The 160 Year Long Prayer Meeting

Picture2Setting out from England in 1851 to reside in Melbourne, Joseph Foy opened up his small weatherboard house in Kew for other Christians to come and worship on 10 April, 1853. As these new settlers and pioneers gathered for prayer each week, many others began to join them and within 2 years land was purchased on the corner of Cotham Rd and John St and a small timber chapel built. On 17 Nov, 1856 the sixth Baptist church in Victoria was constituted, and 160 years later the prayer meeting that started in Mr & Mrs Foy’s house continues as Kew Baptist Church.

When Kew Baptist Church started in 1856, the American Civil War was just getting under way, Queen Victoria was 20 years into her 64 year reign, Charles Darwin was working on his new book The Origin of Species, Abraham Lincoln would become the 16th President of the United States in just a few years, and World War 1 was 60 years away. So much has changed in our world since that first prayer meeting at the Foy house. And yet, some things have remained the same: “KBC has never wavered in its perception that preaching and worship are central in the life of the gathered community…[and] the belief that the life of faith is nourished by prayer and fellowship…The obligation to reach out to the world with the good news of the Gospel and with the practical compassion of Christ has also been reiterated throughout the history of the fellowship.” (J. Manton, A History of Kew Baptist, 1856-1981).

By the grace of God and because of His faithfulness to us, here we are 160 years down the track of serving, giving, praying, worshipping and bearing witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ. Soli Deo Gloria!

I am inviting everyone who calls Kew Baptist home to get involved with our anniversary celebrations and together make it a very special weekend. We have so much to be thankful for as a church! I look forward to seeing you and hope you can help us celebrate God’s faithfulness and the rich heritage of Kew Baptist Church. The details are here.

This is my prayer: That God would be praised and honoured for His faithfulness, that we would be united and encouraged as a church, and that we would be strengthened in faith for our future.

Yours in Christ, and on behalf of Joseph Foy and all of the other pastors in our history,

Nicholas Tuohy

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