Who We Are
Where Have We Come From

February 1974

HASTINGS (Rev. W. K. J. McCormack) Interested members gathered one afternoon to discuss best future use of property and old buildings, now new Sunday School block completed. Many suggestions put forward to be considered in light of what can best be done to use the entire property for the furtherance of God's Kingdom. Annual meeting Bible Society held after one evening service followed by film "The Bible in the Pacific." Activities among Young People consisted of King of Quiz contest spread over several weeks, Bible Reading contests for two age groups and Sermonette contest for the seniors. These brought good response and high standard of performance. Boys’ Brigade had raft race down Ngaruroro River which we gather had its moments. — M.A.L.


March 1974

HASTINGS (Rev. W. K. J. McCormack) Attendances have increased at both morning and evening services and it is pleasing to see the church so full, especially at morning services. Visiting speakers have been Mr & Mrs Keith Dennis of Asia Pacific Christian Mission in Papua-New Guinea. Mrs M. J. Eade took the Sunday morning service at the completion of B.W.M.U. Witness Week. Congratulations to Mark Hensman and Wendy Boyle on their engagement. We were most pleasantly surprised at the very attractive arrangement made by the young people for our Harvest Festival service. We commend them for the thought and effort that went into this. They are now busy working on many tasks in an endeavour to finance a bus to the Easter camp. We wish them every success. Much energy has been expended by Church members in demolishing the old building behind the church and the empty space has brought forth many suggestions for its use. — M.A.L


April 1974

HASTINGS (Rev. W. K. J. McCormack) Youth Department numbers increasing resulting in more activity. Christmas play presented with depth and sincerity indicating presence of unsuspected talent and interest. Recently 75 young people aged 13 to 25 attended a dinner raising approximately $100 for Evening B.W.M.U. who did catering. Mrs Jessamine Bewley relinquished S.S. class on December 16th after 23 years. She was baptised on same date in 1928. Our sympathy goes to Mrs Maddox in the loss of her husband "Duke," a faithful brother who brought many to know Christ over the years especially among the Maori people. Mrs Westerman another of our older members passed away recently and we will miss her keen interest. Congratulations to Andrew Gamman and Sandra McRobbie on their engagement — M.A.L.


July 1974

Notes From A Traveller's Diary: Foster Sherburd

One week of the Tom Skinner Crusade has now been completed and 40,000 people have "Met the Man". Over 600. people of every age and cultural background have responded to the message that has been preached. A report from a local newspaper indicated that this man was battling for the minds of men and he seemed to be winning ...

Hastings was an experience to be recalled with interest. It was the first gathering in surroundings where we felt really sheltered from the elements. The overflow crowds watched on closed circuit television for the first time. As in every meeting people again responded to the straight forward call to commitment. Young and old heard Jesus call. Who could forget the words of a Maori lady who said she had prayed 26 years for her now elderly father.

But also Hastings will be remembered too for the drenching rains, the flood waters and the concern we had that the roads would be open to Wellington. In fact the water was up to the wheel tops in many places as we moved south. God had answered the prayers of His folk as we learnt later the highway was soon closed behind us.


HASTINGS (Rev. W. K. J. McCormack) Young people busy in many directions. Main event "Jesus Happening" attended by over 200. Rev Edgar Hornblow brought message. A joyous occasion of Praise and Testimony. Beginning Week of Christian Unity marked by Baptismal Service attended by many from other churches and an Interchurch Service shared by local ministers. Seating capacity strained to cope with influx from other denominations. John Kennedy brought message of unity and interaction among various churches. May saw first issue of quarterly Church Newspaper. This is an interesting venture and opens up opportunity for us to pass on news of what the Baptist Church in Hastings is doing. We share a duty roster with other churches assisting at Night Shelter each evening. 9 people have been baptized over past few months. — M.A.L.


September 1974

HASTINGS (Rev. W. K. J. McCormack) June was notable for floods and flu. Tom Skinner's one night visit followed by week with Rev. Barry Denholm. Full programme of meetings in homes and church, including a men's dinner, enabling a number to hear the Gospel for the first time. Gisborne young people came for weekend, sleeping at the church Saturday. Twelve youth leaders to Levin for training session led by Beverley Holt — their verdict "super". Residents from Pukeora Home for Disabled near Waipukurau came to Sunday morning service and lunch afterwards. Maori Sunday School children sang, supplemented by items from teachers. Mr and Mrs Wati Tito shared service. We report with sadness the death of Mr Les Spurdle who served and led Boys' Brigade for 33 years. He served his Lord in other ways as well taking many responsibilities in the care of our church. — M.A.L.


October 1974

Vice-President: Rev. W. K. J. McCormack, Dip.R.E., L.T.C.L., has been nominated by the Hastings, Island Bay and Caversham Churches.

From a Church of Christ background Mr McCormack became a member of the Hamilton Baptist Church in 1955. Originally a school teacher, he entered the Baptist Theological College in 1956. He has served in the Ponsonby, Island Bay and Caversham Churches, and is at present Pastor of the Hastings Church.

Mr McCormack has contributed a large amount to Association and Union work. He was President of the Otago and Southland Association and has served at different times on the Maori Board, the Church Extension Board, the Board of Christian Education, the Church and Ministerial Advisory Board and the Union Council.

Mr McCormack has also taken part in wide ecumenical activities, including the Y.M.C.A., and is interested in school committee work.


November 1974

HASTINGS (Rev. W. K. J. McCormack) Numbers in young people’s group reached record for some time of 78. Have been busy on many projects - Amusements section Church Fair, "Grotto" being used continually, evening service included short play and interviews with congregation, subject being "Masks we wear", followed by time in Grotto with parents discussing "Family Communication". Rev. Patricia Preest inducted as Chaplain to Hastings and Napier hospitals. Truby Mihaere spoke at one morning service and held week's mission among Maori people, culminating in Saturday evening get-together at Church. Pam Rowlands was farewelled prior to return to Brazil for second term as missionary. Consideration is being given to use of new Sunday School buildings as a Day Care Centre. Our Pastor has been nominated as Vice-President of Baptist Union. 31 Brigade girls and leaders went to Waikanae camp for six days. We rejoice in the witness and outcome of all these events. — M. A. 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.