Wollongong Congregational Church History
The Congregational Church in Wollongong was officially established in October, 1855, and services were held in family homes.
The first minister was Rev. George Charter, who had been a missionary in the South Seas. In 1856, it was decided to build a chapel for the growing congregation, and in August, 1857, the present church in Market Street was dedicated. Trustees of the new building included the Sydney businessmen, David Jones and John Fairfax.
The Church has been classified by the NSW Heritage Commission for its historic significance.
The names of members of the church who made significant contributions both to the church and to the wider Wollongong community are featured in plaques on the walls and dedications under the windows.
George Hewlett, who was a deacon of the church, was also a member of the first municipal council in 1859, served as mayor on numerous occasions, was treasurer of Wollongong Hospital and trustee of the Illawarra Building Society. “Little Milton”, Wollongong’s oldest residence, was built as the manse for Rev. George Charter and his family.
The City of Wollongong has changed remarkably since the church was first established. The township then boasted only 124 houses and a population of 864. But Jesus Christ remains the same yesterday, today and forever, and the Wollongong Congregational Church continues today to live and work to proclaim the good news of his gospel in word and deed.