Redeemer Baptist Church
is a Christian church formed in 1974 when around 30 families broke away from the Castle Hill Baptist Church in Sydney
's west to form their own church. Currently, it is headed by Ps. Noel Cannon.
The Church was formed in 1974, when around 30 families broke away from the Castle Hill Baptist Church in Sydney
's west to form their own church, under the leadership of Noel Cannon. The members of this church expressed a desire to share closely in each others lives, beyond once or twice a week as is common in traditional Protestant churches.
The leader of the church, Noel Cannon, was a science master at The King's School, Sydney
. Cannon and fellow leaders Max Shaw, Alan Nutt, Ian Garth and Bob Bailey were influenced by the Catholic Charismatic Renewal
A strong family culture developed within the church. The leaders were known as elders. None of them had formal theological training. Adults in the church were all addressed as "Uncle" and "Aunt", regardless of blood family relations, a tradition that continues to the present.The church saw itself as "a healing community" and several families opened their homes to care for troubled people of all ages.
The Young People
In 1977, the children of the church elders and other people of the same age saved up for an overseas trip, lead by Cannon and his wife Elizabeth. Over a six month period, they toured the USA and Europe, visiting Christian groups who lived a similar lifestyle, including the Bruderhof Communities
. At this time a strong bond formed between Cannon and this group, who became known as the "Young People". Soon after their return, Cannon promoted four Young People as junior elders. These were his sons Ian and Jonathan, and Bob Bailey's sons Phillip and Russell.
The School Commences
In 1981 a significant change in direction occurred, with the decision to form an independent Christian school. This was commenced at Thornleigh NSW, at the site which is now McDoozle's headquarters.Cannon, who had resigned from The King's School to assume full time pastoral duties, became the principal of the school.
At the outset, it was a policy of the school to only employ members of the church. During the '80's the school grew in size and relocated to the Burnside Homes at North Parramatta. At this time these buildings were owned by the Anglican church and were used for foster care.
A time of transition
The 1990's commenced with another overseas tour led by Cannon, with some of the Young People and a new group of 20 and 30 year olds called the "Young Young People". This was a more modest trip of one month. This time only the Bruderhof Communities
were visited. Cannon disputed some of the teachings of the Bruderhof, but the influence of the Bruderhof lifestyle on Redeemer became increasingly more apparent.