Surface Hill Church – Centenary Celebrations

Surface Hill Wesleyan Methodist Church, Channon Street, Gympie, circa 1900. Erected in 1890 at a cost of three thousand and one hundred thirty-seven pounds, sixteen shillings and fivepence, this building replaced an earlier wooden structure built in 1869. The newly built brick church was opened on the 7th August 1890, with a dedication service being conducted by Rev. J.A. Nolan. The building was designed by architect Hugo Wilhelm Durietz. In 1937, a stone wall was built by relief labour to replace the wooden fence along the frontages of Reef and Channon Streets. (Information from Head, M.J., Surface Hill – the brick church). This brick church was officially opened on the 7th August 1890.

Surface Hill Wesleyan Church Architect Hugo Durietz

In 1968 celebrated a Centenary of Methodists at the Church. A procession was held and buildings no longer standing in Gympie can be seen in the procession. To view the procession, visit here (YouTube).

Originally a news broadcast on Wide Bay Television.
This film was originally produced by WBQ 8 and was reproduced as 7 Extract from the Archives project.
The project was supported by an innovation grant from the Library Board of Queensland.
© 2020 Seven Network and Gympie Regional Libraries

The Gympie Times ran several articles about the celebration including the construction of a replica “first church” made out of bark.

First church was constructed from bark – Surface Hill Church – Gympie Times Thursday 30 July 1968 page 3
Methodists First church – Gympie Times Saturday 3 August 1968 page 2

An article from the Gympie Times documents the day, with Mr Keith Watson as a town crier calling the procession to start.

Methodists celebrate their century – Gympie Times Tuesday 6 August 1968 page 1
Portrayed Gympie’s First Mayor – Surface Hill Church – Gympie Times, Tuesday 6 August 1968, pg. 3
The past is recaptured – Surface Hill Church – Gympie Times, Tuesday 6 August 1968, pg 1

We have added the Church to our “Then and Now” local history page. To visit click here

You can read more about the history of the church organ by visiting the Organ Historical Trust of Australia. Click here

Below is the Surface Hill Church as it appears today – August 2020

Our previous blog post has a few more photos and a brief history of the church.

Click here to read more.