Warrnambool & District Baptist Church

The Warrnambool Baptist Church was formally constituted in 1864 when a number of faithful men and women gathered in the home of Mr Andrew Griffiths, a staunch and loyal supporter of the church until his death in 1918. The minute taken at the time reads:

At a meeting held in Mr Andrew Griffith’s house, Timor Street – present Messrs A Griffiths, E Reynolds & T Cowdell, it was resolved to ascertain the probability of establishing ourselves as a denomination that we may enjoy the privileges of a Christian home.
Brother Reynolds was requested to wait on and invite as many Baptist brethren as he conveniently can to meet at Mr Griffiths’ house next Lord’s Day in order to supplicate Divine aid and consult on the subject.

The work soon grew and before long it became necessary to rent the Temperance Hall for services.

The Reverend James Ewance was the first regular pastor. Soon after his arrival he began a subscription list, the purpose of which was to purchase land on which the Baptists of Warrnambool might build a church. Various amounts were given, including a novel donation of an acre of potatoes. The money was raised and the block of land on which the church presently stands in Koroit Street was purchased for the princely sum of one hundred pounds.

In 1866 a second subscription list was started by the Reverend Ewance and was founded for the building of a Baptist chapel. The building was commenced in 1869, later than initially hoped for and only partially completed at the time, one end being boarded up.
Despite such beginnings, the church continued to grow from strength to strength and celebrated the diamond jubilee in 1924, centenary in 1964 and enjoyed a great weekend of celebrations at the 150th anniversary in September 2014.