Marrawah’s Grand Finale
Celebration, thanks and farewell
By Dan Evenhuis
On Sunday 5th February 2023, Marrawah Baptist Church held their final service when 78 people squeezed in to give thanks. They took it out with a bang. You can watch snippets of the service via YouTube, below.
Personally, my ministry started in Marrawah, and I had the privilege of MC’ing the service. A long time ago, I led the local youth group, and gave my first sermon in the mid-90’s. Patrick Bakes, who has been a regular speaker and encourager at Marrawah, shared a couple of songs.
Ted Nibbs, who has also been a regular speaker at Marrawah for many decades, gave the final sermon. This was complemented by Stephen Baxter (Mission Director for Tasmanian Baptists). Both men spoke of the seasons of God’s work, and the sewing of seeds over the years, but also the courage to know when it is time to complete a chapter and see what God opens next.
However, the people worthy of note are those who kept this church functioning these recent, sparse years: Peter and Silvia Godman, and Ada Baldock.
FROM LEFT: People gathered early; Pre-service morning tea; The building was packed out!; Speakers on the day.
Seventy Years of Service
Marrawah Baptist church began in 1953, and during our closing service one of the founding members, Miriam Godman, shared some of the history. Marrawah has grown and commissioned many missionaries, held thriving Girls Brigades, summer-clubs, hosted ‘GodStock’ (Christian Surfers of Tasmania camp), and was often the starting point for Bike for Bibles.
Stephen Baxter reflected on the day saying, “It was my privilege, on behalf of Tas Baptists, to join the folk at Marrawah as they celebrated the faithfulness of God and to give thanks for the service of many people over many decades.
“It was also a day of mixed emotions. Our Baptist work was the last remaining church to close in Marrawah. There was grief in that, but also hope and expectation for what God might do next.”
Is there something else in the pipeline at Marrawah? “Watch this space,” was all Stephen could say.
The thanksgiving service at Marrawah Baptist was a sad occasion as the doors were closed for the last time. But please pray with us as we determine God’s will for Marrawah.
Executive Pastor, Citywide Baptist
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