Australian Baptist Ministries

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Australian Baptist Ministries
National ChairRev. Dr. Bill Brown
National Ministries DirectorRev Keith Jobberns
AssociationsBaptist World Alliance
HeadquartersSydney, Australia
Congregations994 (as of 2016)
Members70,997 (as of 2016)

Australian Baptist Ministries (formerly Baptist Union of Australia) is the oldest and largest national cooperative body of Baptists in Australia. The Baptist Union of Australia was inaugurated on August 24th, 1926 at the Burton Street Church in Sydney.


Baptist work in Australia began in Sydney in 1831, forty-three years after the British penal colony was established. [1] The first preacher was John McKaeg, who conducted the first Baptist service on Sunday April 24 in The Rose and Crown Inn on the corner of Castlereagh and King Streets. The first baptism, of two female congregants, was conducted by McKaeg in Woolloomooloo Bay on 12 August 1832.[2]

It was not until 1835 that the first church was established in Hobart Town by Henry Dowling,[3] a strict Calvinist. John Saunders, who had been sent by the Baptist Missionary Society of England to Sydney in 1834, raised the funding to erect a second church which was opened on 23 September 1836.[4][2] The first state Union was formed in Victoria in 1862. The national Baptist Union was founded in 1926 by representatives from existing state unions. [5]



  • Baptist Care Australia
  • Crossover
  • A Just Cause
  • Freedom 4 Faith
  • Baptist Insurance Services
  • Baptist Financial Services
  • Baptist History Australia


  • Baptist Churches Western Australia
  • Baptist Union of Victoria
  • Tasmanian Baptists
  • Baptist Churches SA
  • Queensland Baptists
  • Baptist Association NSW & ACT
  • Baptist Union of the Northern Territory


Australian Baptist Ministries is a member of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation (formerly Asian Baptist Federation) and the Baptist World Alliance. Ministry arms of ABM include Global Interaction (formerly known as the Australian Baptist Missionary Society), Australian Baptist World Aid, Baptist Care, and a number of Delegated Bodies which represent communities of practice, developing strategies and resources that benefit the Australian Baptist movement. These include: Crossover Australia, and Crossover Remote (formerly Northreach). The national work is divided among one territory and six state unions, which operate independently, with the national body functioning as a governance council to facilitate collaborative ministries and mission initiatives across the Baptist movement in Australia.


In 2016, the Union comprised 70,997 members in 994 churches.[6] The National Church Life Survey in 2001 estimated weekly attendance of Baptist Churches in Australia at 112,200.[7]

See also[edit]

  • Baptcare, a faith-based not-for-profit organisation providing residential and community care in the states of Victoria and Tasmania.


  1. ^ William H. Brackney, Historical Dictionary of the Baptists, Editions Scarecrow Press, Canada, 2009, p. 40
  2. ^ a b Packer, J.A. (11 April 1931). "The People Called Baptists". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 March 2016.
  3. ^ Mead, Isabella J. (1966). "Dowling, Henry (1810–1885)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  4. ^ Wright, B. G. (1967). "Saunders, John (1806–1859)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 8 January 2013.
  5. ^ Robert E. Johnson, A Global Introduction to Baptist Churches, Cambridge University Press, UK, 2010, p. 129
  6. ^ "Baptist World Alliance Statistics". The Baptist Union of Australia. 2016.
  7. ^ "Denominational Weekly Attendance". NCLS Research. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  • From Woolloomooloo to 'Eternity': A History of Australian Baptists by Ken R. Manley (Paternoster, 2006, 2 volumes, ISBN 1-84227-194-6 & ISBN 1-84227-405-8)
  • Baptists Around the World, by Albert W. Wardin, Jr.

External links[edit]