No. 239 - Montana [Cheshunt] Baptist Church (1914)

Montana is a rural area about 13 kilometres south west of Deloraine at the junction of Montana and Brocks Roads. The area was previously known as Cheshunt before the name Montana was first used for a ‘post station’ established in 1912.

The Baptist Church in the Deloraine dates back to the late 1850s. Over the next century churches were established across the region south of Deloraine including at Liffey; Quamby Brook; Golden Valley; Meander and Montana.

Baptist services at Cheshunt were first held in the home of Mr Herbert Harris from about 1907. The local Baptist community was of considerable size as is evident from a report about a harvest thanksgiving service held at the Harris’ home in April 1914:

“Harvest thanksgiving services in connection with the Baptist Church were held at Cheshunt on Sunday. A large tent, which held close on one hundred people, was erected at the homestead of Mr. Herbert Harris, when an overwhelming congregation assembled. There was a fine display of fruits, grain, etc. The Rev A. Butler, of Deloraine, was the preacher. The celebrations were continued on Tuesday evening, when a tent concert was held. The following took part:- Misses Harvey, Chilcott, Warren (2), Hardy, Harris, Messrs. Miller, Chilcott, Harris, Hardy, Bakes. Rev. A. Butler, in thanking the people for their loyal support, made special reference to the kindness of Mr. and Mrs. Harris. Mr. H. Hardy made an efficient auctioneer. The collections amounted to £4 10s”.

The funds raised from the sale of the harvest went towards the construction of a church which opened in December 1914. The Daily Telegraph reported the opening service as follows:

“The opening services in connection with the new Baptist Church were conducted by the Revs. V. G. Britton and A. Butler. The congregation at each service taxed the seating accommodation to its utmost. The Rev. A. Butler, in his opening remarks, referred to the good service rendered to the work by Mr and Mrs H. Harris. Their house for the past seven years had been open for the people to gather for service; the congregation had grown, and the proposal was made for a church building. Every effort was then put forward in this direction, and by united effort the end was achieved, and today, said the speaker, they have the result of their efforts. Their best thanks were due to Mr Warren, who donated to the church the ground upon which the church is erected…”.

There are several newspaper reports concerning the activities of the church including anniversary services; harvest festivals; fairs and weddings. Links to a selection of these reports are provided at the bottom of the page.

Families which had strong connections with the early years of the Montana church include: Chilcott; Sutton; Murfett; Whiteley; Homan; Cox; Synfield and Harris.

The church has been closed for approximately 30 years and although it has been converted into a house its original form is still clearly recognisable.

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018

Photograph: Duncan Grant 2018


A Montana Wedding
A Lantern Lecture
A Montana Fair
A Farewell
A Sunday School Anniversary


Examiner, Saturday 11 April 1914, page 5
Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 15 December 1914, page 7
Examiner, Tuesday 15 December 1914, page 3
Examiner, Friday 18 October 1929, page 12

Hemsley, Jennifer Around the country circuits : reminiscences of the Baptist Church family throughout "Tassie's top half". Regal Press, Launceston, Tas, 1996.


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