-CHURCHES AND CHURCH AFFAIRS—
THE ZION CHAPEL, PULTENEY STREET ESTABLISHED, AS AN OPEN BAPTIST CAUSE.
The history of Zion Chapel goes back nearly 70 years, but the nucleus of the membership had its formation six years previously. It was started as an open
Baptist cause, the trust deed not permitting a close communion. The Rev. .J. B. Titherington was the first pastor, and the members decided to build on a block of ground in Pulteney street, between Wake- field and Flinders streets, which had been generously presented by Capt. Allen, of Port Gawler. Foundation Stone Laid. The foundation stone of the chapel was laid on October 30, 1848, by Mr. O. K. Richardson, a prominent Government official of the day. Underneath the stone was placed a bottle containing a few coins, and an inscribed paper, which set forth that the remaining service was conducted by various ministers of the Church of Christ. The building was raised by and intended for the use of a Society of Christians called Baptists, collected and constituted upon the simple principle of receiving to communion all good people who were renewed in the spirit of their minds, and who gave evidence thereof by their walk and conversation becoming the Gospel of Christ. Their mode of church government was Congregational, and their doctrines in harmony with the fundamental doctrines of the great co-existent bodies of which the orthodox Protestants consisted. namely, Episcopalian, Presbyterian, and Congregational. The building fund was raised by contributions received generally from the inhabitants of Adelaide. The trustees were Messrs. W. Allen. C S. Hare, J. Grigg, J. N. Smith. J. H. Pace, H. Culling, E. Thorp, J. Bennett, S. Thomas, Cornish, W. Fabian, Winfield, J. B. Titherington (pastor), and I. Thomas (deacon). After the stone was laid Mr. Richardson made a few remarks, expres- sing the hope that all religious disputes
would be at an end, and that each of the sections of the church in the colony would live together in peace and harmony as children of one Father, and as travelling together to the same rest above. After suitable addresses by the Revs. D. J. Draper (Methodist) and Storr. the meeting was concluded with prayer by the Rev. Long. The service was conducted by Mr. Titherington. The church was completed some time afterwards. From 1851 to 1857 the use of the church building was granted to the Lutheran body for religious services on Sunday afternoons, when the Baptist folk started a Sunday school under the super intendency of Mr. Thomas Cornish. The Lutherans then occupied a small building of their own in Pirie street for services. During those years the Baptist community, with, whom Mr. Daniel was also associated as pastor, was only small, and arrange- ments were made to amalgamate with the worshippers from Nbrth Adelaide, under Capt. Scott (the father of the late Mr. W. D. Scott. Master of the Supreme Court), and Mr. George Prince, of Mitcham, who recognised the strict Baptist principles. The services were held at Pulteney street. Zion Chapel Started. The first minute in the Zion Chapel records stated that on September 6, 1885, Brethren Jacob Abbott, James Phillips, Joshua Gurr, John Goodwin, William Finlayson, Benjamin Cornish, James Nicholson Smith, and Alfred Swaine, voluntarily united in church fellowship upon the principles embodied in the trust deed of the said chapel. The following are some of the principles tacitly held (that is, never for- mally adopted at any meeting) by these brethren:— 1. The Holy Scriptures to be our only rule of faith and practice. 2. To take no name but Christian. 3. All believers born of the Spirit to be received as members. The baptism of believers by immersion to be taught and practised as the only scriptural baptism. 4. That any brother have liberty at the Lord's table or prayer meeting to exhort or pray, if the members consider he does so to profit. 5. The Lord's Supper to be ob- served every Lord's. Day. All Christians welcome. 6. All seats to be free, and no appeal to be made to the Unconverted for money to support the cause of Christ. 7. The second personal coming of the Lord Jesus at the end of this dispensa- tion, first for his people, and then with them to reign on the earth, to be clearly set forth. 8. To acknowledge as elders or pastors those judged able to rule and teach. 9. To acknowledge as evangelists brethren who possess the gift of preaching the Gospel. 10. Freewill offerings re
ceived through boxes at the Lord's table for necessary expenses and the poor; and, at the doors for the support of the pastor or pastors. 11. No debt to be incurred under any circumstances whatever. Three of the original members were alive when the jubilee services were held in Septem- ber, 1905. They were Messrs. Abbott (nearly 92 years of age), Gurr (86 years), and Swaine (86 years). Mr. Abbott was appointed Chairman of the inaugural meeting, and he, with Mr. James Phillips, was requested to arrange for the preach- ing services. On March 18, 1856. Mr. Abbott was appointed pastor of the church. ' ' The First Baptism. The first baptism took place on January 3, 1856. in the river Torrens, at Marden, when Messrs. Abbott and Gurr were immersed. Through the hospitality of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Cornish, whose house stood near the bank of the river, a most enjoyable day was spent in social inter- course and spiritual fellowship. The first deacons appointed were Messrs. T. V. Cornish, Joshua and Joseph Gurr. The first sisters received were Mrs. Haley and her daughters, Mrs. Wheaton and Miss Haley. Mrs. Wheaton's four child- ren (one son and three daughters) after- wards became useful members of the church. The death of Mr. James Phillips (the father of Mr. W. Herbert Phillipps), occurred on December 9, 1856, after a very short illness. That was a great loss to the infant church, for he was a man of eminent piety, of rare mental endowment, and an able preacher and teacher. He was widely known and esteemed. Mrs. Abbott and three out of the four children became members of the church. In 1875 Mr. Abbott went to Stepney to reside, and from that time be practically confined his work to the local church. A Long and Valued Ministry. Mr. W. Finlayson was appointed evang- list at first and then co-pastor with Mr. Abbott on September 27, 1857, and for 40 years he continued his labours unremit tingly, and was a man greatly beloved. He was a gifted preacher and a solicitous pastor, and throughout his long ministry he performed his services gratuitously. For some years be resided on his farm at Mitcham. His punctuality was notable. Whether in seed time or harvest, it was his custom one day a week to cease work in the field at 4 o'clock to enable his workers to attend the service in the chapel at 6 o'clock. The lads used to walk in
four miles, to attend the Bible class, and the rest of the family drove in for the prayer meeting, which- was held an hour later. His liberality was also very mraked. (sic) He subscribed generously to the China In- land Mission, while the Furreedpore and Point Macleay Mission also received his generous help. Other worthy causes, in- cluding the poor families in the neighbour- lood, shared in his sympathy and help, without regard to sect or party. As illustrating his thoughtful care, it is re- corded in the case of one family of five grandchildren, who had been left orphans by their death of their parents, he took them into his own home and reared and educated them. Mrs. Finlayson, two sons (Robert and William), five daughters, and eight grandchildren became members of the church, and all took an active part in the work as teachers, leaders of the sing- ing, and so forth. The family have been inseparably associated with the cause for many years. The two sons were superin- tendents of the Sunday schools at Stepney and Zion, and also held the office of deacon and evangelist. One grandson was a local preacher, and two granddaughters, Nurse Lily Ambrose, and her sister, Dr. Ethel Ambrose, went out to India as mission- aries. Mr. Benjamin Cornish was ap- pointed with Mr. Finlayson as an evange- list. He had a cheerful disposition, was an earnest worker, and a godly man. Mrs. Cornish very soon became a member of the church. After a few years they re- moved to Middleton, where they began worship in their own homes: a chapel was then built at Glenford, and a flourishing church formed. From there they removed
to Kulpara where a place of worship was built and meetings held. Mr. Cornish died on April 10, 1900, at the age of 76. His father and mother were both very early members of the church, also four brothers and a sister, and they all served the church well. His brother, James, was appointed an evangelist, and laboured with much diligence. About 1875 he removed to Stansbury, where he opened his house for worship. He was then instrumen tal in building a chapel, and
became the pastor of the church. Upon the death of his father, Mr. R. K. Finlayson, who bad previously been associated with him in the pastorate for a number of years, became pastor of Zion Chapel in December, 1897, and ful- filled his ministry with much blessing to the people. He inherited many of his fathers gifts as a preacher and pastor, and always exercised a helpful influence among the people. He remained in the pastorate until his death, in 1916.(sic) Commendable Church Principles. The principles upon which the church was constituted were observed through out its history. The members have loyally and willingly contributed the ex- penses necessary for' the upkeep of the cause, and the relief of the needy, as well as being generous subscribers to missionary work. They have at all times found their financial needs supplied without having to resort to unscriptural methods of ob- taining funds, and their determination not to incur debt has saved them much trouble. Up to the time of the jubilee the total number who had joined the church was 616. From the beginning ser vices were held at different places: at Chapel street and George street, Nor- wood; at Burnside, in Mrs. Booth's and Mr. Lockwood's houses, and afterwards in a chapel built on ground given by the latter. Missionary Zeal. . A prominent feature of the church has been the intense interest shown by mem- bers towards missionary enterprise. About 10 members have gone out to the foreign field, including the Misses Ambrose, to India; Miss Margaret Davis, and Messrs. Middleton and W. S. Fleming, to China. Mr. Fleming worked his passage to China and was the first member of the China Inland Mission, who met a violent death at the hands of an infuriated mob in that country, in November, 1890. Miss Fanny Allen was, with Miss Parsons, the first lady to join the Poona and Indian Village Mission. Sunday schools have been established by the folk at Zion Chapel, also Bible classes and young people's Christian societies, and through these agencies much good has been ac- complished in the lives of the young people. A good deal of money has been expended on buildings. Follow ing the erection of the chapel at Pulte- ney street, a vestry and baptistry were built. The chapel was also enlarged by the front additions, and three commo-
dious classrooms added. A comfortable one-roomed cottage for the caretaker was also provided. Jubilee Celebrations. The church attained its fiftieth year in 1905, and jubilee services were can ducted in the chapel on September 3. Mr. C. F. Reeve officiated in the morn- ing, and the Rev. W. L. Morton, in the evening. On September 6 an enthusiastic meeting was held. Pastor Abbott pre sided. Messrs. Joshua Gurr, W. Her- bert Phillipps. Reeve, the Revs. Morton, and Joseph Robertson, and Pastors T. Lees and R. K. Finlayson, also took part. Following the death of Pastor Fin- layson, in 1916, the pastoral duties were underatken (sic) for some time by different members of the church and workers from other bodies. The Rev. H. D. Archer, of New South Wales, accepted the over- sight in 1919, and performed useful ser- vice for a year. He has since passed away. The church continued to be assisted with voluntary workers until 1932. The membership having de- creased, owing to the removal of many
members to other parts, it was then ar- ranged to grant the use of the church to the Plymouth Brethren, that body having much in common with the Zion people in the matter of religious belief. A num- ber of the existing members united with the newcomers, and worship has since been continued at the chapel. Prominent Church Members. In addition to the names already given, there are a number of other members and workers who have played an active part in the history of the cause. Messrs. David Fowler and W. Bungey were two of the original trustees. Among the early workers were Messrs. C. F. Whit- ridge, Alan. Webb, W. B. Randell, Barne veld (who preached regularly each Sun- day afternoon at the Botanic Park for a number of years), G. W. Gooden (a for mer Town Clerk of Norwood), Christo- pher Giles, J. Cowell (the father of the founder of the firm of timber merchants), Ellis Edwards (a partner with Mr. Craw- ford in a grocery establishment in Hind ley street), F. A. Bowen (managing direct tor of W. H. Burford & Sons, Limited), E. P. Laurie (formerly chief draftsman in the Lands Titles Office). Robert, W., and Fred Charlick (well-known mer- chants), T. Cornish, Phillip Wheaton. and Joseph Lockwood, Mrs. J. N. Smith joined the church, soon, after it was formed, and members of her family have rendered good gervice. Mr. Mursell Smith (one of the sons) was deacon and Sunday school superintendent, and Mrs. Smith
acted as organist and teacher. Mr. Wil- liam Finlayson, of Tynte street, North Adelaide, the second son of the original co-pastor, has been in membership since 1860, and has rendered valued service. His sister, Miss Finlayson, of Glenelg, who was said to be the first girl born in the colony, was associated with the cause since childhood. She is now in her eighty-seventh year. Mr. R. N. Fin- layson, a son of Pastor R. K. Finlayson, has been identified with the church for a number of years, as a worker. Of the different families in membership, mention might also be made of Messrs. Moody, Hooper, Duke, Bennett, Redman, Hussey, and Wilson. The sixty-eighth article of the weekly series will deal with the Woodville Methodist Church.
MR. W. FINLAYSON. pastor from 1857-1897.