A story as old as time – The church planting story in Western Sydney 

Photo of Blacktown Baptist Church in 1929.

Since the very first church in Acts, churches have been planting other churches. The wisdom of an older church can prove invaluable in helping a church plant to thrive.

Entering a season of re-visioning and re-aligning, Blacktown Baptist Church has been exploring their history and has discovered what the core of Blacktown Baptist has been all along.

Blacktown Baptist is a resourcing church.

Blacktown Baptist Church was established on 18 April 1928 under the leadership of Mr & Mrs McLean who felt a call and passion for establishing a Baptist witness in the Blacktown area.

The land for the church building was generously donated by Mr & Mrs English. But being during the Great Depression, the church planters did not have the money to finance the building of a church in the “small town” of Blacktown where the local council’s slogan was “Where the city meets the country”.

Rev Complin from Bathurst Street Church, Sydney contacted a Mr Dovey saying that he needed a loan of two hundred pounds to build a weatherboard church and asked what guarantors he would require. Mr Dovey replied, “Your name is good enough, the money will be in the morning’s mail“. And with that they began work on building.

Later, under Rev & Mrs Green, Open Air Sunday Schools began as a key outreach in Western Sydney. Local children came to hear the Gospel under the trees at Toongabbie, Doonside, Riverstone, South Windsor and Parklea.

Blacktown Baptist continued to look at how they could support ministry in the ever-expanding Western Sydney. They invested in planting Penrith Baptist Church, which in turn planted St Marys Baptist Church.

And the whole church was involved in establishing and supporting these new, small churches. Blacktown Baptist would gather for regular “Working Bees”, to build and rebuild at Toongabbie, Doonside and Penrith.

Beyond planting churches, Blacktown Baptist was also involved in developing leaders. Rev Gary Reurich, one of their young men, was the first ordained minister of the Warrimoo Baptist Church in the Blue Mountains.

Some things have changed over the years. The pews that were hand-crafted by members of the original congregation have been replaced with padded chairs. But the invaluable ministry on Blacktown Baptist continues. The church building is used by many different groups throughout the week including Korean, Sri Lankan and Chinese churches. And the church is heavily involved in local networks, including OneHeart Blacktown and Greater West for Christ.

As the story continues, it worth meditating on Owen Thomas’s words in his 1978 reflection on the journey of Blacktown Baptist Church.

“Ere long we may experience the Rapture to Glory, when praying and working forever passed, but until that day let us remember the future is as bright as the promises of God, if we are willing to bend to His will. Praise His Name for His faithfulness.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here