It had taken many years but the day had finally arrived when the first church service would be held in the Zion Baptist Chapel overlooking Hanging Rock. It was 19th September 1869.
The Pastor, Samuel Ward, addressed the congregation.
“We owe a great debt to Richard Adams for his most generous donation of the land on which our chapel stands.” He told the assembled worshipers.
“We have all labored to make the bricks with which this chapel is built.” he continued “and it will stand as a symbol of our faith for many years to come.
Richard spoke softly to his wife when the service was over. “Betsy, I am a proud man today. We have shown our commitment to the Baptist church by our donation of land and by helping to create the bricks at the creek with our own hands.”
That afternoon, Richards daughter, Mary, and her husband William Cook, were baptised. The congregation processed down to the creek from which the bricks had come, to witness the baptisms.
Mary made her solemn commitment.
“I profess my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and will follow him for the rest of my life,” she intoned, as she entered the water.
As the water rose to her waist she dipped below the surface until her body was fully immersed as was the custom in the Particular Baptist church. Her commitment was repeated by her husband William and several others who were also baptised on that day.
We have a similar story in my family! My ancestor Kennedy Murray 2, donated land for the building of the St. Andrews Church in Evandale, Tasmania.
Your story is great – no wonder you have such a special connection to this Church!
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Have you been to have a look at that church Anne? It looks like a very interesting building from the photos on Google street-view. Are any of your ancestors buried in the cemetery there?
Thanks for reading and commenting.
Yes, I visited it a couple of times in the past. There are some gravestones for our family. But sadly, in the 1980s, the minister had all the old graveyard dug up and the existing gravestones were taken to the tip. Very sad.
Oh no! I have similar stories at other graveyards. Hopefully we are becoming more aware now