North Ipswich Chapel History

2018 marks the centenary of the construction of the chapel. Under the building oversight of Mr. C. Wilson, the members and friends of the Brassall Presbyterian Church constructed this ‘house of worship’ in early 1918. The pastor at that time was Rev. G. Cameron Wood and the congregation was regarded as a ‘branch’ of St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, located on the corner of Delacey and Downs Street, North Ipswich (now owned by Compassion Connection Pentecostal Church).

The Opening Service for the chapel was conducted on Saturday afternoon, 13th April, 1918. Details of that afternoon are available to us via a Queensland Times newspaper article (15th April, 1918).

‘A large number of local residents attended the opening service, the ceremony being performed by the Rev. W. S. Laurie, Moderator of the Brisbane Presbytery . . . .’  Among the visitors present were representatives from St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church of North Ipswich, St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Church of central Ipswich, Ipswich Baptist Church, North Ipswich Congregational Church and several local Aldermans (called Councillors today) and numerous other friends.

The QT article goes on to record: ‘The Moderator formally declared the building open, and the visitors filed into it and took their seats. The first part of the service was restricted to devotions, after which addresses were delivered by the Moderator, and congratulatory speeches. The Moderator, in the course of the address, said it gave him great pleasure to be present to open their beautiful church. And to see the progress of the Kingdom of God in that place. He congratulated the minister and the management upon the work they had done . . . . It had been said that they should not build churches in time of war; but he claimed that the state of national affairs emphasised all the more the need for the Church of Jesus Christ . .

He emphasised that the real church was not the actual building, but the people who came to it, and the church that was strong in spiritual men was the strongest institution. The kind of building in which they worshipped was not important, and the church was never so strong as when its people were persecuted, and had to worship under blue sky. He warned the people against the tendency to make the church into an exclusive social club and urged them to make the new building a centre of spiritual activity. He hoped that they would be a prayerful people, and that their religion would express itself by their taking an interest in those outside the Church. He urged them to make all outsiders welcome . . . ‘ (for the full QT article see the history board in the hall).

In the decades that followed, the Brassall Presbyterian Church declined in size and eventually closed. When the Uniting Church of Australia was formed in the 1970s, via the merging of numerous Methodist, Congregational and Presbyterian congregations, this property was transferred to the ownership of the Uniting Church (19th November, 1980), though never used by them.

On the 26th October, 1981 the Bible Methodist Church purchased the property and continued to maintain a faithful gospel witness on this site until the 21st September, 2018 when the Berean Bible Church of Queensland took over the stewardship of the property.

The pulpit in the chapel came from the North Ipswich Methodist Church (80 Downs St, North Ipswich), whose congregation joined the Uniting Church (that site was sold to the Salvation Army, who in recent years sold to a Muslim group). The chapel piano was recently purchased from the Calvary Baptist Church (East Ipswich) who have closed.

It is our sincere prayer that the gospel light will continue to shine and even grow in brightness from this chapel, penetrating the darkness in the needy city and region of Ipswich.

We value your support and request your earnest prayers for God’s blessing on His work in and from this place.

1 unless the Lord builds the house they labour in vain who build it Psalm  127:1

Written by Pastor Troy D. Cane