As the second-oldest Baptist Church in Victoria, with its foundation dating back to 1851, there is much of interest to be found in the history of Brighton Baptist Church. The words of F.W. Boreham, written as part of the church's 1951 Centenary celebrations, still ring true today: "we grasp the torch handed to us by noble predecessors, and who, in due time, pass it on to eager and faithful successors. Each a link in a golden chain."
The story of Brighton Baptist Church's past can be read in the Links with the Past booklets, available for a small donation from the church office.
Some milestones in Brighton Baptist's history are listed below, as well as the names of past ministers.
Milestones in Brighton Baptist's History
Mar 12, 1851
First minutes of Brighton Baptist Church recorded.
First Chapel opened for worship and Sunday School formed.
Feb 28, 1858
Completion of new church building. Old building used as a Sunday school.
Aug 15, 1864
Church closes due to low finances and decreased attendance.
Jun 30, 1867
Church is reopened.
Church building condemned as unsafe due to hurricane.
May 7, 1921
New church building opened for worship and Manse completed.
New church furniture installed (Pulpit, Choir stalls)
New Sunday School building opened for worship.
Church acquires 'Burgess House', a two-storey building on the corner of Cochrane and Bay Streets. Converted into a multi-purpose building used for all age Sunday School, accommodation and meetings.
The Brighton Baptist Pre-school Centre (Kindergarten) was officially opened.
Mar 6, 1977
Commissioning concert for the newly rebuilt pipe organ
1983 - 1995
The BJ's club became a main focus in the church orgainising events for intellectually and physically disabled people in the bayside area.
Sale of the Manse at 154 Bay Street and of the two tennis courts on Outer Crescent. Redevelopment of old Sunday School to create new four bedroom manse and two bedroom unit.