Church History in Yandina
The first church in Yandina was the Union Church or Community Church, often referred to as the Maroochie Church. It was established to serve as a community hub and to welcome and plant denominations in the sparsely populated local area. The Maroochie Church was officially opened in November 1880 on the Prince of Wales birthday; and the event was reported in the newspaper on 1 January the following year.
The Brisbane Courier recorded the first marriage at the new church. The author noted …”one of the settlers taking unto himself a wife, setting a good example to a good many older men. By-the-bye, not digressing too far, the Government ought to tax all unmarried men who reach the age of 25…”
The Anglican church community held services in the Maroochie church from 1880. In 1918 the Church of England bought the building and the land, and it was dedicated All Saints Church of England. As the oldest surviving church building on the Sunshine Coast, it sits today in Farrell Street, now a creative arts studio called Little Palm Studio.
Catholics and Orthodox Christians were independent of the Maroochie Church. The Church of Our Lady of the Rosary was officially opened by Archbishop Duhig on 19 August,1923. In 1978 the building was moved from Yandina to Nambour.
The Seventh-Day Adventist Church was dedicated in Yandina on 12 May 1944. In 1990 it was moved from its original position in Stevens Street to its current location in North Street.
The Yandina Methodist Church was built at a cost of 100 pounds and opened on 4 December 1904. Before then, services had been held at the Maroochie Church, and at the Ninderry Church which sat on a block of land in what is now called Silky Oak Court.
In 1940 Yandina’s Presbyterian Church was built and officially opened on 30 November that year. Until then, Presbyterian services had been held by courtesy of the Baptists in their church.
In 1977 the Uniting Church in Australia was formed when the Methodist and Presbyterian churches united. As part of that unification, the Yandina Presbyterian Church was moved in 1980 to the rear of the Methodist Church to serve as a hall.
The Baptist Church was officially established in Yandina in 1921, making next year the church’s centenary.
Its history started in 1910 when the first official Baptist Service was conducted by Reverend T.V. Symons on 8 January that year as a part of the Baptist Home Mission. As part of that Mission, local Baptists began holding meetings in the home of David James and Flora Ensbey. After meeting in other churches for a few years the congregation bought some land in Railway Street in 1919 at a cost of 40 pounds. A plan was soon in place to move a disused Union Church building from Pomona to the site for a total cost of 217 pounds. This happened, and the new church was constituted in 1921.
Foundation members of the church were David and Flora Ensbey, Mr and Mrs Farbrace, Mr and Mrs Hillier and Mr and Mrs W. J. C. Stone. Pastor Mursell would walk from Maleny to take the service, and then on to Nambour to take the night service.
The first baptism, conducted in the South Maroochy River near the bridge, was Mrs Lottie Ensbey nee Redsell. The first marriage ceremony performed in the church was that of Violet Marsh to Bill Ensbey.
The first organist was Mrs Lottie Ensbey; and she was followed by Mrs Annie Sweet who was organist for 46 years.
1955 saw a cyclone turn the original building into ‘matchsticks’ but thanks to locals Mr Bob Hohnke and Mr Wally Benfer plus an urgent appeal to Queensland Baptists a new church building opened free of debt on 5 November the same year.
In 1971 the Baptist church celebrated its 50th anniversary. In 1979 a disused church building was purchased and brought from Bli Bli to Yandina to serve as a hall for the Sunday School.
By late 1980 the church became autonomous beginning in January 1981 with the church’s own Pastor, Reverend Brian Thomson. Soon after, the church was extended to its current size, using local hardwood from Cooloolabin, and built completely by volunteer members of the church every weekend over 18 months.
In 2014 the church bought the property next door — previously a video shop and a tractor sales outlet — and opened Connections in 2015. Since then the church has set up the Men’s Shed, CIYA (art, craft and chat) and other groups. Playgroup, Line Dancing and Conversational English have all been suspended due to COVID restrictions.
Since its establishment in 1921 there have been 32 ministers at the Yandina Baptist Church. The current minister is Reverend David (Pastor Dave) Tidey. He and his family have lived in Yandina since 2010.
He has been heavily involved in many of the community groups in town and sees that the church will continue to be involved in the town into the future.
One of the plans the church has is to plant small churches in the towns around the area.
The Yandina Baptist Church Centenary celebration is being planned for June 2021 and will be a weekend filled with various events.
*Material in this article sourced from the Yandina & District Historical Research Project titled: Yandina 125 Years 1871 – 1996, and from Yandina Baptist Church.