MBC – Outline History

In October 1912 the foundation stone was laid of what was then called the Takapuna Baptist Church on a section of land donated by Mr Rushbrook, a benefactor of a number of non-conformist charities in Auckland. In just a few short months the church, built by Mr John Ashby who had arrived into Milford from England in 1908, was opened on January 4th 1913.  You will notice that it is an isolated open area with minimal vegetation.

Both events were covered by local and national newspapers as was a ‘social gathering with upwards of 100 people’ to welcome a new minister a year or so later.

The church was initially under the auspices of the Auckland Baptist Auxilliary, but in July 1921 joined the Baptist Union, having, as these advertisements from the Auckland Star Newspaper show,  changed the name of the church to Milford Baptist Church probably around 1 May 1921.

Here we see the church around 1921 with the new name on the sign, and developing vegetation, and in the lower picture from 1920 with buildings starting to develop around it. (MBC is shown towards the top tight corner, just below the skylinre)

In the 1930s a hall was added at the rear of the church, and in the late 1950’s the church was extended.

You can see the extension forward of the belfry towards Dodson Avenue. The porchway was added a few years later.

The Centenary book edited by David Speary covers the history of the construction of the present building very well.

In the 1990’s under the leadership of Rev Tom Cadman the church was turned round through 90 degrees and the foyer and offices constructed along with a new hall to replace the borer-ridden edifice that it had become.

In the book, there is a comment: “Throughout all the alterations over the past 100 years the preaching of God’s word and reaching out into the community was always foremost in our minds and efforts . Buildings and facilities were only a means to assist in this endeavour.”

And of course, a church is not simply a building.

As the maori say ‘he tangata, he tangata, he tangata “it is people people people.” The church has been blessed with a number of very faithful servants over the 110 year history.

The present membership book dates from 1940. It records the foundation members (1921) and the names and dates upon which people subsequently entered into membership. It does not, of course, record the dates when people started attending the church. The earliest current member is entry number 218 Raymond Brown August 1945. Lynne Brown (nee Cryer) entered into membership in 1950 though I understand that she attended the church with her parents from a very early age.

Other current members who qualify for their over 60 year long-service badges are Beryl Thompson 1956, Phyl Briscoe 1959, Greta Alcorn 1962 and Phyl Harvey 1963.

A number of others, like the Corins were involved with the youth groups in and around the 1960s but moved away or served overseas and are not recorded as entering membership until later.

Many of the current stalwarts have only served for a mere 40 or 50 years!


Larry Robbins Jan 2023
Historic Photographs Alexander Turnbull Library and Auckland Library. Paper clippings from Paperspast (National Library)

News – Good Friday 2021 – Milford Combined Churches

Members from the Anglican and Catholic Churches in Milford (St Paul’s and St Vincent’s respectively) joined with the congregation of the Milford Baptist Church (MBC) at MBC on Good Friday for a service led by ministers from the 3 churches.

The service was preceded by the procession of a cross through the main streets of Milford from St Paul’s, via St Vincent’s, to the Baptist church.

During the service, members of the congregation  laid candles around the cross, symbolising that Jesus, the light of the world, bore the cross for us.

Afterwards, the members got together over tea and coffee and traditional hot-cross buns.

Procession – Shakespeare Rd, Milford

Procession – Milford Main Street

Procession – Milford Main Street

GOOD FRIDAY 2021 – The procession of the Cross arrives at MBC

The congregation lay candles around the cross








Photographs by Keith Morgan and Larry Robbins

Good Friday at Milford Baptist Church
The congregation lay candles around the cross

News – Carols in the Street

It was a beautiful early summer’s evening. A number of MBC members gathered in the “town square” on Milford’s main street and serenaded passers-by with a number of well-known Christmas carols.
MBC Members singing carols in Milford Photo – L.Robbins
(l-R) Lloyd Ashworth, Graham Judd, Jim

Photos – L.Robbins

Annual Kindergarten Christmas Service

The church was packed with parents, children, kindy staff and church members on 13 December for the annual Kindergarten Christmas service.
The service was excellent, with kids singing and behaving brilliantly; Robert Palmer reading the Christmas story.
Congratulations to Shelagh and her team for another successful year in Kindy. We appreciate your hard work.

Kindergarten website

The kindy appreciates the support of MBC member Keith Morgan who visits each week to read to the children. Keith was presented with a large Christmas card to thank him.

Keith Morgan – Thank You

Brian Lima

Brian D Lima Commissioned

6 Dec 2020.

At a service on 6 December Rev Dr Brian D Lima was commissioned into the pastorate of the church by Rev Rick Pierce of the Northern Baptist Association.
Brian, originally from Massachusetts in the USA, is married to Jo, a Kiwi. The couple relocated to New Zealand at the start of 2020 when Jo was appointed as Associate International Director with missions organisation Pioneers. Prior to relocating to New Zealand the couple served in Thailand for 7 years, Jo with Pioneers and Brian teaching at a Thai-led bible college.
In the service, Mr Pierce pointed out that “this is a very significant and special occasion in the life of this church” and added that he felt very much at home in the church as he had served here for several months during his ministry training some 15 years earlier.
Brian says that he is excited with the opportunity to serve in Milford and is looking forward to becoming a vital part of the Milford community.
The church was established on its current site in Dodson Avenue in 1912. Brian is the church’s 23rd minister.

Brian Lima (L) is commissioned by Rev Rick Pierce
Brian is commissioned by Rick PIerce
Photo – L.Robbins

Leaders of the church pray for Brian and Jo Lima
Members of the church pray for Brian and Jo
Photo K.Morgan

Church Dinner

28 November 2020. 70 members of the church enjoyed a dinner prepared by Ross and Barbara Parker and their families.

Entertainment was provided by Gulia Ah Key on the piano with vocals by John Cavander and Rodney Duncan.

Members of the church enjoy dinner on 28 November 2020
Members of the church enjoy dinner on 28 November 2020 – photo L.Robbins

Christmas Treats for Salvation Army

22 Nov 2020. In November the members of the church donated “treats” to be included in Christmas gifts for families supported by the Salvation Army.
The gifts were donated to Salvation Army Glenfield. Lorraine Brooks of the SA said she was so grateful for the gifts as they have 400 families that they will help this Christmas.

Christmas goodies donated by the church
Photo- L.Robbins

Treats ready to go to the Salvation Army – Photo L.Robbins