Past editions of the NZ Baptist magazine are a treasure trove of information. I was researching and found some great gems concerning our beginnings from February & March 1923:
“The Rev. E. N. Goring [our first Pastor] thanked all for their welcome. He feelingly acknowledged the brotherhood of the ministers of other churches. Though a convinced Bap)st, he owed a great deal to influences of Christly men of other churches which made him their debtor” - working with other churches!
“The Mayor of Hawera (Mr E. Dixon) … assured the Baptists that there were plenty of people, plenty of money, and abundant opportunity for their enterprise in Hawera”. — the blessing of civic leaders!
“We have just heard that Hawera has formed a branch of the B.W.M.U., [now Baptist Missionary Fellowship] ...We shall hear more of this vigorous new-born”. - a heart for Mission!
“The church has a nucleus of members and workers whose character and service would be a strength to any cause. The opportunity in the town and district is great and challenging, and the whole denomination should stand behind this latest effort of extension, and make it a great adventure for the Kingdom of God in Taranaki”. - the right people, in the right place, with the right Kingdom a1tude!
Sounds pretty relevant still! Lord, please give us the courage of our predecessors. To dream big dreams; to step out boldly; to reach out to our community in your name.