West View Baptist Church and its international links

The stones are laid for the new West View Baptist Church 60 years ago.
The stones are laid for the new West View Baptist Church 60 years ago.

It’s been a fascinating 60 years for the West View Baptist Church.

And today, Memory Lane completes its look into the history book of the church which has made such a difference to parishioners.

Our aim is to attempt great things for God and expect great things from God

David Butler, spokesman for the West View Baptist Church

Down the years, the church has developed its fundraising initiatives. In the late 1990s, it started an overseas aid fund and organised two trips to Serbia to give humanitarian aid to refugees of the civil war.

It also fundraised closer to home when, in 1998, initiatives were held to support the Building Fund including summer and Christmas fairs, and officials producing their own Worship CD.

There was sadness along the way when founder members Bob Loach Elsie Nicholls died.

The international links continued when 10 Ukrainian students from the Hope Now ministry visited the church and a delegation from Birmingham, Alabama stayed for seven days. It led to a return trip for Hartlepool youngsters to the USA.

By 2000, average attendance to the Sunday service was 72 and there were 15 baptisms a year by 2002.

In the years that followed, highlights included outreach projects, rallies, and summer camps - and a period of “real growth, spiritually and in numbers,” said spokesman David Butler.

The future, he said, was something to look forward to with excitement and with an excellent membership that wants to serve God.

Watch out for details of the anniversary celebrations in the Mail’s Communtiy Centres pages next Monday.