Henry Reed Memorial Baptist Church, Wellington St, Launceston

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Opened 3 July 1885 as a Christian Mission Church, to replace the smaller building that is now behind. Later became a Baptist Church. Now (2015) operating as a Gateway Baptist Church, with the Korean Full Gospel Church behind.

Photo: late 19th century
Interior
Wellington St, showing church in context

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THE OPENING OF THE TEMPLE.
To-day will see the consummation of the work begun by the late Mr Henry Reed for providing a suitable place of worship for the congregation he drew together during the later years of his life. The building is worthy of its object, and as one of the principal edifices of its kind, will attract praise from all who visit it, whether townspeople or visitors, both for its style of architecture, and the chars iter . of the workmanship evidenced in all its details. Designed by Mr F. Tyson, its foundation stone was laid nearly two years ago, on July 19, 1883, by Mr J. L. Smith, of Cambock, in the presence of a large number of members of the Mission Church. To-night it will be open to the public for the first time, after a tea meeting, held in the adjoining Pavilion shortly after 5 o’clock, its inauguration as a place of divine worship being celebrated by a number of addresses from Pastor Hiddlestone and the leading members associated with him
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Daily Telegrah, 3 July 1885

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The Christian Mission Church, in Wellington street which will in future receive the designation of The Temple, will be opened by a tea and public meeting this evening. The Temple is the outcome of the late Mr. Henry Reed’s labour on behalf of Christianity in Launceston, and forms a conspicuous attraction in a not very attractive part of the town. Shortly after Mr. Reed arrived in Tasmania he was urged to commence a permanent religious work in Launceston, in addition to the regular work already undertaken by him at Mount Pleasant. Though at first reluctant to undertake this further responsibility he subsequently felt called upon to take it up in good earnest. An hotel held by Mr. Parr in Wellington street was purchased, and turned into mission premises, and an old shed at the rear, formerly used as a Skittle alley, being changed into a meeting hall, after it had been repaired and painted. This was in 1876, and the work was then connected with the Wesleyan Church. Next year Mr. Reed’s work was carried on independently, of any other religious body, and in 1879 a brick building to accommodate 350 people was commenced. At the opening of this building Mr. Reed preached his last sermon, and the infant church was left without a pastor for several months. In 1881 Mr. R. W., Hiddlestone became connected with the church, which increased so steadily in numbers that a large pavilion had to be erected for accommodation, while the larger and more permanent church was being built alongside. The foundation was laid in July, 1883, so that it has nearly taken two years to complete it ; but the work has been of a most substantial Character, and tho result is a credit to both architect and builder, and an ornament to the town.
[contines with a long description]
The Mercury, 4 July 1885

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THE OPENING OF THE TEMPLE.

The large numbers that arrived at the Western Railway Station yesterday afternoon, showed that, despite the inclement weather, the congregation that would assemble at the new Temple in Wellington street, to be present at its opening services, would tax even the increased powers of the Christian Mission Church to provide accommodation for its worshippers, large though its new place of worship is, and so it proved. The number who came from Evandale, Perth, Longford, and Deloraine, besides a great many of Mrs Heed’s tenants from Wesleydale and Dunorlan, formed but a small portion of the crowds ?which assembled in Wellington-street between 6 and 7 o’clock.

The Pavilion, where the tea-meeting was held as announced, before the service in the Temple, failed entirely to accommodate the visitors all at one time, and two and even three relays were necessary before all the visitors had partaken of the good things provided. The Pavilion itself was changed almost beyond recognition by the tasteful decorations which the willing hands and hearts of several of the lady members of the congregation had contributed to brighten the interior, and show their recognition of its past usefulness. The interior was bright with evergreens, texts, mottoes, and flowers, the scene being prettily lighted up with Chinese lanterns, and the cheerful faces of those who felt that now they were fully provided with a temple worthy of the worship conducted in it. After the first relay had had tea, and entered the church adjoining, an other body of 500 or 600 sat down, but insepite of their numbers the arrangements were so well carried out that there was little or no delay in providing for these and those who in turn succeeded them. In the meanwhile the church was filling, and those inside passed the interval in singing hymns, which fully proved that the system followed for securing good acoustic properties in the church were highly successful. The church was brilliantly lighted, and though entirely plain inside the handsome wood, the pews, galleries, and platforms are made of, robbed it of any defect in this direction. There is one exception to the simplicity of the interior, and that is the handsome marble cenotaph to the memory of the late Mr Henry Reed that is placed at the back of the platform.

By 7 o’clock over 1500 people were in the Church, filling not only the body and galleries, but even all available standing room in the aisles and passages.
Daily Telegraph, 4 July 1885

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