Our History

The history of the Baptist Church movement stretches back over 400 years, and for about half that time there has been a Baptist Church in Southwell,. This makes us the second oldest congregation in the town.

In 1808 some Baptist preachers from Nottingham arrived in Southwell, which was little more than a village at the time. They held meetings in a barn on Westhorpe, which became the Baptist Church’s first meeting house. A graveyard was added soon afterwards so that the baby daughter of one of the congregation could be buried (she had not been baptised when she died which at that time meant she could not be buried in consecrated ground). The same year, the first parish Workhouse was built on Nottingham Road. When it became apparent that the building was too small a new bigger Workhouse was built in its present location on the other side of Southwell.

The Baptists bought the old Workhouse property on Nottingham Road and refurbished it. It opened in 1839 as the ‘Southwell Baptist Tabernacle’. and we have been here ever since. The church has had 21 ministers in its history, with the shortest pastorate being just one year and the longest twenty-five years.