Newstead Baptist Church Profile
Taking the Leap
As we begin this journey
I am so thankful for this first nine-months as the Pastor of Newstead Baptist Church (NBC). Though the total journey has been much longer, it is nice to see Gods faithfulness bringing everything together so that we can launch into 2023.
Hi, I am Dan Hutchison. Back in April 2021 I first opened the door to the possibility of moving on from Citywide with the prayer and heart to follow Jesus wherever He wanted us as a family to be. Together, with my wife Maria and three kids, we felt Jesus’ call to take on the role as pastor at NBC.
In the interview, I was very clear that I still have much to learn but felt with the experience and training here in Tasmania, I was ready to take the leap. Newstead Baptist were also willing to take the leap as we both dreamed of what the future could hold, seeing a shared desire for God’s Kingdom.
Trusting God to go deeper
On Induction Day, I was overwhelmed by the hospitality and servant-hearted people we have at NBC. I highlighted the three rivers that come together in Launceston, and the North Esk river that moves through Newstead and our call as disciples to trust God to go deeper with Him, that together we will see Newstead / Launceston flourish.
At that time, one of the ways my family was being challenged to trust was that we had not yet moved into our home in Newstead. As we waited, we were blessed with the provision of a unit at Worldview Centre for intercultural studies. We were there for seven-months, and are grateful for the connections and partnership formed. One of the ways we collaborated was inviting Dan Misdom, the Principal, to share during May Mission Month.
God’s fruit is growing!
I am also thankful for organisations like Crossover and Baptist Mission Australia for the content they provide. Sermon series and advertising which you can see we use for our services and on our Facebook page. Preaching-wise I have enjoyed preparing our sermon series on Australian stories (The Coming of the Light), and The King’s Apprentice: Our Moments with the Master.
Most of all I have enjoyed getting to know the people at NBC and strengthening our connections with our community. Over the last few weeks, we have been discerning and working together on our next three-year strategic plan. We are very excited to see what fruit God grows.
P.S We are now in our house, enjoying settling-in, walking everywhere, and connecting with our neighbours.
Pastor, Newstead Baptist
Newstead Baptist Church Profile
A brief history
Changes, changes, everywhere
Reflection by a long-time member
Over recent years, Newstead Baptist experienced an unsettling period of change with several short-term pastorates and losses of some members and ministries.
While without a pastor in 2019/20, visiting speakers assisted with Sunday services, current ministries continued and, as members worked together and encouraged each other, a warm, more settled community was re-established.
Early in 2020, Stephen Baxter, our Baptist State Mission Director worked with the congregation to seek God’s leading for the church.
The outcome of those talks gave the church two areas to focus on:
- Reaching and ministering to younger families
- Extending the Seniors’ ministries
Then, Covid-19 descended and in response to pandemic restrictions, services and Bible studies ceased. In common with everyone locally and globally, there were feelings of isolation, separation and loneliness.
It was, however, encouraging to see the lovely ways people continued to contact and keep in touch with each other. On-line services helped. It was great to know that outside viewers, who did not normally attend any church, also ‘tuned in’.
Despite the restrictions of social-distancing, hand-sanitising, check-ins and masks, it’s been wonderful to return to shared fellowship together for Sunday services, study groups and other activities.
A new start
We also conducted a search for a new pastor during this time. At the end of 2021, we appointed Daniel Hutchison, with his wife Maria and children Skylah, Octavia and Boaz. On the 9th of January 2022, we welcomed them to Newstead Baptist Church.
As Daniel and the people begin working together, we continue with current ministries.
- Seniors’ Drop-in Centre
- Chat ‘n’ Choose craft group (celebrating 30 years)
- Little Fish (Sunday morning kid’s program)
- Neighbourhood Heartbeat (community newsletter delivered to 1500 local homes
- Three life groups
As we move forward, we look forward to the development of new ministries.
We’re grateful to have several rooms on our premises. These are utilised by community groups for tutoring, dancing, scouts and cubs, water colour painting, exercise groups and so on. These provide us with local contacts and offer the opportunity to expand our outreach activities.
In a recent workshop with Craig Farmer (Partners in Ministry), we shared our dreams for the future, and visualised the church in five years’ time. Now, we move forward together. We seek God’s guidance in planning programs and activities to further His Kingdom in ‘our little corner’.