C05 – New Growth


On 19th January, 1951, a call was extended to Rev. C. V. Barnard to take up the pastorate of the church. Rev. Barnard was a prolific visitor, and by 1954 membership had reached one hundred and fifty-five. Sunday worship services were full to overflowing; extra seating had to be provided down the aisles. The choir grew to over thirty members and the Sunday School and Christian Endeavour groups were thriving. Rev. Barnard closed his ministry in Granville in mid-1954 to return to the mission fields in East Pakistan.

Rev. C. H. Gray acted as Moderator for the church in 1954 until Rev. J. C. Owen accepted a call to the pastorate at Granville in January, 1955. Rev. Owen had only a brief ministry at Granville, tendering his resignation from the pastorate on 12th September, 1956. Perhaps catching the impetus generated by Rev. Barnard, membership continued to grow and peaked in 1955 at one hundred and seventy-one. However, following 1955, the membership began a downward slide which was to continue through the years and into the 1980’s. When Rev. Owen concluded his ministry in 1956 the membership was one hundred and forty-two; nineteen persons had been baptised during his ministry.

On 30th January, 1957, a call was extended to Rev. A E. Cundall, which he accepted. It was during Rev. Cundall’s ministry that the building which had been relocated from Blaxcell Street was demolished and a new church hall erected facing William Street. This hall was constructed mainly by voluntary labour, using many of the materials from the old hall, led by Mr. L. J. Whitelaw and completed in 1959. Rev. C. H. Gray, President of the Baptist Union of New South Wales (1959-60), officially opened the hall on 18th October, 1959. Also during Rev. Cundall’s ministry the Manse at 76 The Avenue, Granville was sold for 3,000.0.0 and 66 The Avenue, Granville, was purchased on 28th July, 1958, at auction for 4,500.0.0, as the new Manse.

The Sydney Billy Graham Crusade appears to have given a certain impetus to the church, and applications for baptism and membership increased. During these two years nineteen baptisms were administered. Further, the church’s own evangelistic rally being held in the new hall on 31st October, 1959, at which Rev. B. W. J. Cook was the speaker.

In October, 1960, Rev. Cundall announced that he would conclude his ministry on 30th June, 1961, and offered his services to assist the church negotiate the pastorate. After some lengthy discussion Rev. J. R. Robinson, who was Pastor of the Leeton Baptist Church was approached and accepted a call to Granville. His enthusiasm and drive were matched by organisational ability and great per­sonal spiritual leadership qualities. On 21st April, 1965, Rev. Robinson an­nounced that he would conclude his ministry at Granville in October, 1965, then proceed to Devonport, Tasmania.

Between 7th November, 1965 and and 29th January, 1967, Rev. L. B. Slade was the Pastor of the Church. In his one year of ministry, Rev. Slade baptisted four persons and the membership was increased to one hundred and fifteen. However, ill-health forced him to resign the pastorate.


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