Gladstone church’s prayers answered
THE economic downturn has hit businesses and workers but seemingly not worshippers, with many of Gladstone’s churches pulling in good numbers.
Shed 19 is a fine example, the church preparing to upgrade its administration building to deal with growing numbers in its community support groups.
Churches of Christ Gladstone was given $500,000 from the Gladstone Foundation and on Friday will find out through builders’ quotes how much the upgrade will cost.
With more than 50 people on its mens-support-group books, more than 20 for the Mentoring Mum’s program and up to six people sharing three offices, the existing building can’t cope.
“All these groups are growing and at the end of last year we decided we have too many men for one group, and we are now starting our second,” pastor Lyall Muller said.
The problem with the old building is that while one man is baring his soul to other men, someone else is walking through to grab a coffee or go to the toilet.
“We’ve had some very special times in these rooms but it’s hard to run these groups with people walking through,” pastor Lyall said.
It’s a big change for the church, which secured the deal for the land on Dalrymple Dr 14 years ago.
“I got $1 out of the car and gave it to the owner and we shook on it,” he said.
“He had three other offers that week. One was for more than we offered but he didn’t budge because we made a deal.”
Pastor Lyall said it was not just community groups that were growing.
He said for the first time in 16 years people were walking into church off the street.
“They are coming here with no knowledge of us and we have no knowledge of who they are but they are coming to church,” he said.
“It’s great for me as a minister.”
Pastor Lyall said about 70 people attended church services on Sunday.
Lady Star of the Sea Gladstone has about 800 people attend its four masses at the weekend.
Father Kevin Redmond said while some people from the congregation had left Gladstone, the church also had a boost from Filipino and Vietnamese immigrants.
“A big percentage of these people are Catholic and they bring many riches to (Gladstone),” he said.
“Our numbers are pretty stable if not a little bit down since the boom.
“For us school holidays affects things.
“But last weekend was healthy again.
“Over our four masses we would have had somewhere near 800.”
Another church drawing in hundreds is Gladstone Baptist Church.
Pastor Ian Aylward said during the two sessions at the weekend about 350 people would attend.
As Trinity College continues to increase its enrolment numbers the church continues to benefit.
“Trinity is looking at continued growth and the church is pretty positive too,” he said.
“We also get people out of school. You get all shapes and sizes.”