how we started
Wavell Heights Presbyterian Church started as a work of Nundah Presbyterian Church. The rapid growth of Brisbane’s north-east in the post-war years lead to greater opportunities for Christian ministry in the local area. Members of the Nundah church saw the potential for establishing a new congregation in the expanding Wavell Heights area. After careful planning and prayer, building began on the new church.
On the 11th of May, 1952, the first service was held in the new Wavell Heights church, attended by around 150 people. The church grew quite rapidly over the coming years. A hall was built at the back of the church to accommodate the increasing number of children who attended the Sunday School.
The church was ministered to by a number of men until in 1959, the Wavell Heights Church applied to become a fully-fledged church in its own right. Later that year, the first ordained ministry of our church began, under the auspices of Rev. Ian Davidson who had recently moved from Scotland. Sadly, Rev. Davidson’s ministry at the church lasted less than a year.
In 1961, Rev. A.M. Wylie accepted a call to minister at the church. Wylie’s 17 year ministry would see the pinnacle of the church’s growth and expansion. The rapid growth of the church necessitated a larger church building (finished in 1966), as well as an expansion of the ministry team. Wylie was joined by Rev. Ian Barlow in 1969.
In the early 1970s many churches in Australia were influenced by the charismatic/Pentecostal movement. As this decade progressed, Wylie and Barlow became increasingly drawn to the doctrine and practice of the charismatic movement. The growing tension between their changing doctrine and that of the Presbyterian Church led to Wylie and Barlow’s resignation from the church. They had proved so influential and popular that nearly two-thirds of the Wavell Heights congregation left the church to follow their ministry, which eventually became part of what is now known as the Brisbane Christian Fellowship.
With a smaller congregation, the Wavell Heights church pushed on energetically under the ministry of Rev. Grahame Lake. In the mid-1980s, a small church plant was started in the Albany Creek area. Lake served the church diligently for around 13 years.
In 1991, Rev. Martin Duffield took up ministry in the church. With a number of Samoan families moving to the area in the following years, a Samoan congregation commenced within the church. They held their Sunday service at 5pm, with a Samoan language Sunday School meeting before the service. While time and circumstance saw the Samoan service cease, their contribution to the church is still remembered to this day. Duffield served the Wavell Heights church well for around 18 years and now ministers at Annerley Presbyterian Church.
Wavell Heights PC is now served by Matt Viney along with elders, Greg Rodgers, Andrew Ladlay and Stephen Brown. The church is going through an exciting period of change and growth. As we seek to grow as a church, we will endeavour to reach the community around us with good news about Jesus. We’d love you to join with us – and be a part of our history as we continue to proclaim the love of God shown in Jesus Christ!