The National Trust of South Australia has become the new custodian of the North Adelaide Baptist Church on Tynte Street through the gifting of the iconic property by the church membership. The church complex celebrates its 150th anniversary this year as a place of worship and community. The main church building and associated hall and manse buildings sit on an intact original one acre lot in the centre of North Adelaide, on what was then the main street.

National Trust President Deborah Morgan comments:

“Places of worship are often the most significant and most beloved heritage buildings in any community. We are delighted that the North Adelaide Baptist Church community has decided to entrust their built heritage to the National Trust for its future preservation and public use.

We are honoured and humbled by the generosity of this gift and excited by the possibilities for continuing its public use and preserving its magnificent built form for future generations.”

Deacons of the North Adelaide Baptist Church say that “Our church community is looking forward to the realisation of the National Trust’s vision for this historic property. Our 10am Sunday service will continue as usual, [once the current public health restrictions have been lifted], along with our other activities during the working week. The building is also [normally] open to visitors from 11 am to 1 pm on Wednesdays.”

The church building is unusual in its design, eschewing the neo-gothic styles favoured for most major nineteenth century churches in Adelaide for a style described as ‘Venetian’ at the time of its construction, but possibly based by architect James Cummings on London’s Metropolitan Tabernacle.

The North Adelaide Baptists were always ones to carve their own path. The congregation first formed in 1848 as a breakaway group from the Ebenezer Baptist Chapel, and has ever since maintained a proud independence of thought and practice. The importance of the church as a public auditorium is built into its design with a steeply sloping floor and curved rows of seating working to focus all attention on the pulpit. The church is also home to one of Adelaide’s finest pipe organs, built in 1890 and comprising 2456 pipes and boasts a fine musical heritage.

In recent years The National Trust has been working with a range of faith based to convene an annual conference on regenerating places of faith. The acquisition of the Baptist Church provides an opportunity to manage the transition of a nineteenth century treasure into a sustainable twenty-first century future.

The Trust looks forward to the work of preserving the extraordinary built legacy of the North Adelaide Baptists and continuing their cultural traditions and service to the community.

We are commencing a program of urgent conservation works and welcome your support through a donation to the fundraising appeal to maintain this glorious treasure as a community asset for another 150 years.

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