No. 1164 - Ravenswood Baptist Church (1908 -1953)

Ravenswood is a northern suburb of Launceston and is named after the farmstead ‘Ravenswood’ which was established in the 1830s. Ravenswood was once part of the former municipality of St Leonards until it amalgamated with Launceston in 1985.

Very little is known about Ravenswood’s Baptist church. It stood the intersection of Henry Street and Wildor Crescent, opposite the Methodist church. The building was demolished in the 1970s. The church was originally the Ravenswood Christian Mission Hall, established by Henry Reed’s Christian Mission Church on Wellington Street, Launceston. The Mission opened in March 1883 and was built on land belonging to Robert Gibton. The Mission Hall operated for 25 years before it came under the control of the Baptists in 1908.

In June 1907 the Examiner reported:

“A public meeting was held in the Ravenswood Mission hall, where Gospel services have been conducted for the past 24 years by workers from the Christian Mission Church, Launceston. Mr. G. Tole presided, and stated that the meeting had been called for the purpose of electing trustees for the property, in order to retain it for the Protestant population of the district….”.

Following this meeting it appears that the Mission hall came under the control of Launceston’s Cimitiere Street Baptist Tabernacle which also established missions at Inveresk (1912) and on Elphin Road (1905).

Services ceased at the Ravenswood Baptist church in the late 1930s but the church was restored and reopened in 1950. In January 1950 Launceston’s Examiner reported:

“Good progress has been made by members of the Launceston Baptist United Men's Fellowship in restoring the disused Ravenswood Baptist Church, which it is hoped to reopen soon. Working bees were held on Saturday and yesterday under the direction of Mr. F. W. Wallace".

"The church was closed about 10 years ago, but before then services were held in it regularly. In the last few years the number of people living in the Ravenswood district has increased greatly, and it promises to be quite a large suburb. In view of this it has been decided to renovate the church and reopen it”.


The Baptist revival at Ravenswood was short-lived and services ceased by the mid 1950s. The building was subsequently acquired by the Christian Brethren for use as a Gospel Hall. The building was demolished in the 1970s. The site is now occupied by the Launceston Revival Centre.


The former Ravenwood Christian Mission which was used as a Baptist Church - Source: Libraries Tasmania 

The Examiner 1919 - Notice of services for congregations of the Cimitiere Street Tabernacle and its missions at Inversk and Ravenswood.

The Examiner, January 1950


Sources:

Examiner, Friday 14 June 1907, page 4
Examiner, Saturday 29 February 1908, page 9
Daily Telegraph, Friday 18 February 1916, page 2
Daily Telegraph, Thursday 14 March 1918, page 6
Examiner , Tuesday 31 January 1950, page 3






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