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History of Wynnum Seventh Day Adventist Church unlocked


AHS has unlocked the rich history behind the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Wynnum, which was Brisbane’s first established ‘free-gothic’ style church of this denomination, ahead of proposed extensions and upgrades to the site.

The AHS team was engaged to prepare a Heritage Impact Statement (HIS) for the well-known Adventist Church located on Sunflower Street in Wynnum, ahead of extensions which aim to increase functional space for parishioners and the wider community.

This iconic ‘free-gothic’ themed church was relocated to Wynnum in 1949 and stands as a reminder of the distinctive design style, as well as being the first established Adventist Church in Brisbane.

Our research uncovered that early Seventh Day Adventists arrived in Sydney around 1885, having travelled from the United States, before making their way up to sunny Brisbane.

The first documented Seventh Day Adventist meeting in Brisbane was in 1894 at Sandgate, long before the group ventured to Wynnum for a conference in 1915 – which was held in tents!

After the Seventh Day Adventists were officially established in Wynnum in 1937, they of course needed a church and what better example than this free-gothic icon!

Relocation of the Seventh Day Adventist Church

After early Seventh Day Adventist missionaries made their way to Brisbane in 1894, meetings began taking place in churches, rented buildings, homes and even movie theatres.

In 1919 around 500 delegates camped in tents at Windsor Park for the annual conference and a year later, a group that regularly frequented a Labour Hall in Brisbane applied for church status. At that time, there were 12 churches in Queensland with 691 members.

Fast-forward to 1937, the Seventh Day Adventists became established in Wynnum, and meetings were regularly held in a picture theatre, Anglican Hall, and the Manly RSL Hall.

In 1949 the group purchased a corner site in Wynnum for £50, along with the Mitchelton Methodist Hall which they moved to the new location that same year. State politician at the time, Bill Gunn, officially opened the new church on 4 September, 1949.

Worth noting is that the Wynnum region was established only a short time before Seventh Day Adventist missionaries arrived in Australia. The Aboriginal word ‘Winnam’, which describes the screw pine, was used in naming the bayside town.

The first land sales occurred in 1860 and it didn’t take long for roads and railways to connect the area to Brisbane City, as the region grew in popularity before it became an official town in 1913.

The view overlooking Wynnum and Moreton Bay, taken in 1905. (John Oxley Library, Negative)


Proposed upgrades to preserve free-gothic elements

The building is estimated to have been constructed in the first quarter of the twentieth century, with a distinctive free-gothic style timber frame, weatherboard, and a corrugated iron roof. The roof was replaced shortly after being relocated to Wynnum, and in 1951 the hall was added.

Subsequent extensions took place over the years that followed and, while the hall remains in good condition, there have been various modifications to accommodate a growing parish community.

It is important to retain historic elements of this unique church – particularly the free-gothic timber frame, weatherboard and corrugated iron roof.

The church is a local heritage listed place under the Brisbane City Council Plan 2014, and we have recommended the existing fabric be respected and minimal works be undertaken (no more than is required), which is in-line with best practice guidelines outlined in the Australian ICOMOS Burra Charter.

This place of worship has contributed significantly to the Wynnum community for more than 60 years, and it was a pleasure to undertake this heritage work at the site.

Early survey and subdivision of the land the church now sits on (18.03.1946)


Contact us

To discover how we may be able to assist on your next project, contact us today here or phone (07) 3221 0000.

You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

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The Challenge

After early Seventh Day Adventist missionaries made their way to Brisbane in 1894, meetings began taking place in churches, rented buildings, homes and even movie theatres.

In 1919 around 500 delegates camped in tents at Windsor Park for the annual conference and a year later, a group that regularly frequented a Labour Hall in Brisbane applied for church status. At that time, there were 12 churches in Queensland with 691 members.

Fast-forward to 1937, the Seventh Day Adventists became established in Wynnum, and meetings were regularly held in a picture theatre, Anglican Hall, and the Manly RSL Hall.

In 1949 the group purchased a corner site in Wynnum for £50, along with the Mitchelton Methodist Hall which they moved to the new location that same year. State politician at the time, Bill Gunn, officially opened the new church on 4 September, 1949.

Worth noting is that the Wynnum region was established only a short time before Seventh Day Adventist missionaries arrived in Australia. The Aboriginal word ‘Winnam’, which describes the screw pine, was used in naming the bayside town.

The first land sales occurred in 1860 and it didn’t take long for roads and railways to connect the area to Brisbane City, as the region grew in popularity before it became an official town in 1913.



How we helped

The building is estimated to have been constructed in the first quarter of the twentieth century, with a distinctive free-gothic style timber frame, weatherboard, and a corrugated iron roof. The roof was replaced shortly after being relocated to Wynnum, and in 1951 the hall was added.

Subsequent extensions took place over the years that followed and, while the hall remains in good condition, there have been various modifications to accommodate a growing parish community.

It is important to retain historic elements of this unique church – particularly the free-gothic timber frame, weatherboard and corrugated iron roof.

The church is a local heritage listed place under the Brisbane City Council Plan 2014, and we have recommended the existing fabric be respected and minimal works be undertaken (no more than is required), which is in-line with best practice guidelines outlined in the Australian ICOMOS Burra Charter.

This place of worship has contributed significantly to the Wynnum community for more than 60 years, and it was a pleasure to undertake this heritage work at the site.

Results

To discover how we may be able to assist on your next project, contact us today here or phone (07) 3221 0000.

You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

You might also like to read:

Case Study

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Saibai Church receives specialist advice

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Restoring Brisbane’s iconic Naldham House

Case Study

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Case Study

Extensive war history unearthed at Milman Hill Complex on Thursday Island

Case Study

AHS ensures cultural preservation of the Mt Coot-tha Kiosk and Lookout, unearthing a rich history at one of Brisbane’s premiere vantage points

Case Study

AHS helps to record and conserve Bega’s network of historic granite kerbs and gutters for our client Bega Valley Shire Council

Case Study

AHS delivered a Conservation Management Plan for the State heritage listed former Cairns Masonic Temple

Case Study

Delivering heritage services including an Archival Recording at the Coffs Harbour Forestry Building

Case Study

Conserving Willard’s Farm, one of the oldest surviving farms and residences within the Redlands on Brisbane’s Bayside

Case Study

AHS projects with Cairns Regional Council include a CMP for Mulgrave Shire Council Chambers

Case Study

AHS uncovers a lengthy historical legal challenge while researching the William Mitchner Shelter

Case Study

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Case Study

AHS helps to conserve the Mount Morgan Coronation Lamp and Boer War Memorial

Case Study

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