Ebenezer Chapel, Baptist Church, Tarnagulla

Written by Donald W. Clark.
Taken from "Tarnagulla - A History" which he compiled in 1985.

Baptist Church services were commenced very early at Tarnagulla and in 1861 a church was formed by Rev. S. Wilson. The cause prospered and 1862, the Dunolly and Burnt Creek Express reported: "The store lately belonging to Mr Brown is now being metamorphosed into a Baptist Chapel which will thus become one of the most commodious in Tarnagulla". The same paper reported on 2nd May, 1863 that the cause was progressing and a very successful social was held on 28th April with the result that only 100 pounds was then owing on the church. A special service was held in June 1863 to pay off the harmonium recently purchased. The Chapel opened in 1864. It had cost 350 pounds. The first pastor was Rev. H. Morton, who came from Maldon. He left in 1862 and was followed by the Rev. Tranter who stayed until May 1864. Rev. Wilson followed and remained until the end of 1868, when he left for New Zealand. Rev. Wilson was also a teacher at the Llanelly Common School.

Rev. Porter followed and he left on the 8th April, 1870, when he was presented with an address by the three deacons of the Church, James Cameron, W C. Ward and Edward Carey.

Rev. Finklestein was the next pastor. A sale of gifts at the Chapel on Tuesday, 29th August, 1871 was held to pay off the debt on the parsonage. The sale which was conducted by Mesdames Ward, Bousfield, Robinson, Burstall and Cherburg, raised 40 pounds.

A handsome new brick front was erected at the Chapel and the completion of this was celebrated at the service held on Sunday July 19th, 1872.

With the collapse of mining at Tarnagulla the population dropped considerably and the church gradually ceased to exist. On 22nd July, 1898 Mr H. C. Bristol advertised for offers to purchase the old Baptist Church, to reach him by 2nd August 1898. The church had closed some time prior to this, and has been used for private purposes, mainly residential since 1898.