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Baptist, Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia
© Bidgee and used under license
The church: Bible
Baptist, Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia.
The building: The
building is an old hall (aptly named the Sheep Shed) of red
brick on the exterior and painted wooden panelling and exposed
beams internally. I couldn’t ascertain the exact age of the
building, but I would guesstimate between 60 to 100 years. There
is an additional more recently constructed lean-to off the side
of the building that serves as a Sunday school as well as a
coffee and dining area. The interior can be described as "neat"
mostly carpeted, a platform, a plain pulpit, cream painted
walls with blue upholstered pews.
The church: They
assert themselves as "a Bible-believing church to the Queanbeyan
region." From what I can gather, they do a fair bit of mail-drop
invitation to various special services. Being dispensationalists,
they had recently held a study on this theme. They meet each
Wednesday evening for Bible study and prayer. I am unaware of
any community involvement beyond their own congregation.
The neighbourhood: Queanbeyan
has been a city in its own right for just 40 years (since 1972),
although it had a presence as a mining town and important agricultural
district as long ago as the 19th century. Due to its proximity
to the Australian capital, Canberra, it is something of a commuter
town. The church is situated in a good area as far as visibility
goes. It's a few meters down the road from a large pub. Access-wise,
it is easy to get to from its position on a main arterial road
in and out of Queanbeyan.
Pastor Kevin Beier presided. I missed the name of the person leading the singing.
The date & time: Sunday,
24 June 2012, 11.00am.
What was the name of the service?
Special anniversary service. I was there due to an invitation
card having arrived in my mailbox. I thought it a perfect opportunity
to return the favour by dropping my own Mystery Worship card
in the plate!
How full was the building?
I would say the building could hold about 60-70 comfortably,
and there wasn't a pew that was empty. There were at least 50
people present, of all ages.
Did anyone welcome you personally?
Yes. A sidesman welcomed me and handed me a Bible and a service
Was your pew comfortable?
It was a typical modern upholstered pew, and very comfortable.
How would you describe the pre-service
It was pleasant. People were chatting and, from what I could
gather, quite pleased to see so many people in attendance.
What were the exact opening words of the
I actually couldn't quite get the exact words over the general
chatter, but I assume it was a "Good morning." Mr
Beier then gave a short summing up of the 21-year history of
the church. There have been many ups and downs through the years,
even times when the membership dipped to as few as a half a
What books did the congregation use during the
The 1611 King James (Authorised) Version of the Bible
as far as they are concerned, the only translation worth a dime
and a hymn book called Great Hymns of the Faith.
What musical instruments were played?
A piano. There were a couple of guitars lying around but they weren’t played.
Did anything distract you?
A guy sitting a few rows in front of me with hair that was surely
longer than Jesus'! I couldn't help wondering quite how he got
away with it good on him, I thought.
Was the worship stiff-upper-lip, happy clappy, or
It was standard Bible Baptist fare consisting of excellent gospel
hymns. We sang "Years I spent in vanity and pride",
"Power in the Blood", "To God be the glory",
and "Victory in Jesus", all with great gusto.
Exactly how long was the sermon?
On a scale of 1-10, how
good was the preacher?
7 Mr Beier had a warm, inviting style of preaching. Hand
in pocket a few times, but otherwise nothing too erratic in
his mannerisms. He referred us to the page number in the pew
Bibles from which his text would be taken, and said that we
were welcome to take a Bible home with us if we didn't have
one. His text was Matthew 27:34-44 (the crucified Jesus is mocked
by passers-by and the thieves who were crucified with him),
although he also referred freely to the other Passion narratives.
In a nutshell, what was
the sermon about?
The title of the sermon was "Which thief are you?" The
two thieves were dying men mocking a dying man yet Jesus
alone could give them life. How ironic! Jesus, who was sinless,
was being reviled by vile men. Jesus could have said to the
thieves, "You had this coming to you." Instead, he
prayed, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they
do." The thieves were men of darkness; Jesus had no darkness
in him. Jesus is the light of the world. During the three hours
that Jesus hung on the cross, God made the whole world dark
so that all would understand. We have all sinned like the two
thieves had sinned. We need to look to Jesus and be saved. We
are all people of dark behaviour, and yet Christ will lift the
darkness if we will but turn to him. The "good thief"
died believing the promise of Jesus. The Church cannot manipulate
us into turning to Christ. Only we can turn to him.
Which part of the service
was like being in heaven?
Those glorious gospel hymns.
And which part was like being in... er... the other place?
As usual, the "meet and greet" during the service.
I have never liked this, either in my own church or in any other.
I always feel awkward.
What happened when you hung around after the service looking lost?
Since it was an anniversary special, there was a lunch served
after the service. I was impressed with the array of food on
offer, from Asian cuisine to good old corned beef. I was also
reasonably fortunate generally to have avoided overt detection,
and was able to slip out after a quick taste of some of the
How would you describe the after-service
As above, good fare. There were tea and coffee along with an
array of soda and juices. I didn't avail myself of these as
I didn't want to get trapped in a conversation.
How would you feel about making this church your regular (where 10 = ecstatic, 0 = terminal)?
4 They seemed to be good, honest Christian people, but
the strictness of Bible Baptist customs and beliefs are not
for me. So I would not make this my regular church. I enjoy
my salvation far too much.
Did the service make you feel glad to be a
On the whole, yes it did. I do love those "great hymns
of the faith."
What one thing will you
remember about all this in seven days' time?
"God made the whole world dark so that all would understand."
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