1859 The First Church

The discovery of gold at "The Rocks" (now Golden Square) in October, 1851, changed the appearance of what had been a peaceful sheep run from 1841. By 1861 all principle Church denominations were ministering to a population of 13,020 within the boundaries of Sandhurst, later to become Bendigo. Baptists on the Goldfields were not numerous, but, in 1853, the first ‘Baptist’ meeting was held at White Hills. Mr. & Mrs. John Taylor, Mr. & Mrs. Jones and Miss Jones met for worship in a tent.


In 1854, a slab hut was erected in White Hills. Shortly afterwards, a weatherboard building was erected in Epsom for £400. Meanwhile, Baptists in the south end of town began to assemble themselves together as well. It is recorded that they walked to the services at Epsom, a distance of up to 20 miles a Sunday, to attend both services.Jones and Miss Jones met for worship in a tent.

Very soon, the establishment of a church began within Sandhurst and, by 1857, a property was leased to re-erect the relocated White Hills building, which was opened Feb 1859. This building was first erected between White Hills and Epsom. In 1859 it was removed and re-erected in Hargreaves St. It was disposed of by the church in 1863, and was used as a hay and corn store from that time until around 1982 when it was pulled down.


In 1959, thoughts were directed towards a new church project. The chance to buy a new property in Edwards Street for a manse had been seized in 1952, as it was diagonally opposite the site which would be the future home of the church and the new Edward Street church building which was opened on 3rd August, 1963. God had faithfully provided for his growing Bendigo Baptist family yet again.


Around 1990, God gave the church the vision to relocate because of growing numbers and the desire to increase and enhance our ministries. We are now well in to the 21st century and this new phase in the life of the Bendigo Baptist Church has come about. We relocated our church building to a new property in 2002 on the outskirts of Bendigo. Since this period of time, our church has grown quite rapidly. Today, Bendigo Baptist is a church community with approximately 1,000 people of various ages and ethnicities, spread over two locations, still working to share the love of Jesus Christ with the Bendigo community, as well as further abroad.