Gateway Baptist Church

Gateway Baptist church
Church Profile

Gateway was once known as Memorial Baptist Church, and is one of Tasmanian Baptists’ oldest continuously used church buildings.

Pastor Noel Eagling oversees a vibrant church which engages regularly with the local Launceston community.

Read on for an overview of Gateway’s ministry by Linda Guy; the beginnings of Gateway as Reed Memorial Baptist Church; and the precious memories of a lifetime by Lee Campbell.

Gateway Baptist: Jesus only, Mighty to Save
JESUS ONLY | MIGHTY TO SAVE

GATEWAY BAPTIST CHURCH

OUR MESSAGE: Jesus Only, Mighty to Save
OUR MISSION: In the heart of the city, with a heart for the people

By Linda Guy

Old church. Old people. Past our use-by date? Absolutely not!

The current Gateway congregation is very aware and appreciative of its rich heritage in the faithfulness of previous generations. Gateway is a place of intersections: people connecting and then dispersing in service across the city, the state, the nation and the world.

The faithful commitment to mission of those who came before, echoes into the present, and encourages us to continue the story.

We can address our three priorities: These Walls, Within These Walls and Beyond These Walls.

The present – where we are

With 146 years of history behind us, where are we today? We are nowhere near the capacity of our beautiful heritage church. Many of us are not as young, or as capable, as we once were. We have just a few treasured families with young children. Our aging buildings present ongoing challenges for maintenance, and with equipping with ever-changing technology.

We are small in number, small in resources, and limited in the manpower we can bring to ministries and projects. Yet we can address our three priorities: These Walls, Within These Walls and Beyond These Walls.

We want to see our history echoing faithfulness through the present, and into the future.

These Walls

Beckie and Noel Eagling, Gateway Baptist Church
Beckie and Noel Eagling

Noel and Beckie Eagling, our pastors who joined us in 2019, have directed us through some changes breathing new life into our old walls.  Much needed repairs and painting by Mobile Mission Maintenance transformed our hall into an art gallery now known as Artway. Christian artists come and work in the space, and their paintings now decorate the walls.

Visiting groups such as lacemakers, miniaturists and school students spend mornings engaged in creative activities. Evening painting sessions raise funds for missions.  A willing group of talented cooks provide lunches in this relaxed and inspiring setting. 

There are plans to grow the Artway ministry through offering lessons. This will provide opportunities for people in the community to come and enjoy the process of creating an artwork.

Within These Walls

Within our walls there is warm fellowship, as people connect with, and support, each other through life’s difficulties, challenges and heartaches. The experience that comes with weathering the ups and downs of employment, and bringing up families in changing circumstances, translates to wisdom to be shared with those who are not so far through the journey.

People are knitted together by their love for Jesus, and for each other.

Many roles are quietly and efficiently carried out to help ministries and programs to run smoothly. Age is no barrier to continuing service or taking up new ministries. People gather in various groups for craft, or walking, or Bible study, or mentoring, or morning teas. They are knitted together by their love for Jesus, and for each other.

Beyond These Walls

Beyond our walls, our heart for mission is revealed.

  • We have a strong connection with a church in Thailand, forged through the sponsorship of children facilitated by Compassion.
  • A school in Haiti has commenced in the last four years through the efforts and connections of a retired couple.
  • A washing basket at the front of our church is filled with groceries that go to families with a member in prison.
  • Shoeboxes, 150 of them! were packed with donations and handmade items last year for Samaritan’s Purse.
  • Friday night markets are well received by our local community. 
  • Other people are involved with various agencies such as Barnabas Fund, City Mission, Gideons, Shekinah House, and Prison Fellowship, generously giving their time and energy to the good work of these organisations.

Not too old to dream, we want to see our seats filled, our spaces spruced up and purposeful.

We want to see our history echoing faithfulness through the present, and into the future.

Linda Guy has been attending Gateway for the past 16 years and has appreciated the loving and supportive fellowship. She is a busy grandmother who enjoys retirement and currently serves on Church Council.


Why “Reed Memorial” Church?

Gateway Baptist - why Reed Memorial Church
  • Memorial Baptist Bible Study q896
  • Memeorial Baptist Band and Choir 1900
  • Memorial Baptist CE 1948
  • Memorial Baptist Church AKA Gateway Baptist

The Church I See

By Lee Campbell

Looking back over the years at Gateway (formerly Memorial Baptist church), I see a church that has had a significant past in the life of Launceston and beyond.

Our church celebrates 146 years of ministry this year, and it amazes me that God has allowed me to be a very small part of his greater picture for half of those 146 years! As an inner-city church, and due to its seating capacity, Gateway has been able to hold large, combined services, Evangelical Missions and many, many large events.

My Father and Mother were always very involved in the ministry of the Church, as were my Grandparents. I remember my family being the first there of a Sunday morning to open the building, and the last to leave, such was the commitment. I have had the privilege of sitting under the teachings of 14 full time Ministers, and numerous interim Pastors since I was young.

Early Memories

Sunday School picnics at Paper Beach

My first memory at our Church is Sunday School, held every Sunday before Church. In the 50’s and 60’s, the Sunday School was very active and even if the parents didn’t attend Church they would make sure their children went to learn about God.

Every year there was a Sunday School Picnic at Paper Beach, a beach well known for its jellyfish! This didn’t seem to matter though, as the day was a family day, filled with all sorts of food, ginger beer, beach cricket, running races, and a small bag of boiled lollies to eat on the bus on the way home.

Every year there was a Sunday School Picnic at Paper Beach

A memorable annual event was the Christmas Social with games, items and of course an enormous supper consisting of homemade cream cakes, sandwiches and fresh fruit salad and cream! On the Sunday School Anniversary, the children sang and shared what they had learnt, each one decked out in a new outfit hoping for a book prize for their achievements.

Events, and more events!

Gateway Baptist

Evangelists such as Hudson Taylor, Gordon Moyes and Bill Newman conducted meetings in the building, resulting in many decisions made for Christ. From the late 70’s, gospel concerts were regular events as artists such as David Meece, Larry Norman, Evie Tornquist, The Proclaimers and many, many more. As well, the Christmas and Easter Pageants included many people from outside the church, who came to hear the gospel and witness the stories of Jesus.

From the late 70’s, gospel concerts were regular events

Of course, there were also the Baptist Union Assemblies and Christian Endeavour Conventions. Three-course hot meals were prepared and cooked in the kitchen for all the delegates, with the help of other ladies from local Baptist Churches.

Seeing the church with gratitude

I can still see the long trestle tables with white tablecloths set out in the Hall, adorned with shiny cutlery and plates, while a lovely blazing fire burnt bright in the fireplace. There was always lots of talk and laugher at these meals as people formed new friendships.

I am so grateful that the church I have been part of for 72 years has always made it a priority to preach God’s word and truth and to proclaim ‘JESUS, ONLY, MIGHTY TO SAVE’!!

Our God truly is an awesome God. Give HIM the GLORY for ALL HE HAS DONE.


Gateway Baptist Church, Lee and Ian

Lee Campbell and her husband Ian have been very active in the life of Gateway over the years.  Their role nowadays is to uphold people in prayer and be an encouragement whenever they can.


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June/July 2022

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