Previous Ministers

Rev Dr Arthur Waldock

Image of Rev. Arthur and Mrs Waldock

Rev. Arthur and Mrs Waldock

Our first minister was the Rev. Dr Waldock. Arthur Waldock was ordained in 1897. In 1904 he became Secretary of the NSW Home Mission Society, and in 1908 he became its first full-time Superintendent. In 1910, he became Secretary of the Education Committee and ultimately became first President of Council for the new Theological College of NSW. In 1922 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from Georgetown College, USA. Dr Waldock was minister of Canberra Baptist Church from 1929 to 1948.

Rev Harold Hackworthy

Image of Rev. Harold Hackworthy

Rev. Harold Hackworthy

The second minister at Canberra Baptist Church was Rev Hackworthy. Harold Hackworthy was born in Newcastle, and was educated at the Universities of Melbourne and Sydney, and Kings College and London in the UK, before attending Melbourne Baptist College (now Whitley College). His early pastorates were at several country towns in NSW, before seeing war service between 1914-1919.

After the war he returned to the ministry, first at Ingleburn, NSW, then at South Yarra Baptist Church in Melbourne, Victoria. He went to England again and took the pastorate at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Burnley. On returning he became minister of the Darling Church, Melbourne and later went to Hobart, Tasmania and North Adelaide Baptist Church in South Australia. He was ordained minister of Canberra Baptist Church in 1948 where he remained until his retirement in 1952.

Rev Fred P. McMaster

Image of Rev. Fred. P. McMaster

Rev. Fred. P. McMaster

Canberra Baptist Church’s third minister was Rev Fred P. McMaster, E.D., Dip. R.E., from 1952 to 1980. It was one of the most stable ministries in Australian Baptist annals. Fred was a student at the New South Wales Baptist Theological College in 1943. In 1942 he became an honorary chaplain to the Army’s Spring Hill Supply Unit and thus began his long association with that Service. He was commissioned a chaplain in the AMF in 1958 and appointed to the Royal Military College in 1961. He held the Queen’s Coronation Medal, Queen’s Jubilee Medal and the Efficiency Decoration.

He was Chairman, Baptist Homes Trust (Regional Board); Superintendent, A.C.T. Baptist Association; Vice-Chairman, 1981 Family Convention of the Baptist Union of Australia; Member of the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Liberty, Justice and Peace. He has served on the executive of the Australian Baptist Union and also on its Home Mission Board and served on the Baptist World Aid and Relief Committee. He was chairman of the Joint Commission on A.C.T. Church Development; chairman of the local Minister’s Fraternal and member of the Ecumenical Services Committee; member of Burgmann College Committee and member of the Woden Churches Centre Committee. He was also a member of the Canberra Christian Television Association .

Fred McMaster was involved in the formation of the local Marriage Guidance Council and was a chaplain to the Australian National University. He was instrumental in the establishment of Morling Lodge to provide a caring and secure environment for the aged. He had been Chairman of the Lodge’s Management Committee since its opening.

“Family Prayers”, a collection of prayers by Fred McMaster for the whole family was published in 1998.

Fred McMaster provided leadership and continuity of service in the Canberra Baptist Church for twenty eight years.

Rev Neil Adcock

Image of Rev. Neil and Mrs Adcock

Rev. Neil and Mrs Adcock

Although quite unexpected it was in the spirit of continuing service to the community that the Rev.F.P.McMaster resigned from the pastorate in April 1980 to become the first Superintendent of the Baptist Community Services of the A.C.T. At the time of his resignation Mr McMaster had served for 28 years as Minister and Pastor of the Church.

After many months of diligent enquiry by the Diaconate the Church unanimously extended a call to the Rev. Neil Adcock then serving at the Perth Central Baptist Church. Mr and Mrs Adcock arrived in Canberra in April 1981 and Mr Adcock was inducted at the Sunday morning service of 5 April 1981. Participating in the Service were the Reverends F.H. Starr, C.N. Chambers, F.P. McMaster and N. Abrahams.

Already well known in Baptist circles, Mr Adcock was soon active in the wider ministry. In May 1981 Mr Adcock delivered the keynote address at a rally held in the Sydney Opera House to mark the 150th Anniversary of Baptist Witness in Australia. In the years since then many other avenues of service were pursued by Mr Adcock with support from members of the congregation; participating in Parliamentary Christian services; in ecumenical gatherings with other churches in the city; in rallies with other Baptist Churches in the A.C.T. Association and in commercial radio and television programs before these avenues were closed. Rev. Charles Jackson was appointed as Pastoral Assistant to Mr Adcock in 1981.

In 1987/88 Mr Adcock served as President of the N.S.W. Baptist Union in Australia’s Bicentennial year. The traditions established by former Ministers of the Canberra Baptist Church were alive and well in the capable ministries of Mr and Mrs Adcock. Mr Adcock retired in July 1994.

During the last four years of Mr Adcock’s ministry, Rev. Ken Jarvis served as Associate Minister and later acted briefly as the Senior Minister.


Rev Thorwald Lorenzen

1995 – 2005 To be updated soon


Rev Jeanette Mathews

To be updated soon


Rev James Barr

To be updated soon


Rev Christopher Turner

Christopher Turner came to Canberra after eight years as the minister of the Ivanhoe Baptist Church in Melbourne, Victoria.

Prior to his time at Ivanhoe, Christopher was associate pastor at the Brighton/Hampton Baptist Churches in Melbourne for three years and a pastoral worker at the Kilsyth South Baptist Church in Melbourne’s east for two years.

Christopher undertook his theological studies at Whitley College in Melbourne where he graduated with a Bachelor of Theology and an Advanced Diploma in Ministry. Christopher also graduated in 2005 as a Spiritual Director from the formation programme offered by WellSpring Centre in Ashburton, Melbourne.

He has a Doctor of Theology degree in the area of Australian contextual theology through the MCD University. He has an interest in the contributions of culture to a conversation between culture and theology.

Christopher concluded his ministry at the Canberra Baptist Church on 10 May, 2015 .