Emeritus Professor Alan Rice AM, President  

The year has been quiet due to Covid19 so the meetings of the Historical Society were suspended but planning is underway to resume again during 2021.  The pattern has been to have four meetings through the year and produce The Baptist Recorder each quarter. The Society provides a forum for research and writing on many subjects. Reasonable access is provided to materials not denoted as confidential to Society members and other researchers within the resource constraints of the Archives.    

On the other hand despite Covid there has been much activity around the Archives and the reopening at Morling College is planned to occur after this Assembly.  The Archives provides a repository for NSW Baptist Historical materials and will continue in an expanded form on the Morling Campus. An upstairs area formerly part of the library has been renovated and added to the Archives and will provide an area for those engaged with resources, be it in research or in maintaining materials.  

Ernest Windschuttel is to resume as Archivist with the reopening of the Archives.  He is supported by a team of volunteers who manage the resources as well as research related to our Baptist history. We are very grateful for their assistance in this significant work. We are seeking more volunteers with an interest in Baptist events and its churches and organizations with training to be provided to new volunteers. 

The task of maintaining our historical records is important as evidenced by the research contribution made by our archives to the acclaimed historical account of Australian Evangelical Christianity in this century, Attending to the National Soul (2020), authored by Stuart Piggin and Robert D Lindner. We enabled access to many records of NSW Baptist Historical affairs such as minutes from churches and departmental committees, journals, records of events, photographs and family histories.  With expansion of our facilities there is the capacity to hold more documents from churches and better support researchers. 

The message at this Assembly is that the Society is very grateful – 

* to Morling College for its generosity and ongoing support of the Archives and Baptist Historical Society since they moved to the College in 1999, and 
* to members of the Baptist family who have supported the work through volunteering and private donations. 

We look forward to strengthening our links with Baptist Churches and organisations and will continue to focus on preserving our history and providing a record of developments and changes in the Baptist movement in NSW and ACT. 

Emeritus Professor Alan Rice AM