chuch@paravista has its roots in the Christian Brethren movement which began in England in the early 1800s. In the 1830s and 1840s a group of Anglican scholars who were committed to the Scriptures sought to rediscover the NT principles for the church. Guided by the Spirit of God, they rediscovered biblical truth that had been neglected in their own church tradition – the unity of the body of Christ, the centrality of worship, and the priesthood of all believers. These men were the architects of what became known as the Plymouth Brethren.
In 1901 Wiliam Neatby wrote this about them:
The Brethren sought to effect a fresh start without authority, precedent or guidance beyond the letter of the Holy Scripture. For them, essentially, the garnered experience of 18 centuries was as though it were not. Such an experiment in the hands of eminent men could scarcely fail to yield a considerable harvest of interest and instruction.
Unfortunately, as has happened with many renewal movements throughout history, some men began to interpret the rediscovered principles in a very narrow way without any flex and this gave rise to a break away movement which became known as the Exclusive Brethren (you may have heard of them, they continue to feature in the current affairs programs as a cult).
Nevertheless, the Open Brethren (as the remainder were called) continued to demonstrate a fellowship that had the following characteristics:
Anthony Norris Groves, one of the early leaders in the Brethren movement best captured the ecumenical spirit behind their understanding of the church as the household of God.
Our particular church will be 30 years old this August. It started out in Modbury Primary school, then moved to the Tea Tree Players theatre premises, and then bought the Delfin real estate building on Grenfell Rd in Golden Grove. The church remained there for many years, until we purchased this property approximately 5 years ago, so we had more room for the church and ministries to grow.
A number of the original members who started the church still come to this church and there are many people and families who have been coming for ten or twenty years. Our last pastor – Roy Montgomery – served in this church for 20 years – and only moved on because he felt he had taken the church as far as he could and it was time to move on.
As a church, we feel very passionate about helping people be all they can be in Christ – hence our mission statement: “to help people become active, committed followers of Jesus Christ” – we want to see people meet Jesus, become his disciples, make a decision to be part of this fellowship of believers, and then get actively involved in serving in the church and our wider community.
So we certainly want to love you and serve you but we also want to encourage you to be part of this church and join with us in serving God and giving him the praise and glory.