A Heritage Plaque of Triple Significance!

By David Parker

The plaque unveiled by Pastor Peter Cossgrove, of North East Baptist (left) and Eric Kopittke, chair of Baptist Heritage Queensland (right)

On Monday 26 October, Baptist Heritage Qld opened another plaque in its Heritage Plaque program. This was the sixth in the series and was placed at North East Baptist Church, Chapel St, Nundah.

The plaque commemorates three Baptist buildings in Chapel Street Nundah, a first for this project. The first building (still standing next door) was the former Fortescue Street (Spring Hill) church (formed in 1865) which was opened in 1876 at a cost of £700.

The 200 seat church was moved to Nundah and opened on 9 June 1889 as the first home of the then year old Nundah Baptist Church.

Then in 1923, a new wooden church was built next door as the Nundah Memorial Baptist Church, honouring Baptist church people who fell during World War I, with special features recognizing local men consisting of windows and plaques.

It also honoured the work of Baptist chaplains. The minister Rev A G Weller, OBE was Senior Chaplain and had a long and meritorious period of service in that role. The 80 x 36 foot building, seating 500 and costing £3000, was opened with great fanfare on 4 August 1923.

The old church was soon sold and became a Masonic Lodge, then an Anglican church and eventually business premises. The shingle roof was replaced in 1935 and in 1958 the exterior was rendered with stucco and the front porch added.

The Memorial church was used, being added to, renovated and modified over the years, until 1999 when it was demolished as part of the Nundah road tunnel project.

The Nundah Baptist Church met with the Wavell Heights Baptist Church and they merged to form North East Baptist Church. The current building was opened in 2003, more or less on the site of the old memorial church.

Nundah Baptist Plaque

BHQ usually opens its plaques as part of a regular church service but that was not possible this time due to Covid and other issues. So a group of church officials and BHQ members met for the function on a weekday afternoon. The plaque was unveiled by Eric Kopittke, chair of Baptist Heritage Queensland, and Pastor Peter Cossgrove, of North East Baptist. (Interestingly, the opening of the Memorial church was delayed because of the Influenza epidemic!)

The plaque is located on a brick wall on the Chapel Street side of the church complex where it can be seen by the many people who use the footpath every day. Plaques have also been erected at Vernor, William St Brisbane on the site of the United Evangelical (Lang’s) Church, City Tabernacle, Toowong and Windsor Road Baptist Churches. BHQ has plans for further plaques but progress on them involves overcoming some serious obstacles.

Nominations for others and interest in participation are welcome.

Contact Baptist Church Archives

Baptist Church Archives
email: archives@qb.org.au
web: https://goo.gl/GRX4ET
Phone: 07 3376 4339