Who We Are
Where Have We Come From

January 1956

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—We have been greatly blessed through the Ivor Powell Mission, which has just concluded. The attendances were very encouraging, and justified the church's decision to hire the spacious Municipal Theatre for most of the services. Over 60 decision cards were returned by those who had been spiritually awakened. A number have already expressed a desire for baptism, and are being prepared by our minister for this ordinance of obedience and witness. At an after-church social hour we received interesting and descriptive reports from those who represented us at the annual Assembly. An opportunity was taken to farewell Mr. and Mrs. Ken Halstead, who are shifting to Auckland in the near future. We are going to miss them greatly, and have appreciated the splendid work they have done in this church. Congratulations and best wishes are extended to Miss Rosalie North and Mr Ted Petherick, who have announced their engagement, and to Miss Miriam Palmer and Mr. Ron Baker, who have been united in marriage.—R. N.


February 1956

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—When these notes were being prepared our minister and his wife were on vacation in Wellington. We wish them a happy, health-giving holiday. Our services, up to time of writing, have been taken by Mr. Eric Sherburd, a student from the Baptist College We welcome him, and thank him for his helpful ministry. The Rev. L. A. North, Baptist Union Secretary, has also promised to take some services during our minister's absence and we are looking forward to his ministry. Friends will be interested to hear that our church raised over £200 in the Forward Work appeal. Anna Marie Wilms and Alexander George McLean were presented before the Lord by their parents in grateful dedication. Two young believers, Misses D. Toms and D. Harrington, have witnessed for their Lord in baptism, and a further baptismal service is planned for the near future. Our congratulations are extended to Keith and Joyce Shuker on the birth of a son.—R. N.


March 1956

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—The first service taken by our minister on his return from vacation commemorated a very special occasion in his ministerial life. It was his silver jubilee as a Baptist minister, and the very appropriate spiritual message he delivered was based on the same text as he had used on the commencement of his ministry 25 years before. We are grateful to Mr. Eric Sherburd, student from the Baptist College, for taking so many of our services during our minister's absence on holiday. It was a pleasure to have the Rev. L. A. North worshipping in our midst during his holiday in our town. We appreciate his willingness to take one of our services, and thank him for his very interesting and inspiring message. Mr. Trevor Nixon and Mr. Eric Campbell witnessed for their Lord in the waters of baptism.—R. N.


April 1956

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—A members' tea was followed by our forty-sixth annual business meeting. The reports showed our work to be in good heart. 45 per cent. of our giving was "given away." Mr. David Ireland has left us to further his studies. Misses Shirley Tomkins, Irma Kerr and Mr. D. Rattray have been received into membership. Misses Margaret Baker, Dianne Ward, Rae Wallace and Mr. A. Bocock witnessed to their Lord in baptism. Congratulations to Marjory and Larry Leeves on the birth of a son. We gladly witnessed the dedication of Peter Sampson and his parents as they presented him before the Lord. May God abundantly bless the consecration of each of the above-named. Our officers were dedicated to their task at the annual "every member's" Communion service. The Young Worshippers received copies of Matthew's Gospel as prizes.—S. H. B.


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Baptist College Students

Back Row (left to right): P. E. Millichamp, J. S. Thomson, D. G. Salthouse, W. J. K. McCormack, E. R. Mills,
J. L. Lowery, W. R. Morgan, B. K. Smith, A. S. Metcalfe.
Front: Miss P. Preest


May 1956

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—Our Harvest Festival services were marked by a fine display of produce. Special music was rendered by the choir, to whom we express our thanks. The Chinese Church and Manurewa Children's Home share the proceeds of the sale of the produce—approximately £34. A special thank-offering for our new church building fund amounted to about £250. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Trevor Nixon (nee Valerie Taylor) on their wedding. Mr. and Mrs. Keith Shuker and Mr. and Mrs. Larry Leeves each presented their baby sons before the Lord in dedication. Miss Muriel Taylor and Mr. Paul Holman witnessed to their faith in baptism. Approximately 50 of our young people and B.C. leaders attended Easter Camp at Gisborne and experienced a time of blessing and happy fellowship. Notwithstanding their absence our morning service was crowded as usual, and means to overcome our accommodation difficulties are shortly to be discussed.—S. H. B.


June 1956

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—Our Boys' Brigade company marked their "coming-of-age" in fitting celebrations, which were attended by many old boys. Congratulations to them and praise to God for His work faithfully done by the Company's founder and its leader. Congratulations also to Mr. and Mrs. Jim Milne (nee Betty Harrington),on their wedding, and to Mr. and Mrs. H. Scougall on the birth of a son. We were privileged to hear Miss Turner from our Indian field and Mr. and Mrs. Gould of the C.I.M. Eight new members were recently admitted to membership. Miss Kathleen Baker witnessed to her faith in baptism. We record the passing of Mrs. Turner to her eternal reward in loving memory and with sympathy for Colin and Peggy (Mrs. Burns). Mrs. Turner was a stalwart for the faith and her work for her Lord lives on. Our Self-denial gifts on May 6 totalled £435.—S. H. B.


July 1956

Stimulating Youth Mission at Hastings

A stirring Youth Mission was conducted at the Hastings Baptist Church from May 13 to 20, 1956, by Messrs. P.G. Buchanan and E. A. Hildreth, students from the Baptist College.

Visits by students have always been highlights in the life of our church, and this was no exception. Both Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Hildreth entered wholeheartedly into every activity of the church, and through their enthusiasm and sincerity captured the interest of young and old alike. The pulpit was occupied on both Sundays by these able students, and Youth willingly responded to their appeal and attended around-the-table tea talks, Gospel film showings, discussion groups and Christian Endeavour gatherings in encouraging numbers.

The organ and choir seats were fully occupied by the Youth of the church, and the splendid way they sang the hymns and rendered duets gladdened the hearts of all. It was a time of rich blessing for our young people, and a spiritual uplift to our church work in general.


HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—A fine effort to win youth for Christ, conducted by Messrs P. G. Buchanan and E. A. Hildreth, students from the Baptist College, has just concluded in our church, and is reported elsewhere in this edition. At an after-church social hour a splendid film entitled, "All For Him," revealing the joys and rewards of tithing, was shown to a packed hall. An opportunity was taken at this meeting to farewell Mr. and Mrs. P. W. Lascelles, who are leaving on an extended tour of Canada and U.S.A. Mr. Bill Stewart courageously witnessed for his Lord in the waters of baptism. Our best wishes are extended to Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Toms (nee Rose Anderson) and to Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Taylor (nee Betty Evans), who have been united in matrimony. To Miss Constance Stanton and Mr. Trevor Fear, who have recently become engaged, we offer our best wishes and congratulations.—R. N.


August 1956

Pakistan Missionary's Visit to Hastings

Rev. R. A. Alcorn, missionary on furlough from Pakistan, visited Hastings Baptist Church for the weekend 24th—25th June.

Before leaving Pakistan our missionary visitor had asked several mission station workers to tell their white brethren overseas what type of Christian service they had undertaken for their Lord. A tape recording of these spoken messages was played over at the same time as the native Christian worker's likeness was projected onto the screen. These recordings gave Mr. Alcorn's missionary addresses a special appeal, and his audiences felt they had come into closer personal knowledge of these native Christians than ever before.

His tape recordings of a Muslim call to prayer from a nearby mosque; the sleep-disturbing babel of worshippers outside the mission compound at daybreak; the almost deafening noise of children doing their school work in unbridled vocal competition—these, and other interesting tape recordings, gave his listeners a real insight into a missionary's life.

A highlight of his visit to this church was a combined Napier-Hastings Men's Missionary Fellowship tea, when over 70 men gathered to meet him and hear his vital missionary address. R. N.


HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—During the month of July an intensive film mission is being conducted by this church. It is hoped that, by this means, many may be won into the Kingdom, A visit to be remembered is one paid to us by the Rev. R. A. Alcorn. An account of this visit is recorded elsewhere in this edition. The Youth Director, Rev. J. J. Burt, spent a very busy week-end in our midst taking teachers' instruction classes, two church services, addressing a Youth Rally and an after-church meeting. We are grateful to him for his spiritual messages, and interesting slides and recordings. Three young men, Messrs. Roland Wong, Ronald Holman and John Fear bravely witnessed for their Lord in the waters of baptism. We congratulate Mr. and Mrs. M. McEwan (nee Vena Lascelles) on the birth of a daughter. To those of our congregation who have lost loved ones we offer our sincere Christian sympathy.—R. N.


September 1956

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—The attendances during our film mission were adversely affected by cold, wet weather. Those who were present at the showings, however, felt that they had received inspiration and blessing from the films. It is with deep regret that we report the resignation from the position of church secretary of Mr. J. R. H. Thorp. The church unanimously appointed him a life deacon and expressed sincere appreciation of the splendid service he had rendered. The new church secretary to be appointed was Mr. Chas. Rawlings, who had relieved very efficiently in this position during Mr. Thorp's absence overseas. Messrs John Fear, Ron Holman and Bill Stewart have been gladly welcomed into church membership. Baby sons have been welcomed into the homes of Mr and Mrs. Harry Beckett and Mr. and Mrs. Rae Hensman. The congregation stood in silent respect to our late sister, Mrs. E. A. Olsen, while our minister told of her faithful and humble service.—R. N.


October 1956

Nomination for Vice-President - Rev. N. R. Wood

Nominated by the following churches: Hastings, Colombo Street, Te Awamutu, Nelson, Island Bay, Lower Hutt and Esk Street, Invercargill. The Rev. N. R. Wood was baptised by the Rev. Joseph Carlisle in the Esk Street Church, Invercargill.

In 1927 he entered the New Zealand Baptist College, going from the Berhampore Church. His pastorates have been Linwood, Petone, Colombo Street, Point Chevalier, Wanganui and, for the past seven years, Hastings. He was Church Extension Organiser at Point Chevalier for four years. He has been active in auxiliary work in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.

Mr. Wood has served on a number of Union Committees with many years of service on the Union Council, the College Board and the Maori Board. He has been a member of the Union Executive since 1943. He succeeded Dr. J. J. North as editor of the "N.Z. Baptist" in 1949. Mr. Wood represented New Zealand Baptists at the Commonwealth Congress in London in 1949.


HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—We joined with the other churches in Hastings in a combined service held in Nelson Park to commemorate our town reaching city status. Very appropriate and challenging sermons were preached by our minister at both Sunday services to mark the occasion. We are grateful to the Rev. J. Ayson Clifford, M.Sc, Vice- Principal of our Baptist College, for his stirring pulpit message and interesting lantern slide address. Another welcome visitor to our pulpit was Mr. S. Avery, missionary designate to India and Pakistan. Young and old alike were challenged by his fire and enthusiasm. Other interesting visitors have been Miss Kershaw, President of the Wellington District B.W.M.U., and Miss Sullivan, missionary from the Pacific area. Roland Wong has been gladly welcomed into membership. Lynnette Johnston and John Haldane Scougall were presented in grateful dedication by their parents. Mrs. Albert Gamman was farewelled before leaving to visit her parents overseas. Miss Judith Webby witnessed for her Lord in baptism.—R. N.


November 1956

HASTINGS (Rev. N. R. Wood).—A Children's Mission, conducted by the Rev. Stephen Clark, C.S.S.M., has just commenced in our church. Our earnest prayer is that many of the young will be won for the Saviour. Mr. Clark will also be the speaker at our Sunday School Anniversary services. We are indebted to the Rev. W. P. B. Gamlen, M.A., L.Th., for his very enlightening address on the subject of religious instruction in schools. Mr. and Mrs. Edmonds have presented their baby daughter in grateful dedication. Sincere Christian sympathy is extended to Mr. Duke Maddox in the passing of his mother, Mrs. Eva Chappell. Our Boys' Brigade have been pleased to receive a week-end visit from the Manawatu Battalion. An opportunity was taken at an after church social hour to welcome back Mr. and Mrs. Percy Lascelles, on their return from a four-month trip to Canada and U.S.A., and to hear an account of their travel experiences.— R. N.


December 1956

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Baptist Union Leadership

Far Right: N. R. Wood

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.