|Childs Hill Baptist Church|
|Snippets from Our History|
Childs Hill was once a quiet Middlesex village full of laundries (Constable painted it when he was living in nearby Hampstead). Things began to change in the 1850s after the railway came to Cricklewood. As Childs Hill and the surrounding area began to grow it also became pretty "rough".
One day, in 1863, Cornishman William Rickard wandered over to the village from Hampstead, where he was assisting the minister of the Baptist Church in Heath Street. Seeing the great need he was soon, under God, able to begin regular meetings in one of the local laundries.
The present building was erected in 1870. The Granville Hall next door was added shortly after to accommodate a day school.
In 1877 the first members covenanted together to form a local Baptist church, most having been in membership at Heath Street until this time. The church was founded on a decidedly Evangelical and Protestant basis. The great C H Spurgeon preached here on at least one occasion - as did students from his Pastors College. Mr Rickard was a pillar of the community and a faithful pastor until 1893, when he retired from the pastorate with ill health
He was followed by J Sylvester Poulton, a graduate of the Pastors College and an admirer of Spurgeon. He was here for 35 years and during his time the congregation seems to have continued to grow. Although there do not seem to have been any obvious concessions to liberalism there seems to have been some drift from preaching the good old fashioned gospel of Mr Rickard's time
From 1929 until 1954 the minister was E K Alexander. A native of Monmouthshire (now Gwent) in South Wales, Mr Alexander and his family had been missionaries in the Congo (now Za´re) for 10 years but had been forced to return home due to ill health
During his time there was a slow but steady decline in numbers - as was the case in most churches in England at the time. There was also an increasing pre-occupation with the social side of church life rather than the gospel itself.
Since 1954 there have been five pastors (including the present one): all young men, fresh from college, evangelical in their convictions and preaching. Four of these served between 4 and 7 years. The present minister came in 1983.
Over these nearly 50 years the church has increasingly moved to a separatist position (we left the Baptist Union in 1984) and, though not uniformly, to a Reformed Baptist position as held by Spurgeon and others before and after him.
Though still small in numbers, things are presently more encouraging than they have been for a long time and we look to the Lord for increased blessing in the years to come.
We recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of our present pastor, Gary Brady. Gary came to the church in 1983 after studying nearby in Finchley at the London Theological Seminary. He was brought up in Cwmbran in South Wales. Before studying for the ministry he obtained an English Literature degree from the University of Wales in Aberystwyth. He later trained as a teacher in Cardiff University. In 2006, he obtained a ThM from the John Owen Centre.
He was married in 1988 to Eleri, from Aberystwyth. They have five sons. The older boys attend the local secondary school. The other boys of school age attend the London Welsh School. Eleri and the boys are bilingual.
Gary is an editor of the twice yearly Evangelical Library Bulletin and serves as a trustee of the Grace Magazine Trust. He is also on the board of the London Theological Seminary. He has written two commentaries, both published by Evangelical Press in the Welwyn Commentary Series: Heavenly Wisdom (2003), on the book of Proverbs, and Heavenly Love (2006) on the Song of Solomon. What the Bible teaches about ... Being Born Again (2008) was also published by Evangelical Press.
In July 2001, we were pleased to appoint our first assistant pastor, Robin Asgher. Robin is from Pakistan and studied at the London Theological Seminary. He has now moved on to a church planting work in Cranford, West London with the FIEC.
From August 2002 until September 2003, our assistant pastor was Mark Raines. Mark was also previously at the London Theological Seminary and is now studying at the Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, under Dr Joel Beeke.
Our assistant pastor from September 2006 until April 2007 was Ian Middlemist. Ian is another former student of the London Theological Seminary. Before that he spent two years with the Birmingham City Mission. He has since taken up a role as evangelist with Hill Park Baptist Church in Haverfordwest.
If you would like to know more about the history of the church, please refer to the separate Childs Hill Baptist Church History blog.
© 2005-09 Childs Hill Baptist Church
Tel: +44 (0)20 8455 2275 / 8458 2709
This page was last revised on 23 January 2011