The importance of history

What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
— Ecclesiastes 1:9

An approach to value your history can be perhaps be explored through five words- faithfulness, perspective, balance, humility and hope.

 Original chapel opened in 1864

Original chapel opened in 1864

1. Faithfulness - When you understand where you have come from and how you arrived to this day, it can help you to stay faithful to the timeless truths of foundation.  Remembering who we are is helps us be faithful to where we have always been going in following Jesus.

2. Perspective - Having a perspective of our history means that we understand we are but one generation, amongst many who have been, and more who are to come.  We should never lose perspective feeling we are the only ones.  We are building on those who came before us, so that those who come after us can continue to grow stronger in serving the Lord.

3. Balance - Keeping a bigger picture in mind and a long term view means we have a more balanced viewpoint.  The understanding of issues in the past, and the need to provide for the future, helps us made balanced decisions that see fruitfulness and longevity into the future as we serve the call of Jesus to our community across the generations.

4. Humility - Knowing our past helps us to remember that it is not about our efforts nor are our worries and greater than those before us.  We are humbled when we know that we build on the sacrifice of others who have gone before us.  We are humbled when we take account that our decisions today will affect those generations who are yet to come.

5. Hope - It can be easy for us to think our current times are the best or the worst that have every transpired.  Knowing our history means that we can see many times of hardship, trial and strife, amongst great achievements, developments and growth.  While every generation has experienced a tough moment, we can have hope that our church still has a mission, and we are still called to preach the Gospel here in Burnside, and to all the nations.

Serving Jesus since 1855

Around 1855

A small group of Christians from Burnside Village began meeting in homes forming a congregation committed to New Testament teaching and forming a Church.

December 1864

On Christmas Day 1864, the original Chapel was dedicated to God and the Church continued to grow and reach the community.

August 1939

On 20 August 1939, the new Church was dedicated to God and remains the current facility for Burnside Family Church at 88 Lockwood Road.

A brief history - 150 years of worship

A number of local people from Burnside Village had been had been meeting for about 8 years in local homes, including that of Mrs Booth and Joseph Lockwood.  This was the early beginning of our Church who had been encouraged by visits from Pastor Thomas Playford, who had set up a Christian Chapel in Bentham Street, Adelaide in 1848 and had an extensive itinerant preaching ministry in and around Adelaide, including Mitcham, Burnside, Norton Summit and Hindmarsh. 

Jacob Abbott was co-pastor at Bentham Street for some years, until he left with William Finlayson in 1855 to set up and co-pastor Zion Christian Chapel in Pulteney Street. This was followed by several other Christian churches being established outside of the CBD, starting with Stepney in 1858, Burnside in 1864, Hindmarsh in 1867 and Stansbury in 1875. The Burnside congregation was assisted by the addition of some of the congregation from the Zion Christian Chapel, One of their pastors, William Finlayson, who came to lead this new congregation at Burnside, had arrived in the colony of South Australia in 1837 as a true early pioneer.

The Burnside congregation continues to adhere to strong New Testament teaching on the Second Coming, believer’s baptism by immersion and sharing in the Lord’s Supper.  The Church actively supported missionary work from the beginning and remained determined to be known only as Christians rather than belonging to a denomination.  As the fellowship in Burnside grew, it was the Lockwood's who owned the corner General Store (now Butcher shop High Street/Lockwood Road) who kindly donated the current Church land, and some stone for the new chapel. On Christmas Day 1864, congregation members met in their newly built Christian Chapel - now 88 Lockwood Road.

The Church grew steadily over the decades with it becoming necessary for a new building.  With years of planning and saving, the vision for a new church was discussed in 1932 culminating in the commencement of building in 1938.  By 1939, the building was completed in late 1939 inside and out as a result of the generosity of the community.  Over 500 interested members, friends and people from the past gathered for the grand opening of the new church. The Mayor of Burnside (Colonel Waite) officially declared the building open “to the glory of God.”  At the dedication service, a prayer was offered:

"Today we dedicate this new building to God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, whom we love, worship and serve to His praise and glory and the Salvation of souls, the help and comfort of His people. May its doors ever be wide open to all who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God. May the Gospel of grace ever be preached in sincerity and power."

This Church stands today as a visible proof that GOD ANSWERS PRAYER, sustains us throughout the generations, and the ongoing mission of His Church to Burnside, Australia and the Nations.  Over the years, the Church at Burnside continued to worship God without ever going into debt, was able to extend and add more buildings to accommodate the increasing congregation providing Sunday School, Kids’ Club and Youth Group.

Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!
Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his.
We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever,
and his faithfulness continues to each generation.
— Psalm 100 (NLT)