BAPTIST HERITAGE QUEENSLAND National Guide to Australian Baptist Historical Resources & Services On-line Version (v3 10/16)





Baptist Union of Tasmania

14 Wentworth Street, Newstead, Tas. 7250, Tel: (03) 63346780; email


Contact Person

 Laurie Rowston, 3 Portsea Place, Howrah, Tas. 7018, Tel: (003) 62 47 8156; email



Records are available to researchers after permission has been obtained from Laurie Rowston on behalf of the Council of the Baptist Union. Appointments have to be made by letter. No fee is charged, but an  SAE or reply coupon is appreciated.



The Baptist Union of Tasmania stores most of its earlier records in the archives strong room of the University of Tasmania. Access is as above with the addition of arranging with the University Archivist (GPO Box 252C, Hobart, Tas. 7001)


Manuscripts and Correspondence

Material relating to local clergy

General finance

Minutes of Assembly and Council

Correspondence to the secretary

Committee papers

Minutes of local church meetings, marriage registers


Collections of Church News commencing 1886 to 2005 for churches compiled by L. F. Rowston

The different volumes are:

Bracknell District 1878 to 2006, 100 pages, newspaper reports from 1864. 5 Histories.

Burnie 1899 to 2006, 125 pages.

Claremont 1965 to 2006, 11 pages. See Lenah Valley for beginnings. One history.

Clarence 1997 to 2006, 5 pages.

Deloraine 1886 to 2006, 100 pages, newspaper reports from 1863.

Devonport 1888 to 2006, 140 pages, newspaper reports from 1885. Two histories.

Eastern Shore (CityGate) 1961 to 2006, 16 pages. See Hobart for beginnings.

George Town, 1958 to 2006, 21 pages.

Elphin Road 1907 to 1961, 1993 to 2000, 34 pages. See Launceston for beginnings. Elphin Road withdrew from the Association in 1962 and returned in 2000.

Hobart, 1883 to 2006, 200 pages, newspaper reports of 1883-1885. One history.

Kings Meadows, 1954 to 1975, 9 pages.

Latrobe 1887 to 2006, 87 pages, newspaper reports from 1879.

Launceston (Central, Christ Church, City Baptist) 1886 to 2006, 179 pages, newspaper reports from 1883. One history.

Lenah Valley 1952 to 2006, 19 pages. See Hobart for reports of its beginnings. One history.

Longford, 1886 to 2006, 130 pages, newspaper reports from 1866. See Perth for reports of its beginnings.  One history.

Memorial (Gateway) 1935 to 2006, 60 pages, newspaper reports 1868 to 1887.

Montello (Coastlands) 1952 to 2006, 32 pages. See Burnie for reports of its beginnings. One history.

Moonah 1908 to 2002, 82 pages. See Hobart for reports of its beginnings. Two histories.

Newnham 1991 to 2006, 8 pages.

Newstead 1940 to 2006, 55 pages. See Elphin Road for reports of its beginnings.  One history.

Penguin 1905 to 2006, 33 pages. See Burnie for reports of its beginnings and Ulverstone for oversight after. One history.

Perth 1886 to 2006, 110 pages. Newspaper reports back to 1843.

Port Sorell 1990 to 2004, 4 pages. See Devonport for reports of its beginnings.

Sandy Bay 1921 to 1962, 70 pages. Sandy Bay withdrew from the Association in 1962.

Sassafras 1889 to 2006, 43 pages. See Latrobe for reports as Sassafras was for a long time its outstation. Two histories.

Smithton/Marrawah 1910 to 2006, 58 pages. Somerset 1955 to 2006, ?? pages. Sheffield 1888 to 2006, 105 pages. One history.

South Hobart 1943 to 1978, 19 pages. See Hobart for reports of its beginnings.

Somerset 1955 to 2006, 16 pages.

Spreyton and South Spreyton, 1923 to 1952, 15 pages. Also see Devonport and Latrobe for reports as these churches took responsibly at different times. One history.

Summerhill 1959 to 2006, 18 pages. See Memorial (City) for reports of its beginnings.

Ulverstone, 1903 to 2006, 86 pages. Newspaper reports of 1903 to 1905.

Taroona 1948 to 2006, 20 pages. See Sandy Bay for reports of its beginnings. One history.

Wynyard 1906 to 2006, 100 pages. One history.

Yolla 1907 to 2006, 51 pages. Three histories.

Clergy list: 

Booklet containing lists of all Baptist clergy who have served in Tasmania since 1862 by church, giving dates of arrival and departure, where they came from and where they went to, compiled by L.F. Rowston, 1994.



A Church and its People: the Story of Elphin Baptist church 1905-1994, Olive Dowling,

Around the Country Circuits: Reminiscences of the Baptist Family throughout “Tassie’s Top Half”, 1996, Jennifer Hemsley,

Baptists in Van Diemen’s Land, the story of Tasmania’s first Baptist Church, Harrington Street, 1835-1886, L. F. Rowston

Beside All Waters, Mrs S. M. Churchward Kelly - an account of missionary life in India from c1916

God’s Country Training Ground, Centenary History of the Yolla Baptist church, L. F. Rowston.

One Hundred Years of Witness, the story of the Hobart Tabernacle, 1884-1984, L. F. Rowston.

Possessing the Future: A History of the Ulverstone Baptist Church, 1905-2005,  L. F. Rowston.

Spurgeon’s Men: The Resurgence of Baptist Belief and Practice in Tasmania 1869-1884, MA thesis in book form, L. F. Rowston.

This Corner: Stories of Newstead Baptist Church, 1936-1996, Evin Fist.

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, A History of the Burnie Baptist Church 1899-1999,  L. F. Rowston.


Tasmanian Baptist periodicals from 1886 (titles varied)



Large collection of identified photographs of clergy, church buildings, groups of deacons etc all copied into negatives by L. F. Rowston. Negatives in possession of L. F. Rowston.


Finding Aids

 A 40 page (A4 size) list of the University holdings.



Services available - reading room at University. Photocopier below in library


II  Historical Society  

(no society)


III  General


Current Publications

Baptist Union Handbook & Assembly reports

Advance, the Tasmanian Baptist quarterly


Standard Publications

C. H. Spurgeon’s influence in Tasmania through his Sermons and his Students, J. E. Walton, 1901

Henry Reed: an eventful life devoted to God and man, M. S. E. Reed (London, Morgan and Scott, 1907)

Henry Reed: Van Diemen’s Land Pioneer, H. Fysh, (Hobart, 1977)

William and Mary Ann Gibson, Greg Luxford, (Perth, Tas.: Gould Books, 1984)


IV  Other Relevant Bodies


Other Public Bodies


State Library of Tasmania, Archives Office of Tasmania  

77 Murray St, Hobart Tas. 7000

Tel (03) 6233 7488 Fax (03) 6233 7471

Web address:

  Important contents:

Harrington Street Baptist Chapel: Letter book 1834-1852 of Francis Edgar, trustee of the Chapel

York Street Baptist Chapel documents: Baptismal register 1841-1873; Marriages 1883-1888; Burials 1842-1862

Back to main page