A brief outline of the history of Bendigo (St John’s) Presbyterian Church follows;
1854: Presbyterian worship commenced in Bendigo.
1859: St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Myers Street was opened (this is now St Andrew’s Uniting Church).
1860: The Eaglehawk Presbyterian Charge was established.
1872: Permission was granted for a second Presbyterian charge in Bendigo.
1874: St. John’s Presbyterian Church was opened in Forest Street (near the Barnard Street end)
1878: A breakaway group from St. John’s met at various venues and built a new church in Rowan Street known as the Chalmers Presbyterian Church.
1885: The St. John’s Church building was destroyed by fire.
1897: The new St John’s Church building was opened on the same site (the Chalmers and St John’s Congregations had reunited at this stage)
1949: Plans were in hand for the demolition of the church and the erection of a third church building on the same site when an offer to purchase the former Congregational Church (on the corner of Forest and Mackenzie Streets, our present building) was accepted. The building, which had most recently been used by the Wesleyan Methodists and had been designed by Architect W C Vahland.
1951: The ‘new’ St John’s Presbyterian Church opened and dedicated
1955: St John ‘s Church Hall was built and opened.
1977: Church Union: The majority of the St John’s Congregation joined the Uniting Church, while those who wanted to remain Presbyterian attended services at Eaglehawk.
1982: Former St John’s members (with the blessing of the Session) recommenced Presbyterian services at the All Saints Anglican Church in Forest Street, Bendigo. The St John’s congregation was then linked to Eaglewhawk.
1985: The St. John’s Church buildings were purchased from the Uniting Church and were reopened and rededicated again on 6 October.
1995: St John’s and Eaglehawk became separate Parishes (St John’s as an Appointment Parish, Eaglehawk as a Home Mission Station).
2003: St John’s reached the status of full Charge
2012: St John’s Church Hall, kitchen and toilets were renovated and opened (October).
2012: Plans were announced to form a ‘daughter’ church in South East Bendigo in 2013
2013: Services at the ‘daughter’ church plant began (February).
2014: Rev Russ Grinter ordained and inducted as Minister of South East Bendigo Presbyterian Church (aka ‘Reforming’)
2018: Daughter Church purchased their own property in East Bendigo and became ‘Reforming Presbyterian Church, East Bendigo’.