In 1959, the Ipswich Baptist Church celebrated its centenary and the Church was considering the possibilities of a Centenary Project. The daughter Church at Churchill was maturing and considering autonomy. An area to the southwest of the Ipswich Church was developing and was without any significant Christian witness. The area was unique in that it was made up of permanent residents, RAAF families and a large amount of Queensland Government Department of Housing homes. Further west was the RAAF Base at Amberley and to the north, a proposed large industrial estate. It was agreed that the purchase of land should be considered and this should be the Centenary Project. However, it took until October 1963, to secure two blocks of land on Toongarra Rood for the project.
It took until 5th February 1969 to see the first sod of ground turned to start the building which was completed and opened in October 1969. This was the kitchen end of the hall and was part of a three stage building program. Despite heavy rain on the opening day, one hundred and fifty people attended.
Rev. J.E. White was Senior Pastor at Ipswich and also served Leichhardt. Along with a Morning Service and Sunday School, a Kindergarten-Preschool was opened in 1970. The Kindergarten -Preschool flourished and this helped with the growth of the Sunday School. Annual Vacation Bible Schools were a great success.
With the development that had taken place, consideration was given to building stage 2 of the building program and, after many hold ups, an extension of the existing hall (stage 2), was officially opened in April 1975.
In July 1973, a Fellowship was formed and then, on 28th July 1979, the Fellowship was recognised as a Church and constituted as a member of the Baptist Union of Queensland, with a Foundation Membership of forty-five. During all this time, the Fellowship was pastored by Rev. J.E. White, Rev. Reg Owen, Rev. Reg Niebling and Rev. Noel Charles.
On 2nd December 1979, Pastor David Loder was inducted into the Pastorate and was the first resident Pastor in the area and under his leadership, further growth was experienced. Pastor Loder resigned in February 1984, to take up the ministry of the Bowen Church in North Queensland. With the continued growth of the Fellowship during Pastor Loder’s ministry, it was decided to proceed with stage 3 of the Building Program, the Church Sanctuary. This was completed and opened on 20th November 1983. The vision that had been planned some fifteen years earlier was now completed.
In February 1984, the Church called its second Pastor in the person of Pastor Don Steck who ministered and served faithfully until June 1994. During his ministry, the Church continued to experience growth.
Following the resignation of Pastor Don Steck, a call was issued to Pastor Graheme Monteith. Pastor Monteith was inducted to the Pastorate in October 1994 and has led the Church through the ups and downs over the past eighteen and a half years. Pastor Monteith concluded his ministry in February 2013, leaving behind a church strong in its faith and belief that the Lord would continue to lead the Church.
In March 2013, the church called its fourth pastor in 34 years. Pastor Robert Howells was called from Associate Pastor to Sole Pastor.
In the past two years the Church has developed strong relationships with the Leichhardt State School and the Leichhardt One Mile Community Centre. Our first community day was held in 2014, with over 700 people attending the afternoon and evening. A new reading program was introduced at the State School as well as other initiatives to benefit the children and their families. We also partner with the school chaplain.
We as a Church now stand ready to follow our Lord into the future, to challenge our World, and our Community, with God’s Love.