Collins Street’s Day of History

On Saturday July 21, Collins Street joined with the Victorian Baptist Historical Society to mark the 175th anniversary of the church.

Historian Dr Ros Otzen offered a keynote presentation, Calling the Roll: What we can learn from the membership roll of CSBC. A document dating back to 1851 — just eight years after the church was formally constituted — this grand old book contains thousands of names, each one representing a story of faith that is now part of Collins Street’s extraordinary heritage.

Interwoven in Ros’s presentation were reenactments of some notable sermons (for good and for ill) preached at Collins Street by its pastors, Revs Samuel Chapman, Samuel Pearce-Carey, FC Spurr and TE Ruth. Playing the roles of these past preachers were Rev Jim Barr, pastor of the Welsh Church of Melbourne, and actor Benjamin Newall.

Two further papers were also presented, one by Dr Liz Rushen on the life and work of Margaret McLean, and the other by Sandra Thwaites on the ministry of Rev Thomas Elias Ruth.

You can access podcasts of these presentations, along with other resources related to our anniversary celebrations, here.