Mt Louisa House of Praise is a contemporary church with an extensive history. In 1886 (20 yrs after the settlement of Townsville) the West End Methodist Church was established. ‘West End’ Methodist became a Uniting Church in 1977 and was a fore-runner of MLHoP. West End combined with Garbutt Uniting under the ministry of the Revd Jack Frewen-Lord. When even more space was needed Praise Chapel was established in 1986, later renamed Mt Louisa House of Praise. 2018 will be the 132nd year of continuing Christian Witness in Townsville that links MLHoP with ‘West End’.
1978-1992 Rev. Jack Frewen-Lord
1992- 1996 Rev. Mike Smith
1996-2017 Rev. Anne Harley
2017- Dr. David Pohlmann
In 1978, Rev. Jack Frewen-Lord came to West End Uniting Church to minister to a very small and aging congregation. His leadership however caused the church to grow and attract many young families. It was not long before it was overflowing. The church building was purchased by the Uniting Church Aboriginal and Islander Congress for a nominal figure and the members joined with the Garbutt congregation in larger premises. They soon outgrew these premises and in 1986 decided to relocate and build at the present location in Bayswater Road. The church was called Praise Chapel and was a large, dynamic and effective church.
In 1992 Jack retired and the Rev. Mike Smith became minister. In December 1996 the issues facing the Uniting Church, particularly in the area of sexuality, became so conflicting with the beliefs of the Parish that Praise Chapel chose to leave the Uniting Church. A very small remnant remained and Anne Harley became the pastor of the renamed Mount Louisa Uniting Church. Much of the leadership had gone and the vulnerable new church struggled to maintain itself financially and to maintain the property. It is a miracle of God’s grace to see the growth that has taken place. We have reached financial stability, one block of land was sold back to the Uniting Church to pay off a large debt and we have been able to make inroads into the community. At this time Carcoola Child Care Centre transferred from Aitkenvale to Mount Louisa.
We have had our setbacks. The usual transition of people through Townsville has had its impact. The sexuality issue again raised its head in 2003 and about 30% of the congregation left. Through the grace of God we have survived and today we are healthy and vibrant. In obedience to God, we stand as a congregation aside in the Uniting Church. The church is a member of the Assembly of Confessing Congregations, Australia.
We have changed our name and become Mount Louisa House of Praise. The child care which is a significant part of the original vision of the Church, in 2012 has changed its name to Mt Louisa Child Care Centre.