The Gap Uniting Church history

The land on which our church is built is Turrbal Country, the original inhabitants of Brisbane (Meeaan-Jin).  The road on which our church is located, Waterworks Road, was built on a Turrbal pathway that led to Mount Coot-tha – a place of the honey-bee Dreaming.  The members of The Gap Uniting Church endeavour to recognize the traditional custodians of the land on which this church is built.

The Gap Method Church c1950
The Gap Method Church c1950

The Gap Uniting Church came into being on the 22nd of June 1977 with the nation-wide union of the Congregational, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches. Its history in The Gap, however, goes back more than a century.

The Gap was first settled by Europeans in 1850, when the area was still the Moreton Bay Colony. Primitive Methodists began holding services in houses in Payne Road in 1870. Two years later Mr. Moses Adsett, a local resident, donated two acres of land for the purpose of establishing a church and local cemetery.

The first church was opened on the 10th December, 1873 at a cost of ninety-three pounds. The original bible, presented to the church by Mrs. Buckle, is housed in the church today. Moses Adsett was the first person to be buried in the church cemetery.

 

 

 

 

sundayschool1934
The Gap Methodist Sunday School c.1935

In  1902 the Primitive Methodists and the Wesleyans united to form the Methodist Church of Australia.

Growth in the area led to The Gap becoming a part of the Ashgrove Circuit in 1924. In 1971 it became a Methodist Circuit in its own right.

The Presbyterian Church in The Gap began on the 6th November 1960, when the Presbytery of Brisbane opened and dedicated a hall in Ullin Street.

Growth in the church however led to subsequent purchase of a larger site in Waterworks Road. The hall was moved to the new site in March 1970, and a new church also opened on the 23rd April 1972.

 

 

 

The Gap Uniting Church 2000
The Gap Uniting Church 2000

In 1976, fifteen months before union, a co-operative parish incorporating the Methodist and Presbyterian churches in The Gap was formed, so that the two churches entered the Uniting Church already integrated. The present church building was opened in 1960 and extended towards Waterworks Road to achieve the current auditorium which was opened in 2001. The pre-school centre was added in the centenary year of 1972.
 

On November 16th 2008, The Gap and surrounding areas were hit by a massive storm or ‘microburst’. This resulted in severe damage to all buildings on the grounds. The worst hit building was the Old Hall which lost its roof and top floor. The storage areas underneath have been maintained since then with a temporary roof. It is the intention of the church to demolish the remaining building and rebuild on the site.The John Knox Youth Centre was built in 1978, with proceeds from the sale of the Presbyterian site. The old hall at the rear of the property was acquired after World War 11 and in spite of its temporary nature was used for many years afterwards.

The history of The Gap Uniting Church has been collated into a book available from Mr Jeff Hilder.

Also available is a recently published history of the cemetery – “140th Anniversary of The Gap Pioneer Cemetery 1873-2013” written by Ann Hilder.  To purchase a copy contact the church office or the author, Ann Hilder [Ph 07 33001783- email jjwamhil@bigpond.net.au]

The 148 page A4 format publication consists of all headstone/plaque photos and personal images of over 120 of the 162 persons buried in the cemetery. All 162 individuals interred are included in the comprehensive ancestral history section of the book. Copies are available at a cost of $20.00 plus postage if applicable.