The Originals: Spirit alive in church community

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IN SERVICE OF THE LORD: Senior Pastor, the Reverend Neil Dawson works with dedicated staff at the Menai Baptist Church.

IN SERVICE OF THE LORD: Senior Pastor, the Reverend Neil Dawson works with dedicated staff at the Menai Baptist Church.

In 1979 members of the Sutherland Baptist Church were led by God to sell all the property they owned, relocate across the Woronora River and change their name to Menai Baptist Church (MBC).

The church had always met for Sunday worship on the current Billa Road site where it also operates Inaburra Preschool and Inaburra School.

The MBC has always operated as a church, and has "birthed" Inaburra school as part of its vision for the community to provide quality Christian-based education to local families.

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Inaburra school began in 1980 with classes held in Gymea Baptist Church, then relocated to Bangor into permanent school facilities on the Billa Road complex from 1982. The church has overseen the governance of Inaburra from the beginning to the present day, with an active presence on the school board.

A spokesman said the original vision for the church was all encompassing, in that it contemplated a Christian community that would care for people from the "womb to the tomb".

"As the needs of the community changed, so the church reflected this in its make-up of attendees and demographic changes mirroring the local community," the spokesman said.

"The Shire is a great place to live, work and recreate - being bordered by the three rivers of the Hacking, Woronora and Georges and surrounded by the beautiful Royal National Park to the south and the beaches of Cronulla to the east.

"Such a backdrop makes a wonderful canvas for a rich worship experience which is appreciated by all who attend MBC."

"As a church, school and preschool, MBC value excellence, and more importantly, people," the spokesman said.

"The church exists to reach people with the message of Jesus Christ and share God's love for all, through their programs and ministries."

As a family-orientated church, they provide quality regional KidsFest holiday programs each July. They also serve local schools, sporting groups and work with those who are marginalised through economic or social circumstances.