As we look ahead as a church family to the mission of proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, sometimes it’s worth being reminded of what’s happened in the past. On the evening of 16th November, 1950, a group of people met in the Howick Postmaster’s home which was then situated behind the Post Office in Picton St, Howick.
Here are the minutes from that very first meeting.
Minutes of the first meeting of the Howick Baptist Fellowship, held on 16th November, 1950, at the residence of the Postmaster, Mr L.N. Clarkson.
Rev. Ridland Jamieson, minister at North Memorial, Mr C.T. McRae, president of the Auckland Auxiliary, Mr & Mrs J. Kemp, Miss O. Kemp, Miss Earl, Mr G. Greenman, Mr & Mrs N. Nicholson, Mr & Mrs L. Clarkson, Miss A. Clarkson and Mr A. Clarkson.
Mr Jamieson opened the meeting with prayer, followed by the hymn “Jesus we look to Thee, Thy promised presence claim”, sung from the Baptist Hymnal.
The Bible Reading was taken from Acts 3:1-18.
The next hymn to be sung was “I Need Thee every hour, most gracious Lord”, followed by a period of very fervent prayer for the work of God in and around Howick.
A challenge, based on the Bible Reading, was then delivered by Mr Jamieson. He drew attention to the fact that immediately the Christian Church was formed it faced a challenge – the challenge of all the misery, physical and spiritual, which abounded on every side. It was soon after Pentecost that Peter and John were confronted with need in the shape of a lame man. But they had a message for power and hope for him, and were able to restore him to full spiritual and physical vigour. Today we are in a world which is just as needy as the lame man. The physical need may not be so great, but all around us are people who need the message of power and hope which we possess. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth we can command them to “rise and walk”.
Mr MrCrae, on taking over the second part of the meeting, said how pleased he was that a Fellowship was being formed in Howick. There was a need for a Baptist cause here because of the distance from Baptist Churches and because of the need of a more evangelical witness. There was no need to fear that the Fellowship would not grow, because the population of the area was quickly increasing and other Baptists would be moving in. He then opened the meeting for general discussion.
Mr L Clarkson described the way in which he had been led to suggest the organisation of a Fellowship. He said the progress being made in the district was very rapid indeed. Someone had prophesied that the population would reach ten thousand within a few years. It behoved the Baptists to “get in on the ground floor” and seize the opportunities now present.
It was moved by Mr L Clarkson that a Baptist fellowship should be set up in Howick. This was seconded by Mr N. Nicholson and carried.
On the motion of Mr Jamieson, seconded by Mr Kemp and carried, it was decided that Mr A Clarkson should be appointed Secretary.
It was decided to hold monthly meetings, the next to be held at the Postmaster’s residence on the 14th December, the Auxiliary to supply a speaker.
After a hymn and benediction, a pleasant social intercourse was experienced over a cup of tea.
Signed: Ridland Jamieson, Chairman (14.12.50)