Nyora and District Baptist Church History
The building that the Nyora and District Baptist Church meets in was originally known as St Mark’s Church of England; it was opened on 4th October 1930 at 20 Grundy Avenue Nyora.
The Nyora and District Baptist Church grew out of the McDonalds Track Christian Fellowship, which was founded by Barry Rodgers, a Christian Businessman who came to Nyora with his family in the 1970’s from Oakleigh. He had a desire to set up a youth camp on 20 acres of land he purchased in McDonalds Track, Nyora. Before the buildings were completed, he was challenged to turn it into a Christian College.
Instigated by Barry, Christians from the area started having fellowship together. Some were involved in working on the College property. McDonalds Track Christian Community Inc. was formally started with church meetings taking place on a Sunday night in the Nyora Public Hall.
Hillcrest Christian College commenced in 1981.
In 1987, A chapel was moved on to the college premises, and McDonalds Track Christian Community started having church meetings in it on Sunday mornings which continued for quite a few years.
However, the Fellowship was seen by some in the community of Nyora as a mystery sect, and in the early 1990’s they decided it would be wise to become attached to a mainstream denomination due to the bad publicity sects were receiving. The church became affiliated with the Baptist Union of Victoria and became the Nyora and District Baptist Fellowship.
A couple of years later it was decided it would be better to be meeting in the town and St Marks Church of England premises was rented. The church building and the large block of land it sits on was later purchased by the Baptist Union for the church to use.
In early 2000’s the fellowship became a fully constituted church of the BUV.
A vibrant Youth Group, made up predominantly by students from the college formed a major part of the church in the late 90’s – early 2000’s.
Most of the adult congregation was also affiliated with the college, either as staff and/or parents of college students.
However, the mainstream Nyora Campus of the College was closed in 2002, and as is often the case in small rural towns, as the students finished secondary school and moved away for further studies or work, the youth group dwindled, and a strong but small group of adults continued to meet on a weekly basis
Apart from the youth group, the church also co-ordinated a playgroup operating in the Public hall for several years until 2011, in which many young mums and children from the local community participated.
The church has also been heavily involved in providing a Christmas Carols service for the community over many years and conducted a midweek Bible Study for ladies for a number of years.