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Collins Street Baptist Church
Collins Street Baptist Church Melbourne.jpg
Location 174 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria
Country Australia
Denomination Baptist
Founded 1845
Architectural type Greek Revival architecture

Collins Street Baptist Church is a Baptist church in central Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Founded on this site in 1845, it is the oldest Baptist church in Victoria. It is known as the former church of the outspoken minister Tim Costello, brother of the former Treasurer of Australia, Peter Costello.


The first Baptist service in Melbourne was held in 1838 in a tent on a vacant allotment of land opposite the present church. The first chapel was built on the current site in 1845. In the late 1850s it was decided to enlarge the building. The current church was designed Joseph Reed, the architect who designed the Melbourne Town Hall and several other prominent Melbourne churches, and the new church was opened in 1862. Unlike most Melbourne churches of the period, which are either Gothic or Romanesque, Collins St Baptist is in the form of a classical temple, with four Corinthian columns facing the street. According to the church's website, this "reflects the Baptist understanding of the church as a gathered community of believers rather than as a special building."


Further information: Architecture of Melbourne

In conformity with the Baptist dislike of decoration in churches, the interior has plain plastered walls. It has arched moulded windows, a double aisle and side seats facing the pulpit. A central raised pulpit emphasises the stress in Baptist theology on the Word of God being read and preached as central features of the services of worship. Seating is arranged in a "U" shape around the central axis determined by the pulpit and the Communion table. There is no form of decoration other than some detail in the windows and carving on the pulpit and Communion furniture. No cross or symbol appears in the church.

Baptist tradition also disapproved of music in churches, but in 1854 a small organ was installed. In 1885 the a larger organ was installed. This was restored and expanded in 1974.

Jim Barr was appointed a minister of Collins Street Baptist Church in 1991, when he established the Urban Mission Unit (now known as Urban Seed), recruited the first group of mission interns and implemented the SEEDS training program. This time was followed by his appointment as the Pastor at Collins Street Baptist Church from 1994 to 2000. During this time Jim was responsible for the pastoral and liturgical leadership of the Church community as well as taking a keen interest in the world around the Collins Street church.

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