History

Baptist Beginnings

Our church began life as the Bourke Baptist Fellowship over 40 years ago in 1966 when Jack Buster and Owen Boone came together with other Baptists in Bourke like John Thurston, Sister Cherry etc.

Although there were other Protestant Christian churches in Bourke back then – they set up a church and met regularly at the old Band Hall – which is no longer there – but was in Anson Street just west of the Oxford Hotel.

It was set up as an independent Baptist Church with membership of the Baptist Union, and a Baptist Minister would come over from Cobar every 2-3 weeks to take the service. Otherwise the services were led by the local leaders.


Evangelical Foundations

In 1970 the new church building was built on this Anson Street site – supervised by Eric Bliss a builder who had come to Bourke to build the new Bowling Club.

By 1976 a number of new families were involved liked the Amos’s, the Stones and the Filmers and Laurie McIntosh had been appointed as a part-time pastor.

Many of the new people were not Baptists and fewer people by proportion were Baptists – there were people from various protestant denominations in the church, and Laurie himself was from a Brethren background.

In 1976 the church decided to rename itself generically as the “Bourke Christian Church – A fellowship of evangelical believers” which more accurately described the makeup of the church. Laurie wrote a constitution – which, with a few minor changes is still with us today.

At about the same time the Filmer & Amos families decided to split off and form a Pentecostal church as they preferred to worship in a charismatic style and that was not the style of this church. Originally Assemblies of God – this church has had several name changes and is now the Full Gospel Family Fellowship – a church with which we maintain close relations.


Cornerstone Partnership

Cornerstone grew out of an idea amongst church members.  Many of its staff and students served important roles in the life of the church.  Laurie McIntosh and Paul Roe assumed much of the pastoral duties during this time.  These men are fondly remembered for their service in the community to this day.


Surviving the Drought

As with many agencies and businesses in Bourke, the drought from 2002-2009 took its toll on the church.  Despite a significant decrease in the town's population and the departure of Cornerstone, Bourke Christian Church continued faithfully representing Christ in their community.  Without a pastor, many lay leaders emerged and continued the teaching and caring ministries of the church.  God supplied them with sufficient grace to persevere where many despaired, and their faithfulness stands as a testimony to the strength Christ supplies.


Recent Developments

With the resurgence of the town after the break of the drought, Bourke Christian Church called its first full-time pastor, Jonathan Hoffman, in July 2010.  By God's grace, we will continue growing in the knowledge of Christ, conforming to the image of Christ, and exalting the name of Christ here in the gateway to the Outback of NSW, Australia.