Pioneers of EbenezerPrint Page Print this page

Photographs supplied by Wayne Moore

The plaque commemorates the pioneers who built the church. It was unveiled during the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the foundation of a British Colony in New South Wales in 1788. Ebenezer Church was the first Presbyterian Church in Australia. 

Ebenezer Church came into being following the arrival in the colony of New South Wales of eight families on board the ‘Coromandel’ in June 1802. These families – Davison, Hall, Howe, Johnston, Johnstone, Mein, Stubbs and Turnbull – came to the new colony with a request to be settled together. Their wish was granted by Governor King and they moved to their 100-acre land grants at Portland Head (Ebenezer) on the Hawkesbury River early in 1803.

They were joined by seven other families – Arndell, Bushell, Grono, Cavanough, Jacklin, Suddis and Jones – and met regularly on Sundays for services on Ebenezer Mount or in the homes of settlers. 

In 1808 at a special meeting in the home of Dr Thomas Arndell, a surgeon who came out on the First Fleet, each family pledged itself to the building of a church and school. The total cost of £400 was to be obtained from voluntary subscriptions. There was no assistance by way of finance or labour from the government.

Pioneer Owen Cavanough donated four acres of land on which to build the church. Andrew Johnston designed the church and supervised its construction. George Hall swam his bullocks across the river to haul the stone to the site. Built of locally obtained materials – sandstone, cedar wood and hardwood – it was constructed in 1809. 

A special ceremony will be held at the grounds of Ebenezer Church on Saturday, 2nd April, at 9 p.m., to which all interested are invited. The purpose is to honor the memory of the first free settlers from the English and Scottish borders, most of whom arrived on the sailing vessel, 'Coromandel,' in 1802. A memorial tablet will be unveiled in the porch bearing the names of those brave pioneers and a service will be held in the adjoining cemetery where they were laid to rest. The Royal Australian Historical Society is co-operating with the Presbyterian Church on this occasion and representatives will also be present from the Pioneers' Club and Scottish Highland Society. A booklet dealing with the life and character of the early settlers and the history of the building of the church and its subsequent ministers has been prepared by Dr. G. R. S. Reid, Ex-Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia, and will be available for the occasion. Representatives of all denominations are invited as the Church was originally used by those belonging to various other churches.
Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW), 25 March 1938.



Address:Coromandel Road, Ebenezer Church, Ebenezer, 2756
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.536666
Long: 150.890661
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture
Approx. Event Start Date:1809


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 2nd April, 1938
Front Inscription

Dedicated to the memory of the pioneers who built this place of worship Ebenezer Church in the year 1809

[ Names ]

Source: MA,H
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au