The City Tabernacle Baptist Church, built in 1890, is the major centre for the Baptist Church in Queensland and was the site for the annual assembly and other union functions for many years.
The congregation that now worships in this building can trace their origins back to 1855 when 13 members gathered in the Exchange Room associated with the Police Court to form the first Baptist Church in what was to become the State of Queensland.
The first Baptist church in Queensland was a small stone church built in 1859 on the corner of Wharf and Adelaide Streets. By 1887 the congregation outgrew the small church and Brisbane architect, Richard Gailey, was commissioned to desig a grand new church on the current site.
A devout Baptist, Gailey gave his architectural services free of charge and designed an impressive monument. Built at a time when the Gothic style was popular, the Tabernacle was designed in a contrasting Classical style. The tower with a cupola is on the highest part of the site and for many years was a prominent feature of Brisbane’s skyline. Each elevation of the church is treated equally, reflecting the centrally planned interior, and features large rose windows.
The entry vestibule opens into the double height nave of the church — a 21 metre wide space with cedar pews arranged in a semicircular pattern facing the pulpit, baptistery, organ, and choir gallery. The total cost of construction was over £18,000 and the first service was held on 12 October 1890.
Saturday Guided Tours
Times: As required
Sunday Guided Tours
Times: As required except during Service
Limited wheelchair access
Musical performances, coffee van and sausage sizzle