ebenezer historic church
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- Is Australia’s oldest church, est. 1809 at Ebenezer, NSW
- Was the first non-conformist then Presbyterian Church in Australia
- Was a pioneer in education in the colony, beginning a school in 1810. The church is the oldest extant school building in Australia.
- The Coromandel covenantors arrived in Sydney in 1802 and began as pioneer farmers on the Hawkesbury at Portland Head in 1803.
- After five years of worship in the open air and in the homes of Dr Arndell and Owen Cavanough they, with seven other families, covenanted on the 22 nd September 1808. They formed the ‘Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge and the Instruction of Youth’ and agreed to build a church and school and to call a minister to facilitate their faith.
- Ebenezer means ‘The Lord has helped us all the way’ or ‘Stone of Help’. 1 Samuel: Chapter 7 Verse 12.
- In 1809 and 1817 they sent to the London Missionary Society for supply of a minister.
- The first communion service according to the Church of Scotland was conducted in 1824 by the Rev. Dr. John Dunmore Lang. Andrew Johnston was ordained as an elder.
- The schoolmaster’s residence appears to have been built in 1817 and is an excellent example along with the church of early colonial architecture designed by Andrew Johnston.
- David Dunstan and later Charles Smith, carpenter for Governor Macquarie and architect Greenway, did the carpentry at Ebenezer Church.
- The first ordained Minister to serve at Ebenezer was the Rev. Dr John McGarvie, taking over pastoral duties from layman Catechist ‘Pastor’ James Mein.
- The fifteen pioneer families made major contribution not only to church life but also to the whole development of the colony in its infancy.