The Moonee Ponds Baptist Church (MPBC) was established in 1892 following the initiation of a Sunday School in Union Road by the Newmarket Baptist Church. The membership of 37 grew rapidly, reaching its peak membership in 1914 and has remained relatively stable since then particularly over the past 40 years. The church initially was characterized by its strongly evangelistic emphasis which has followed throughout the decades.
Since the late 1960s MPBC has had three Senior Pastors, one having been in office for more than 28 years. Over the same period the church has had several associate Pastors. The pastorate of Rev. Grenville Hinton commenced in 1969 to 1983. Sal Romano came to the church soon after Grenville Hinton and before long an Italian congregation was established. As this congregation grew in numbers, alternative accommodation became necessary.
The arrival of a Cuban family in 1972 led to an existing Spanish language congregation moving to the church. A returned missionary, Rev Charlie Wilcox, joined the pastoral team after years of service in Bolivia until his retirement in 1993 by which time the Spanish church had moved away to larger accommodation.
In the meantime Pastor Mal Collins had joined the team in the early eighties and took overn the leadership on the retirement of Grenville Hinton. In addition a church plant had begun in Sunbury over the period 1972-1975 leading to the formation of the Sunbury Baptist Church.
The mid seventies saw the arrival of our first Filipino family followed by many more during the ensuing years and the appointment of Pastor Ric Raimundo (1990-1997). Eventually this led to the planting of the Filipino church in Delahey under his pastorate.
The Indo-Chinese refugee migration of 1978-1988 saw the introduction of multi-lingual evening services. Migration of Chinese people in the early nineties added to the multicultural nature of the church. A wide range of countries of birth are represented in the congregation.
Youth Pastors Russell Moore (1987 – 1991) and Andrew Jones (2001 – 2002) were also appointed to lead and work with our youth and young adults’ ministry.
The pastoral team in recent years consisted of Pastor Mal Collins (Senior Pastor who ended his ministry with us in 2009), part time Pastors Doug Carr and Jonathan Adlawan who have both since ceased their role as pastor, Pastor Don Valentine who acted as our Intentional Interim Pastor but ceased this role in January 2012 and Pastor John Izvernariu took up as our part time Interim Pastor, departing in late 2012.
Our most recent pastor, Reverend Greg Templeton, began as Senior Pastor in January 2013 and served until December 2017. Among his many responsibilities, Greg oversaw much needed renovations, was a keen attendee at the Monday community meal and revamped the worship team.
Over the years the church has sent out and supported many missionaries who have worked in countries including India, West Papua, Cambodia, the Philippines, Canada and China as well as local missions. In the last decade mission trips have been run to India, Cambodia and the Philippines.
Currently we have a number of missionary partners. Sally Boyd works with the Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES) reaching Muslim students; Jomil and Benny Edis who work with Missionary Ventures (Philippines); and Ian and Wendy Dicks who work with Global Interaction serving in Malawi, Africa. Currently 20% of church income is dedicated to mission.
In the local community, outreach and practical help is provided through food bank, bread supply, Tuesday coffee morning, a weekly community meal and Men’s Coffee Morning.
Child/family activities aimed at sharing the love and message of Jesus include annual Holiday Clubs, a playgroup, film nights, Carols in the Street, Youth Group and a Pre-Youth Group. On Sundays, everyone joins in the main sanctuary for worship, then Primary school aged children attend Kids’ Church and the youth attend Youth Group.
Youth have always been a ministry focus within the church. Presently the teenagers are catered for by Youth Group which is designed to include a Bible focus particularly with the Sunday morning Bible teaching, with more fellowship focused activities fortnightly on Friday nights. A Pre-Youth Group runs fortnightly on Friday nights, run parallel with the Youth Group, has recently begun to cater for Primary School aged children.
The Young Adults have grown in the last couple of years, with two separate groups meeting weekly for a meal and bible study. Many of the Young Adults are involved in other ministries such as leading Youth Group, Kid’s Church, and the Worship team. A number of small Bible study groups and a craft group cater for the various age groups. We also have a Pastoral Care Team who need some support.
If you would like to get in touch or have any questions, please feel free to contact us.