History archives

Who we are and the platform from which we operate is a result of the vision and sacrifice of those journeying before us and their legacy. The links below share the stories of some of the most important characters and works of our predecessors. Churches of Christ in NSW & ACT publish ‘Occasional Papers’ looking at the history and development of individuals involved in our network from the earliest days of settlement in NSW, as well as pioneering or notable figures from the wider Christian family in the United States and other locations.

The papers below are displayed in numerical order of publication.

Stephen Cheek – the Invasion of Bream Creek

Bream Creek in Southeast Tasmania is one of Australia’s prettiest and most historic places. From its highest ridge, known as the Ragged Tier, gullies run down towards Marion Bay, giving glimpses of the rugged coastline. In the bottom of one of these gullies lies the creek from which were drawn the fish which gave the scattered community its name. These days, many of these gullies are filled with vines which support boutique wineries. It is an idyllic place. Stephen Cheek, gazing out towards the south end of Maria Island in February 1879 recognized its beauty and its darkness.

Henry Marcus Clark – Bound to Rise: the Life and Legacy of an Entrepreneur

Henry Marcus Clark was born in Lancashire, England, in 1859. He migrated to Australia in 1880. He lived briefly with his uncle in Melbourne but travelled overland to NSW combining droving with visits to the goldfields at Parkes and Hill End en route. Around 1882 he arrived in Sydney and took up employment in John Kingsbury’s drapery store in Newtown.

Charles Thomas Forscutt – Women’s college educator and entrepreneur

Charles Thomas Forscutt was born in Edwardstown, South Australia in 1857 to Samuel Thomas Forscutt and Emma Blackeby. Charles, ‘CT’ to his friends, became known for establishing a boys’ and then a ladies’ college in the new suburb of Bexley/Rockdale

E.J. Hilder – A good and faithful servant

Every so often there comes along an individual with an eye for detail and a precision of thought that is quite outstanding. Such a person is a wonderful asset to any organisation. In the church that individual becomes the very capable administrator, the secretary extraordinaire: E. J. (‘Jack’) Hilder was such a person.

The day of the winemaking – early years at Elizabeth Street Church of Christ

Every Sunday hundreds of “brothers” and “sisters” across Australia go about the task of preparing the communion table for Sunday worship. They are often un-thanked for this, but their labours uphold a ritual central to the liturgy of Churches of Christ. Done with devotion, the preparation of the table is itself an act of worship.

John Strang – the strange case of John Strang

John Strang was one of several British evangelists who came to Australia in the nineteenth century to assist in the establishment of churches. After short ministries in Britain, he accepted an appointment in 1874 to the remote township of Strathalbyn, in South Australia. Strang returned to England in 1876 but was sufficiently encouraged by what he saw in Australia to return in 1878. However, worn out by the relentless pace of short ministries, he sadly became disillusioned. This is his story.

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