This church was officially opened on Saturday, December 10th 1966.
The dedication was carried out by the Chairman of the Board of the United Church in North Australia and the Territories, the Rev. C Venton Hayman. The Resident Minister then was Rev. John O’Reilly.
The building of this church was commenced in late July 1965. Except for certain specialist tasks of brick laying and electrical work, the building programme was carried out entirely by voluntary labour. The total cost of the complete building and fittings was $12,500.
The building was designed and the overall supervisory work carried out by Mr A A (Fred) Soars, an engineer with Peko Mines, Tennant Creek. Mr Soars gave unstintingly of his spare time to the carrying forward of this project.
Many people gave time and talents in varying measure and their names are recorded.
Particular mention must be made of the work of two men –
Mr George Parmenter of Ballina, NSW came to Tennant Creek in April 1966 and left in November 1966. A retired carpenter, he showed his skill and devotion to the work of the church in labouring in a voluntary capacity for this period. Much of this building has been formed by his own hands and the Tennant Creek congregation will be forever in his debt.
Mr Bill Russell of Wagga Wagga NSW came to Tennant Creek in September 1965 to work in the town with the expressed intention of giving his spare time to the project. This intention has been carried out most faithfully because Mr Parmenter was unable to remain for the official opening ceremony, so the building was declared open by Mr Russell.
The men listed below gave their time to this building programme – some gave much, some a little.
All of it helped the job go forward in some way.
From Tennant Creek
John O’Reilly; Fred Soars; Geoff Byrnes; Bill McLean; Chris Ridley; Brian Williams; Bert Batson; Col Townsend; Jim Wallis; Kim Wright; Kurt Fischer; Brian Harper; Peter Phelan; Wally Knowles; Win Joswig; Gunter Bottcher; Bob Stein wedel: Alan Silbereisen: Joe Grasso; Helmut Mostler; Alan Weber; Carl Petering; Jim O’Mara; Neil Ross; John Love.
The following came from other places
George Parmenter, Ballina, NSW; Bill Russell, Wagga Wagga, NSW; Allan Lake, Port Pirie SA; Bruce Kelly, Ivanhoe, Vic; Len Black, Benalla, Vic; Bert Kohry, Rosanna, Vic; Fred Mills, Preston, Vic; Leighton Martin, Sydney NSW; Ron Vos, Sydney, NSW; Cyril I’Anson, Greenethorpe, NSW; Max Day, Lockhart, NSW; Tim Fischer, Boree Creek, NSW; Graham Schirmer, Lockhart, NSW; Ivan Hayes, Alice Springs; Tony Bowden, Alice Springs; Silas Whyborn, Deniliquin, NSW; Alf Hunt, Bentleigh, Vic; Alec Poppins, Melbourne, Vic.
The womenfolk of this congregation and other have consistently supported the work force and we pay tribute to them.
Shirley O’Reilly, Jan Soars, Catherine Bottcher, Zelma Thyer, Vivienne Townsend, Jan Ridley, Marion Meagher, Joan McLean, Jan Elder, Jan Kelly (Ivanhoe, Vic) Mrs Bert Kohry (Rosanna, Vic) Miss Pam Edwards, Miss Julie Muirson, Mrs Alf Hunt (Bentleigh, Vic) Edna McDonald, Carol Ross, Nan Williams, Mrs Jenkins (Melbourne, Vic) Alice Dowling, Elsie Gordon, Joan Standfield.
With a voluntary building programme there is often a need to borrow equipment and seek advice.
At various stages of this project we have been helped by
Peko Mines NL; Geopeko Limited; Ford Bros; Frank Drew; Bonanni Bros; Les Liddell; Frank Wells; Australian Development NL (Nobles Nob); Commonwealth Works Department – Tennant Creek; Tennant creek Panel Works; Fred Kittle; Geoff Kittle.
The seating in this church has been provided by gifts from
Lockhart Methodist Church, NSW; Rev & Mrs Ken Beckett, Balmoral, Vic; Mr & Mrs R Clough, Epanarra Station NT; Mt Beauty United Church Mission Group, Vic; Mr Alf Chittock, Tennant Creek; Mr & Mrs J R Bromage, Tennant Creek; Holbrook Presbyterian Women’s Association, NSW; Concord Wesley Young Adults Club, NSW; East Maitland Methodist Youth Fellowship, NSW; Mr & Mrs W K Day, Lockhart, NSW; Mr & Mrs N S McClymont, Oakey Qld; Mr Wally Knowles, Lane Cove NSW; Ringwood Methodist Church, Vic; Mr & Mrs Clough, Murray Downs Station, NT.
The Pulpit Bible is the gift by Mr & Mrs J R Edwards and family;
The vases and flowers are the gift of Mr & Mrs Eddie Vallins, in memory of Mrs Vallins parents, the late Mr & Mrs Len H Purkiss.
The copper Baptismal Bowl is the gift of Mrs Marion Meagher
The vinyl floor covering is a gift of the staff and girls of the Presbyterian Ladies College, Melbourne, Vic.
The organ was originally placed in the John Flynn Memorial Church, Alice Springs as a gift of Scotch College Melbourne, with their consent it is now placed in this building.
The Communion Table is topped with marble, the gift of United Uranium NL, Moline, NT; the work was done by Mr Bill McLean.
The drill cores on the Communion Table are from NT Leases of Peko Mines NL, Geopeko Limited and Australian Development NL.
The Lectern was dedicated to the glory of God and in loving memory of Rev Ken Beckett 1912 – 1972, who was the first resident Minister at Tennant creek, serving both Methodist and Australian Inland Missions from 1935-1939. After service as a RAAF Padre he was an AIM Patrol Padre in Kimberly, WA and the Northern Territory from 1947-1955. The Lectern was presented by his wife and son.
the Manse .. built on the southern side of the old Australian Inland Mission Welfare Hut (1964 Rev John O’Reilly and family first occupants)
“The Church of a Thousand Hands” – the story of the people who helped build the church
“Finding God in the Wilderness” by Rev John Flaherty, Patrol Minister 2006-2012