Our Story

'We preach Christ crucified.'

1 Corinthians 1:23

It was in 1884 that a few Christians under the leadership of Pastor Crosby had a deep concern for a Baptist cause in the district. A tent mission at been conducted a few years before and a Sunday school had been started. Pastor Crosby approached a Mr Flower who owned many fields in the area, he agreed to sell a piece of land to the Christians and a school house was built where the church building is now. There was sufficient land for a church building to be erected on the corner of Queenstown Road and Broughton Street. Thus the gospel began on to be preached in the school house and it seems from the documents that gradually the church grew until the turn turn-of-the-century. Pastor Crosby moved on, finance became a problem, the land on the corner was sold on and as the 1st world war approached things became extremely difficult. The trustees wanted the building used for the Gospel and it was rented out to Gospel preachers and one shilling per week.


After the war a young but wealthy man became superintendent and organised Sunday services and spent much money on taking the poor of the district on coach trips to the coast and to the country. He had studied at Ridley Hall in Cambridge and renamed the church, Ridley Hall Protestant Mission Church he was remembered in the district with great affection right up to the 1970s. He left a small group of believers who took the church through the Great Depression, enabling the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to be proclaimed up until the 2nd World War. 


Through that war one lady, sometimes her a sister and a teenage Sunday school girl kept the doors open with the lady preaching each week, often only to the Sunday School girl. An immense labor of love for 5-years. This lady and the then young woman began youth work, male survivors came home to help and God blessed them. Young lives were saved through the preaching of God's Word, and the precious blood of Christ. Out of that group came families and a growing church. A number of those families are still alive in 2020 and still pray for Ridley Hall.


Our second pastor was appointed in 1958, Pastor G N Davis and God blessed his ministry until 1962, by then the families were looking for homes as their children grow up. There was little housing in Battersea at that time and so there was a large exodus. Just one family remained in the late 1960s, and the church was again reduced to just 5 members and just a few others who attended on Sunday evenings.


In 1969 one of those five members, Pastor Peter Andrews was called of God to become the new pastor. There was no money and the building was in a very sad condition. Gradually as a small group the building was worked on, the youth work and Sunday school prospered again and we were led to to build a pre-caste building at the rear of the church to accommodate a growing ministry. 


Gradually young people were converted and the building on the corner with St Philip Street was purchased and 7 young singles were housed there, they wanted to stay and serve in Battersea. Then as before some those young people married and again there was the problem of housing.  In a series of remarkable ways God provided. In the last 30 years Battersea has changed radically, Chelsea overflowed into Battersea and house prices leapt, so God provided. 


During those times  there was a great evangelistic spirit in the church, God brought reformation to the Church, they grew in grace and understanding of God's Word and the church numbers grew also. 


In the year 2000 a new building replaced the Old School House. God was moving and working through the gospel ministry. In 2010 Pastor C Buss was called by the church to be the 4th Pastor in its history, he served until 2013. 


Then in 2013 there was a sad decline and a remnant of 20 members were left and have sought to sustain the ministry of Gods love and mercy in the Lord Jesus Christ.


 In March 2020 as the the lock-down caused by the Covid-19 virus started, we have been able to call the church's 5th pastor, Pastor Fabio Silva, and look forward to maintaining the light of the gospel. The same message has been preached here since 1884, through ups and downs of life and God willing will be preached boldly in our generation. 

 

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