Sketch History of The Little GLORY BAPTIST CHURCH
The first service of the Smithfield Plains Baptist Church was held in the Music Room of the Smithfield Plains High School on 9th April, 1971. The service was arranged by Rev Les Leskie, who was Pastor of the Elizabeth Grove Baptist Church at that time. Pastor Leskie gave pastoral oversight until he moved to W.A. in 1977.
Services continued to be held in the school for some time but later were transferred to the Little Glory Methodist Church on the corner of Mary & Samuel Street, Smithfield which had been built in 1859 for the sum of 354 pounds. The building had not been in use for some time & the owners were glad to rent it to the Baptist folk.
Meanwhile on 3rd July, 1977, the fellowship was constituted as a church with a founding membership of 41. The work continued to strengthen and on 28th April, 1988 the property was purchased from the Methodist Church. They requested that the name “Little Glory” be kept, a request with which the people were happy to comply. Then the church became known as “The Little Glory Baptist Church” with its own constitution being written on 19th November, 1988.
Just prior to that time in August, the church was visited by a team from Texas USA for a series of meetings. This was a great encouragement to the people and in the next month, the work of Dave & Penny Smith amongst the children of the district known as “Happy Time” was amalgamated with the Sunday School, bringing the attendance to around 60. The American visit is commemorated by a framed certificate & the state flag of Texas, both of which are found in the church.
Mission work began providing clothes, furniture and other assistance at minimal cost to the underprivileged people in the district. In November, 1990 the Crèche/Sunday School building was extended, providing better facilities for the Childrens’ work.
At the front of the building, an entrance porch was built during 1993. Other improvements have been made also, most notably the garden entrance gate & archway and the addition of a bell which is rung at the beginning of each service. By means of a donation a new roof was put on the church in May 1995.
The wooden pews built in 1902 & the communion chairs made in 1952 were purchased from the Elgin Uniting church, Kilkenny in 1996. These furnishings blend perfectly with the architectural style of the building and do much to restore the original style of the chapel. The refurbishment and rearrangement of the interior of the church allowed the centre aisle to be widened to its original dimensions whilst retaining the seating capacity.
The installation of the six leadlight windows, the painting of the inside of the church, the new carpet and the donation of the organ , in July, 2006, are the result of present members and friends of the church continuing to work hard for the restoration, preservation and improvement of this historic building and its surrounds, and to bring glory to God.