Who are we?
Blakehurst Baptist Church was founded on July 4th 1965 by the South Carlton Baptist Church who had a vision to reach the newer community around the Blakehurst area, and so relocated their fellowship.
At first, the congregation met at the Senior Citizen Centre at Allawah. In September 1967 a new chapel was opened at the present site which included Blake’s Cottage. The cottage was originally the home of Mr. Blake for whom Blakehurst is named. This was the church’s first “manse”, then used as rooms for Sunday School and youth group meetings.
Rev Craig Skinner was the first pastor of the newly formed Blakehurst Baptist Church. He led the young fellowship from 1966-68.
Rev John Farr commenced his 25 years of leadership in 1968. With the support of his wife Margaret, John’s long and fruitful ministry concluded upon his retirement in 1994. During that time the church grew to a point where a new auditorium was required for Sunday services. Using the original sandstone from Blake’s Cottage as a feature, a new auditorium was opened in July 1978.
Following the retirement of Rev. John Farr, Rev Gary Speckman, who had been serving as Associate Pastor, served as the church’s Senior Pastor until the end of 1996. Gary and his wife Jan continue to be closely linked with the church as Mission Partners working with Campus Crusade for Christ in Sport Chaplaincy and Women’s Ministry.
Rev Rod Benson became the Senior Pastor of the Blakehurst Baptist Church in March 1998 and with his wife Michelle and young family, led the church for the next 4 years until moving on to become the Denomination’s Ethicist based at Morling College in Sydney NSW.
Rev Grae McWhirter commenced as Senior Pastor in November 2002 and led the church until the end of 2018. During his time as Senior Pastor, Rev Andrew Yule, and then Rev Brett McLachlan served as Associate Pastors. Mrs Shelley Ashton joined the team as Children’s Worker in 2004 and James McMaster joined the Ministry Staff as Associate Pastor at the beginning of 2011. Shelley continues to serve on the Ministry Staff today.
James McMaster commenced as Senior Pastor in 2019.
Blakehurst Baptist Church has a rich history of placing a priority on communicating the life-changing truths of the Bible, sharing the Good News of Jesus with the community and supporting this work in Australia and around the world. Many people have been sent from the church to study at Theological Colleges, serve as missionaries, pastors, lecturers and in other full time ministries around Australia and overseas. Meanwhile, because of the love the church has had for the people in the local community, there have been many ministries which have been launched to serve and reach those around about us. These have included Playtime groups for Pre-schoolers and their carers, Craft classes, English classes, Aerobics classes, mid-week children’s and youth groups, sporting teams and senior’s groups. This rich heritage is still evident as the church, now ministering in the 21st Century, enters a new phase of growth and impact in our local community.