St John’s

Services: Every Sunday at 9:30am at St John’s Church, 220 Geddes Street (Cnr of Cranley & Geddes Streets), Toowoomba.

St John’s, is a moderate sized congregation, with a cross-section of age groups. We seek to experience God’s presence and guidance as we fellowship and work together for our Lord. The preaching and teaching of God’s Word is central to our services. There are a wide range of different ministries and groups for all ages.

At St. John’s we are very aware that what we are and what we have, is attributable to a large degree to the legacy of the past. We are not frightened to acknowledge or to value this. There are many things which different people find to be valuable and helpful. Some people find great comfort and strength in tradition. However we are very aware that what is normal practice can often become a tradition, which has lost all its meaning and relevance.

However our Lord related to people in a way that was relevant to them and as part of His Church we are called to be relevant to our generation. It is through God’s mercy that we are made part of His family, and each member of that family, from the youngest to the oldest, is valued. We want to see each person come to a saving faith in Christ and to grow in his/her faith. However we are all different and this takes mutual respect and acceptance of each other and of the needs of others. So what we might dismiss as being empty tradition might hold real dynamic significance for another person. Alternatively what we might dismiss as being a meaningless noise might be a positive means of worship for another.

Consequently at St. John’s we are eager to have a balanced approach to all aspects of our Christian life and witness that is sensitive to the needs of all. So for instance, in our worship services we seek to choose material which, first and foremost is relevant to the theme of the message, but also reflects the scope of people’s different forms of appreciation so that they might be encouraged in their worship and Christian life. God’s Word for us today is central to all that St. John’s is and stands at the heart of our worship, teaching, witness and life.

A Brief History of St John’s

St Stephen’s, in Neil Street,  was the original and main Presbyterian Church in Toowoomba.  As Toowoomba grew, it became apparent that different communities could support their own church. In 1933, Rev D.S Jones, minister of St. Stephen’s, called a meeting in the home of Mr & Mrs Jim Smart to discuss the founding of St. John’s.

A piece of land at the corner of Cranley & Geddes Streets was purchased, comprising of the land that the Church, hall, manse, and two adjacent houses now stand. The Church, seating 105, was built by J.C Myers & Son at a cost of £915, with the total of land, buildings, fence, and furnishings being £1,200. It was officially opened on 26th January 1936 by the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, Rev F.W Gresham, who took as his text, “You shall be my witnesses”. The first minister was Rev McKnight Jones, the son of Rev D.S Jones.

A Sunday School Hall was built, but was soon to become too small. An indoor bowls club was founded, and the men offered to extend the hall, doubling its size and adding a stage, kitchen and meeting room. Many different groups and organisations were formed, which provided an opportunity for fun, fellowship, and friendships that have lasted a lifetime, including a number of marriages “made in heaven”.

In 1973 the present manse was built, with the two adjoining blocks of land being sold. From the 1950’s to 1991 St. John’s and St. David’s (Mary Street) were one charge, East Toowoomba. However when St. David’s were able to support a minister, St. John’s became South Toowoomba and St. David’s North Toowoomba.

In 1981 “extensive renovation and enlargement” of the Church was undertaken. The wooden exterior being bricked, a vestibule and two back rooms being added, all at a cost of $40,000. Three stained glass windows in the vestibule were dedicated to three sisters who had been involved in the Church from its founding; Isobel Searle, Margaret Dippel, and Jeanie MacFarlane.

For many years St. John’s maintained preaching places at Helidon and Murphys Creek. The Church at Helidon was closed in 1995. Murphys Creek was founded in 1862 and continues.