CELEBRATION: Pastor Allan Jones and Elaine McCormack of the Alstonville Baptist Church are looking forward to the celebration for the church’s 60th anniversary.
CELEBRATION: Pastor Allan Jones and Elaine McCormack of the Alstonville Baptist Church are looking forward to the celebration for the church’s 60th anniversary. Graham Broadhead

Milestone for Northern Rivers church

ELAINE McCormack, of Wollongbar, is pleased to be part of the “wonderful journey” of Alstonville Baptist Church.

Ms McCormack was at the church’s first service in the agricultural hall at the showground on April 15, 1956, and is part of the group organising the church’s 60th anniversary to be held on April 30-May 1.

The Baptist congregation in Alstonville met in homes in the late 1940s under the pastoral care of Reverend Le Claire from Lismore.

In 1956 meetings returned, in the home of Rhon and Bessie Cooper of Daley St.

Reverend Whale presided over the first service of the church at the showground.

The congregation moved into its own church in Main St on September 12, 1959, and the church was officially constituted by the Baptist Church on April 17, 1960.

The first full-time pastor was Reverend Trevor Ross who, now retired to Brisbane, is returning for the anniversary celebrations.

Ms McCormack remembers the first church well, and particularly noted the “seats were very hard”.

That traditional-style church was much different to the contemporary church on Wardell Rd, which opened on February 15, 1987.

And the seats are much better, Ms McCormack added.

Pastor Allan Jones moved to Alstonville 18 months ago.

Mr Jones said the church focused on family, and ran programs including Mothers of Preschoolers, Mums Next for mums of older children and the Family Wize program to support families through all stages of pregnancy and parenthood.

The church also operates welfare programs.

Mr Jones said it was about finding ways of furthering the connection of the church to the community.

The anniversary celebrations will start with an open day at the church on Saturday, including displays of memorabilia, and a celebration dinner at 6pm, with entry $20.

Phone the church office on 6628 5387 to book for the dinner.

On Sunday, a thanksgiving service will be held at 9.30am.



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