Who We Are
Where Have We Come From

January 1953

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—Our Sunday School Anniversary services were blessed with fine weather, and were well attended. On account of the Sunday School growing too large to be accommodated on the tiered platform, a special service for the Primary Department was held during the afternoon. Guest speaker in the morning was Rev. Ewen Simpson, our own minister conducting the evening service. The Sunday School tea and concert were voted to be a great success. We hope that our broadcast service came over the air clearly, and proved to be a blessing to all. A well-attended church social was held as a final "get together" for the year, and was a happy occasion. The Boy's Brigade held a successful "break-up" evening in the Assembly Hall. Our minister was invited to take the morning Sunday School anniversary service at the Methodist Church, and their minister, Rev. T. H. Carr, occupied our pulpit. The home of Mr. and Mrs Mort. Bewley has been blessed with a baby daughter.— R. N.


February 1953

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—A lovely beginning to our Christmas Day was the visit, by lorry, of the church carol party. Many of our people have since gone away on holidays, but we have been glad to welcome visitors from other churches. While our minister is away on his holiday the services will be conducted by Rev. H. A. Gould, of Napier, on two Sundays, local men will occupy the pulpit for the remaining services. We rejoice with Mr. and Mrs. Ray Baker on the restoration to health of their little daughter, Rosalie. Two of our ladies have been visiting Australia, and we welcome them home again—Mrs. North and Mrs. Olsen. A little daughter has gladdened the home of Mr. and Mrs. MacFee (nee Jean Schofield).—R. N.


March 1953

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—All activities of the church have recommenced after the holidays, and we pray that the New Year may be rich in spiritual experiences. Our thanks to Rev. Gould, Messrs. Barley and R. Taylor for occupying the pulpit during our pastor's holiday, also to Messrs. Dennis Kilgour and Colin Ireland for taking the mid-week prayer meetings. To Misses Roulson and Mardon we are grateful for conducting the holiday school for children. A farewell social was held in honour of Misses Barbara Wood and Ann Croucher and Mr. Ian Taylor, who are entering Teachers' Training College, Wellington, Miss Miriam Palmer, who has already left for a position in Wellington, was also remembered. Sincere sympathy due to bereavements is extended to Mr. Hickmott (sister), Mr. Peden (brother), and Mr. Mardon (brother and sister-in-law). Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Don Kearney on the birth of a son.—R. N.


April 1953

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—There was a good attendance at the annual business meeting. Two changes took place in the Deacons' Court. Mr. Ralph Barley, by virtue of years of faithful service, was honoured by being made a life deacon, and Mr. Douglas Bewley was appointed to the diaconate. Impressive services have been held, when Bible Class leaders and Sunday School teachers, also deacons and those holding office in the church, were dedicated to His service. At a baptismal service Mrs. Jack Taylor witnessed for her Lord, and has since been welcomed into membership. Our best wishes are extended to Mr. and Mrs. Mack Sutherland (nee Enid Westerman), on the birth of a daughter; also to Mr. and Mrs. Allan Gamman and Mr. and Mrs. Albert Gamman, whose homes have been blessed with baby sons. Miss Gwen Gill, who has left to take up a position in Auckland, is assured of our interest and prayers.—R. N.


May 1953

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—Harvest Festival services displaying an attractive selection of fruit, vegetables and flowers, evidence of God's rich bounty, and enhanced by appropriate hymns and sermons, proved an inspiration and a blessing. The proceeds from the sale of these gifts, approximately £32, will benefit the Manurewa Children's Home and the Chinese Church. At recent baptismal services Mrs. D. Bewley and Mr. and Mrs. Searle have taken the opportunity to witness for their Lord. The Easter camp at Gisborne has attracted some 23 of our young people, and we pray God's blessing on this gathering. Blessing and happiness are wished on Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Stewart (nee Doreen Schofield), who were united in matrimony recently. The under mentioned homes have been blessed with bonny babes:—Mr. and Mrs. Les Spurdle, Hastings—a son; Mr. and Mrs. Geoff. Wood, Karori— a daughter; Mr. and Mrs. Ted Bennett, Rotorua—a daughter. We rejoice with them all. Loving greetings are extended to our sick friends.—R. N.


June 1953

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood) .—Prayer meetings were held in the church and in the home throughout the Week of Prayer and Self-denial, resulting in spiritual uplift and generous giving. The concluding Sunday services were conducted by the Rev. Ewen Simpson, Napier, in the morning, and by our own minister in the evening. Both services were well attended and were an inspiration to all present. Ladies from our church joined with the Napier B.W.M.U. in their day of prayer, and had happy and blessed fellowship together. Our hearts were gladdened by the fruitfulness of the Easter Bible Class Camp at Gisborne; decisions were made embracing conversion, baptism and full-time service. Alison Jean Fee, of Christchurch, and Ian David Kearney, of Hastings were presented before the Lord in dedication by their parents recently. At an after-church social hour opportunity was taken to wish journeying mercies to Miss Phyllis Steele, who leaves us shortly for a trip to the old Country.—R. N.


July 1953

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—We have been privileged to receive a visit and forceful message from the Principal of the Baptist College, Rev. E. Roberts-Thomson, M.A., B.D. The church was filled to capacity on Coronation Sunday and Brigade Enrolment Sunday, when all the uniformed organisations of the church paraded. Four little ones, Barry Gamman, Andrew Gamman, Colin Spurdle and Murray Church were presented before the Lord in dedication. Mr. Norman Grubb (World-wide Evangelisation Crusade), stirringly addressed a Youth Rally recently. Our sincere sympathy is extended to the loved ones of our late brother, Mr. John Bewley, who served our church faithfully and well. The marriage of Mr. Ray Hensman to Miss Doreen Harrison was a very happy occasion. It is with sincere regret that we say "farewell" to Mr. and Mrs. Don Kearney, who have shifted to Upper Hutt. Congratulations to Mr. Gamman, senior, on attaining his 89th birthday.—R. N.


August 1953

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—We were pleased to have the president of the Baptist Union of New Zealand. Mr. W. Lambert, in our pulpit. The message he brought to us was one of inspiration and great blessing. Our own minister, as president of the Central Auxiliary, was called upon to officially open the new manse at Feilding. Jeanette Harrison, Margaret Palmer, Betty Harrington, Jeanette Taylor and Maurice Toms have witnessed for their Lord in the waters of baptism. New members welcomed into our fellowship have been Mr. Roland Hill, on transfer from Brooklyn, and Mrs. Smith, through baptism. Our Life Boys have collected over 155,500 used stamps this year. Congratulations on this fine effort. Miss Mavis Mardon leaves us shortly to take up the position of matron of an orphanage in Wanganui; our prayers and good wishes go with her. Congratulations are extended to Mrs. Sowersby on attaining her 88th birthday.—R. N.


September 1953

Once again there has been a wonderful response to the appeal for stamps. They have been pouring in—(some of them pouring out as they poured in)—for a month. Two groups sent in by far the largest parcels. The Papatoetoe Church (per Miss Rona Windsor) sent two huge parcels and once again the 1st Hastings Life Boy team sent a colossal number—160,900 to be exact! This makes the 1st Hastings the champion stamp collecting Life Boy team of New Zealand for two years running. A hearty thank-you to all who helped to raise funds for the Manurewa Children's Home in this way.


HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—Bible Class Week was full of interest for young and old, and resulted in spiritual uplift and blessing. Members of the Bible Classes took a prominent part in the Sunday services and on the final night, five representatives gave their testimonies in a service designated "Youth in the Witness Box." Six people responded to an appeal made by our minister at the close. As President of the Central Auxiliary, and as an ex-pastor of the church, our minister attended the jubilee celebrations of the Petone Church. Our gratitude is expressed to Messrs. J. Thorp and R. Hill for their pulpit ministry during Mr. Wood's absence. To Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, Senior, and to Messrs. R. A. and D. J. Taylor, we express sincere sympathy on the passing of a loved daughter and sister. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Burns on the birth of a son.—R. N.


October 1953

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—Our special evangelistic effort for this year is being conducted at the present time in the form of a film mission. More will be written about this later, but if packed church services and the fine type of films being shown, also the encouraging response to the appeals being made at the finish of each showing, are any indication, the mission should result in a fine spiritual uplift. It has been our privilege to listen to the following visiting speakers:—Rev. P. Fung, pastor of the Wellington Chinese Church; and Miss Hazel Drew, missionary on furlough from India. A combined parade of East Coast Boys' Brigade teams filled our church to capacity. Sincere sympathy is extended to Mrs. Geo. Petherick on the passing of her uncle. Our hearty congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Stan Thomsen, and to Mr. and Mrs. Norm. Taylor, on the birth of healthy sons. —R. N.


November 1953

Hastings Film Mission
Four Gospel Film Services were conducted, in the Hastings Baptist Church during the month of September, in an endeavour to attract those who do not normally attend a place of worship, and to win them for Christ. The films shown were "The Bible on the Table," "As We Forgive," "De Shazer" and "Which Will Ye Have." Each of these films attracted full congregations, taxing the church's seating capacity to the full. Bright singing of well chosen choruses took place while the congregation was assembling. The films, which took the place of the Sunday evening sermon, were briefly introduced by the Rev. N. R. Wood, and at the conclusion of the screenings, he emphasised the message contained in the film, and issued a challenge and invitation to accept Christ as Saviour and Lord. Much prayer and preparation preceded the mission, and that blessing can come through this method of presenting the gospel is evident by the spiritual results. Approximately thirty people entered the inquiry rooms, and of these, twenty-one were "first decisions." Many Christians now have "The Bible on the Table" in family worship as a result of seeing this film, and that renewed vows of consecration have been made by many more, through the screening of these films, is evident.


HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—The Hastings Baptist Badminton Club celebrated its 21st Anniversary recently, and included in its programme a Church Parade, which was appropriately addressed by our minister on the subject of "Keeping Spiritually Fit." A very well attended and highly successful banquet concluded its celebrations. The Girls' Life Brigade Four-square Shield, contested for by all Napier and Hastings companies, was won by the Napier Baptist Company this year. We are indebted to Mr. McLeod Jones, a visiting radio preacher, for his interesting address. Our Church has suffered a severe loss in the departure of Mr. and Mrs. Colin Adamson and family, who have gone to live in Rotorua. Christian sympathy is extended to Mrs. Les. Mardon on the passing of her mother.—R. N.


December 1953

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—The Sunday School anniversary services were held in fine weather. Extra seating was needed to accommodate the large congregations, who enjoyed the children's bright singing. The Labour Day camp at Waimarama was attended by approximately sixty young people, and was of a high standard. Two baptismal services have been conducted recently, when eight believers witnessed for their Lord. The lantern lecture and address to the B.W.M.U. delivered by Mr. Norman McIntosh (C.I.M, missionary on furlough) were a blessing and inspiration to all who attended. Our Christian sympathy is extended to those of our congregation who have lost loved relatives through bereavement. We rejoice with Mr. and Mrs. Nelson McLean, whose home has been blessed with a baby, 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.