God the Faithful
Cherry Gardens Uniting Church 170th Anniversary Celebrations
On March 17th 2019, the Cherry Gardens Uniting Church celebrated 170 years of continuous worship at its site on Hicks Hill Road, Cherry Gardens. Approximately 90 people attended a wonderful time of celebration and thanksgiving.
The title of this article, God the faithful, was the title given to a poem written about the history of the church by former member, Bob Ricks. The first and last verses of the poem are as follows:
“The forefathers of the Cherry Church
Knowing God is faithful
Left the shores of England
And came to Australia, hopeful.
So we celebrate 170 years
Not of the strength of men
But praise the God who’s faithful
Still to us now, as then.”
The service was led by Dianne Dyson and Stephanie Dube, prayers by Rob Linn and the Reverend David Houston brought the Word, entitled “Becoming more than we have been”. The historic 1851 bell was rung vigorously by long-term member, Margaret Jacobs and sent out a wonderful welcome to all. The bell tower had recently been re-erected following completion of the new meeting room.
At the Anniversary celebration, the current members of the congregation were joined by past members, lay preachers, people from the local area and descendants of the pioneer families. Dr. Deidre Palmer, President of the Assembly, who is a descendant of two of the pioneer families, attended with her family.
A sumptuous morning tea followed the service and a great deal of laughter and wonderful fellowship was evident. Those present spilled out from the newly built Meeting Room onto the outside deck area and enjoyed the unique setting of the church which is built amidst agricultural land.
The following is a quotation from historic information included in the Order of Service handout, some of which was obtained from the Adelaide Register of 1849.
“When in late March 1849, about 120 people gathered to celebrate the opening of a newly built Cherry Gardens Wesleyan Methodist chapel, they testified to a living faith in God their Father who had brought them to that place. These Wesleyans and Bible Christian Methodists had been urged by Reverend Daniel Draper, a dynamic Minister of the Word, to combine and construct a place of worship. The church trustees then acquired land from Henry Field, on 30 September 1848 and the proposed Chapel was underway. Long before the Chapel was built, though, these Methodists met in local homes to worship and pray”.
Today, God’s people at Cherry gardens acknowledge that their heritage is in the love of Him who gave His life on a cross that they might be free. And so,
We’ll praise Him for all that is past,
And trust Him for all that’s to come.
Cherry Church Contacts
• Pastor: 0404 008 372
• Chairperson Congregational Council: Darryl Dyson, 0412 075 063