Religious services were conducted in Mannum by the Presbyterian Church for some years, but in 1888 they were unable to continue. With the full approval of our Presbyterian friends, Baptist preachers were sent to the town on the understanding that the cause might become permanently Baptist. On Sunday 19th August 1888 the congregation met in the Mannum Institute and elected a committee to manage church until such time as the S.A. Baptist Association could take over the congregation.

This led to the Rev. Silas Meed coming to Mannum on 30th September 1888 and forming the Baptist Church with 17 members.

In January the following year the Sunday School has 120 names on its roll with average attendance of 84. There were 10 teachers.

Under the ministry of Rev. R. Taylor, the congregation were encouraged to think of building a Church. The building was erected in Randell Street and was duly opened, free of debt, on Sunday August 24th 1890.

The photograph above is from a later date when the land around the church has been excavated to a lower level.

In the late 1890’s the church was left without a pastor and rapidly declined. In January 1900 the building was let to the Church of Christ for 5/- per week. Control of the building was then handed over to the Baptist Union as trustees of the property to deal with as they saw fit. There was serious thought of selling the property but happily wiser counsel prevailed and in 1901 the work was recommenced under the title of “The River Murray Mission.”

In 1914 the Baptist Church was reformed and a request made to be admitted to the Baptist Union.

Gas lights were used in the building until 1923 when electricity was connected.

In 1947 the blower Organ was purchased from Kapunda Church. An electric blower was added in 1967 and the organ served the church until the 1980’s when it was donated to a museum in Kapunda.

Elder is an honorary title at Mannum Baptist church, and in November 1948 the first such appointment was made when Mr Arthur Vivian was appointed in recognition of his numerous years of service.

During the 1960’s the church building was in need of renovation, and the fact that our numbers had diminished meant it was far too expensive to carry out the requirements of the District Council. The suggestion was made that we follow up the possibility of purchasing the Zion Lutheran Church in William Street, next door to our Manse.  Everything gradually fell into place enabling the move to William Street. On Sunday 12th March 1967, 120 people gathered to give thanks for the blessings received as we moved to our new home.

The building in Randell Street was demolished and the land excavated to street level. It is now the site of Male’s Butchers.

In August 1968 the Church honoured our loved Deacon and Treasurer, Mr Ken Mercer, with the title of Elder.

The Church Manse was a duplex building with the Manse on one side and a rental cottage on the other. In 1969 a committee was formed to investigate the possibility of building a new Manse.  This led to the resolution that a new Manse be built on the site of the Cottage and the old Manse be retained for Sunday School and Guild purposes. On the 18th April 1971 the new Manse was officially opened my Mrs E Vivian, at age 91, our oldest member. The former Manse, now referred to as the Church House, continues to be used today as tea rooms and for church functions.

In 2018 the William Street Chapel was sold to allow the church to move forward and develop a plan for the future. This plan is still being developed.

The final service was celebrated in the William Street Chapel on 28th January 2018. that service reflected on out 130 year history and looked forward to what God will still do through us. During that service Mrs Helen Maxwell was recognised as an Elder of the Church, the third person to receive this honour in 130 years.

A chapel area has now been developed in the Tea Rooms where we will meet to worship while we await God’s leading to our next step.

Over 130 years this church has faced both boom and collapse. Today we have a similar number of members to that original group and welcome all who wish to join us.

We give our grateful thanks to Our Lord for the blessings many people have received in this place and for the loyalty of those past and present who have given and are giving of their best to keep Mannum Baptist Church a place of Worship to the glory of God.

We seek to be faithful followers of Jesus and welcome others to join us.


Much of the information above has been taken from a booklet prepared by Mrs Betty Vivian for the church centenary in 1988.


Ministers at Mannum Baptist Church 

(ST) – denotes student from Theological college.

Rev R Taylor                  1888-91

Rev E Vaughan               1892-93

Rev J Robertson             1893-95

Rev H E Hughes             1895-96

Rev T E Jones                  1897

Rev C F Hawkins            1897-98

No Pastor                     1898-1901

Rev E J Henderson         1901-03

Rev E S Tuckwell           1903-04

Mr R C Taylor                1905-06

Rev T Dowling               1907-13

Rev D Woods                1913-22

Rev D Morris                 1923-28

Rev L W Brook              1928-32

Rev C O Lundberg         1932-37

Rev A H Kenner            1937-41

Rev A K Heinrich           1941-45

Rev A Dennis                1945-50

Rev L Leske                  1950-53

(ST) J E Parish              1953-54

(ST) L J King                 1954-55

No Pastor                     1955-56

Rev A Gowans              1956-59

Rev A Catchpoole          1959-62

(ST) D J Scott               1962-63

(ST) W Grootenboer      1963-64

Rev R Leith                  1964-67

(ST) K Munro                  1968

(ST) G Billing                  1968

(ST) L J Payne              1969-71

No Pastor                     1971-73

Rev K Chatfield             1973-75

(ST) C Venning             1976-79

Mr D Pegler                  1980-90

Rev L Main                   1991-94

Rev A Gates                1995-2000

(ST) M Cousins               2001

Rev A Gates                   2002

No Pastor                    2003-04

Mr A Stanley-Smith       2005-10

Rev D Warren                 2011

Rev C D Nieass           2012-now


Elders at Mannum Baptist Church  

Mr Arthur Vivian in November 1948

Mr Ken Mercer in August 1968

Mrs Helen Maxwell in January 2018






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