and the church will never be able to forget their work. The Heretaunga Maori choir combined with our own choir on Christmas Sunday evening to thrill us with carols and excerpts from the "Messiah." The annual parade of the Boys' Brigade, Girls' Life Brigade, and Life Boys took place and displayed the strength and keenness of the companies. We were sorry to say good-bye to Miss Cynthia Way. who has so ably led our Senior Girls' Bible Class, and we wish her well in her new sphere in Dunedin. The church's farewell to Mr. and Mrs. Grave after six and a-half years of fruitful ministry is reported elsewhere in this issue.—S. B.


March 1949

HASTINGS (Vacant).—We are deeply indebted to Messrs. J. Thorp, R. Barley, R. Baker, S. Baker, M. Fowler, R. Hill. W. Summers, D. Warren,. E. Burns, H. Beckett, J. Trotter, and G. Wood for their help in conducting our services while the pastorate remains unfilled. Our church activities for the new year have recommenced, and we gratefully welcome back those who have so faithfully filled positions in the past. To those who have newly or again taken up positions, we offer our appreciative prayerful support. These new volunteers include Mr. E. Burns, Sunday School superintendent; Mr. R. Baker, Pukahu Sunday School superintendent; Mrs. G. Wallace, Senior Y.W.B.C. leader; Mr. S. Baker, Junior Y.M.B.C. leader; Mr. H. Morton, Life Boys' team leader. We remember before the throne of grace those of our congregation who are laid aside in sickness, and pray that God may grant to each a speedy recovery. To Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Baker we offer our congratulations on the birth of a daughter.—R. N.


April 1949

HASTINGS (Vacant).—Although we are still without a minister, normal congregations are meeting each Lord's Day and the usual church activities are being conducted enthusiastically. From the pulpit we have heard Messrs. J. Thorp, R. Barley, G. Wallace, R. Baker and M. Fowler, also Colonel Burton (Salvation Army), Rev. G. R. Harris and Mr. A. Tunnicliffe (Methodist), and Miss Whitehead (missionary designate). The ladies of the B.W.M.U. have taken to themselves the gracious work of visiting the sick. We sincerely thank those who have so readily given their services. The Sunday School picnic, held in the Bridge Pa district on February 26, was a great success, and enjoyed by young and old alike. The annual church members' meeting, February 22, was well attended. We welcome to our diaconate Mr. Colin Adamson and assure him of our confidence and prayerful support. We have farewelled and miss three of our active workers: Messrs. Murray Fowler, Ray Grant and Geoff Wood.—R. N.


May 1949

HASTINGS (Vacant).—We are deeply indebted to Colonel Burton, a retired Salvation Army officer, for his willingness to lead us in worship each Sunday while the pastorate remains unfilled. The Colonel is a man rich in spiritual experiences, and we are thankful for his thought-provoking messages. The spirit of worship is being well maintained. During the month we had the pleasure of a missionary lantern lecture delivered by Mr. Len Twyman on the work that is being done for Christ in Papua. The Wairoa Company of the Boys' Brigade were our guests at a church parade held by the 1st Hastings Company on a recent Sunday morning. For many years the floral decorating of this church has been in the efficient hands of Miss Sims, and no commendation can be too high for the work she had been doing. To grant her a measure of relief a group of praise-deserving ladies has undertaken this work in turn. We congratulate Mr. and Mrs. H. Growden on the birth of a daughter.


June 1949

HASTINGS (Vacant).—Services are being well maintained and much blessing enjoyed under the ministry of our friend Colonel Burton. During the colonel's absence in Wellington on May 1 the morning worship was conducted by Mr. G. Wallace, and the evening broadcast service was in the hands of the Rev. J. Ewen Simpson, of Napier. Visiting missionaries have been Mr. John Davey, of the World Evangelical Crusade, and Mr. Harry Liu, of the China Inland Mission. Both delivered interesting and inspiring messages. An impressive screening of the Easter story was shown on Easter Sunday morning to Sunday School and Bible Class members. Congratulations and best wishes to Miss Alison Thorp and Mr. Stanley Thomsen on their marriage, which took place on May 7. Mr. and Mrs. Ivan Hill have been blessed with a baby daughter. May God bless and restore to health those of our number who are sick.—R. N.


July 1949

HASTINGS (Vacant).—Colonel Burton continues to lead us in worship Sunday by Sunday while the pastorate remains unfilled. Sincere expressions of blessing having been received under his ministry are frequently heard. On June 5, when the Colonel was in Gisborne, our morning worship was lead by Mr. Thorp, and the evening service was conducted by the Rev. J. H. Deane, of the Bible Training Institute, Auckland. At a meeting addressed by the Rev. J. Ewen Simpson, of Napier, the young people of our church decided to revive the Christian Endeavour Movement. May God prosper the re-commencement of this work in our midst. Our B.W.M.U. ladies have been actively engaged in making up parcels of donated tinned foods for missionaries in India.—R. N.


August 1949

Rev. N. R. Wood has accepted a call to Hastings. [He is the Editor of the New Zealand Baptist Magazine]


HASTINGS (Vacant).—Colonel Burton continues in his good work amongst us while our pastorate remains unfilled, we have also been fortunate in having Mr. G. Currie, of the "Youth for Christ," Mr. Rickard, of the Gisborne Church and the Rev. Ewen Simpson, of Napier to conduct services. A dedication service, when three infants were brought before the Lord,was led by Rev. Ewen Simpson on 12th June. Members of the Boys' Brigade recently spent a week-end in Gisborne, where they met two Brigade organisers from England. We are sorry to lose an ardent Church worker in Mr. Lewis Stewart who is transferring to Wellington. The Church's sympathy is extended to Mr. and Mrs. Harry Thompson in the passing of Mrs. Thompson. Senior. Congratulations to Miss Noleen Edlin and Mr. Geoff Woods on their recent engagement. At the Throne of Grace we remember all those who are sick.—R. N.


September 1949

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood, minister-elect).—We are eagerly looking forward to the arrival of our new minister and his wife at the end of September. Bible Class Week commenced on July 31, with an early morning Communion service conducted by Mr. Thorp. This was followed by breakfast in the Sunday School Hall. Three members of the young women's classes assisted Mr. Barley at the morning Church service. At the conclusion of the evening service conducted by Mr. Barley, four young people made the great decision. During Boys' Brigade Week our boys collected the outstanding sum of £260—a New Zealand record. Our thanks are extended to Colonel Burton, Messrs. Thorp, Barley, Maddox, Baker, Rawlings, Beckett and Gamman for supplying our pulpit needs during the month. To Mrs. Mort Bewley, Mrs. Les. Spurdle, and Mrs. Hugh Mackenzie the Church extends loving sympathy in the loss of their father.—R. N.


October 1949

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood, minister-elect).—We have been most fortunate in having Mr. Les Armstrong, student minister from the College, to occupy our pulpit for three Sundays. Mr. Armstrong won his way into the hearts of all, and entered enthusiastically into every activity of the church. A willing and capable band of workers have been engaged in re-decorating the manse in readiness for the arrival of our new minister and his family. Mr. and Mrs. Thetford, who have been such loyal and enthusiastic workers in our church for so many years, are leaving us shortly to reside in Levin. Their presence and service will be greatly missed. It is with saddened hearts we record the passing of three of our friends—Mr. Baxter, Mrs. L. White, and Mr. L. Smith. We congratulate Mr. and Mrs. Ted Beaumont (nee Eileen Bell) on the birth of a son.—R. N.


November 1949

N.R. Wood Welcomed To Hastings

Following the induction service on Sunday, September 25, a large and enthusiastic congregation gathered on Tuesday evening to welcome the Rev. and Mrs. N. R. Wood to the Hastings Church at a gathering ably chaired by Mr. J. R. Thorp, Church Secretary.

Speakers voiced the high esteem in which Mr. and Mrs. Wood are held, also expressing good wishes and promising loyal co-operation of Church members in their future work.

Mr. and Mrs. Wood suitably replied, and a particularly happy evening was brought to a close by the serving of supper.


HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—On September 25 we witnessed the induction of the Rev. N. R. Wood to the ministry of our church. This impressive service was led by the Rev. J. Ewen Simpson. At a social evening recently opportunity was taken to express our appreciation of the services of Colonel Burton during the pastoral vacancy. It is our privilege to welcome Mr. and Mrs. Christiansen, from Karori, Miss Kath Tate, missionary-designate British Syrian Mission, and Mr. Ray Grant, home again. The Sunday School examination results have been received, and we congratulate scholars and teachers on splendid results achieved Valda Hall receiving 100 per cent. Loving sympathy is extended to the bereaved of the late Messrs. John Smith, Neil Rodgers, and Alexander Stevenson. Congratulations to Miss Joyce Halstead and Mr. Keith Shuker on their recent marriage: also to Mr. and Mrs. Harry Thompson and to Mr. and Mrs. Colin Turner on the birth of daughters.—R. N.


December 1949

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—While our minister has been attending Assembly in Auckland, we have been privileged in having two Methodist ministers from the Napier Conference occupying our pulpit. Our thanks to Rev. W. M. Garner and Rev. H. I. K. Hopper. Three believers witnessed for their Lord in the waters of baptism during the month. Visiting members of the Palmerston North and Feilding Girls' Life Brigades and Boys' Brigades combined with our own Brigades at a church parade recently. Young people's meetings were held in the Napier and Hastings churches over the Labour Day week-end, at which Rev. Ewen Simpson, Rev. Hugh Nees and our own minister officiated. We were privileged to have a movie and lantern slide address delivered by Rev. Hugh Nees showing views of' his travels in our missionary field in India. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Eric Palmer on the birth of a son.—E. R.

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.