Psalm 122:1 “I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
We missed a birthday. An important one too. After all, it is not everyday you get to celebrate 100 years. I happened to be searching for the date of our main worship building and discovered the foundation stone was laid on 8 December 1917 by Lady Goode. The church was then opened for worship on 8th June 1918. The newspaper, “Adelaide Chronicle” recorded:
“The architecture of the city of Unley is enhanced by a new Baptist Church at the corner of Northgate street and Bellevue place, Unley Park. The building is large, lofty, and substantial looking, conspicuous among the surrounding residences, and, with its expanse of tiled roofs and free-stone walls, presents a pleasing external appearance.” [Chronicle 15 Jun 1918]
For 100 years this building has hosted multitudes of people in worship services, weddings, funerals, public events. This is not insignificant. God’s word has been preached here for around 5200 Sundays! People have invested in serving throughout that time. Generations have called this place their spiritual home.
It is good for us to remember, celebrate and feel the weight of this. We are now stewards of this ‘conspicuous’ building. What was the vision of that congregation which approved the grand design of architect David Williams? There is real generosity in the scale and appointments of the design. I can’t help but feel their key motivations would have been the promotion of the Gospel and for the glory of God. This is what has outlasted them, will outlast the building and will outlast us. I wonder, what is the shape of our vision for the Gospel and God’s glory? Our 100-year-old building makes a bold statement. Let us dream dreams which are large, lofty, substantial, conspicuous.