Flinders Street Baptist Church

Flinders Street Baptist Church

This former manse, designed by James Cumming, was built in 1877 as a residence for Reverend Silas Mead, the pioneering minister of South Australia’s main Baptist congregation. Mead was the first incumbent of the Flinders Street Baptist Church and headed the Baptist Church for 36 years.

The manse (now offices), hall and church are still a working group of ecclesiastical buildings. Their state of preservation is now rare anywhere in the state. In particular, the group is a physical manifestation of the unification and outreach of the Baptist cause in colonial South Australia.

The South Australian Register of January 1,1877, described the Flinders Street manse, then being built as “a tasteful and at the same time substantial manse ... both commodious and comfortable”. Brown and Wood were the contractors.

Complementing the adjacent church and hall, the former manse is attractively built of dimensioned bluestone with sandstone dressings and stuccoed enrichment. The high-quality construction is enhanced by picturesque elements and detailing with Gothic overtones, such as chimney tops, a porch, eaves detail and steep roof pitch. Inside is the original high-quality plasterwork and joinery. The surviving cast-iron finials and fence railings are also notable. At the rear the three church buildings form a bluestone enclave.


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The complex is significant for it's association with the development of Baptism since early colonisation.

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Images of Flinders Street Baptist Church

  • Flinders Street Baptist Church, 2014
James Cumming
Brown and Wood
Building materials
Iron, Cast iron, Stone, Bluestone
Architectural styles
2 Victorian Period (c. 1840–c. 1890), 2.14 Rustic Gothic
1877 -
Architecture and design features
stucco, finial
Engineering features
Council Ward
Alternative Addresses
Town Acre
Planning Zone or Policy Area
Original owners
Baptist Church
Original occupant
Later occupant/s
Purposes and use
Religious, Rectory/Manse
AS2482 classification
15500 - Religious Building
Public Access
Business/trading hours
State Heritage ID
ACC Reference No.
DPTI Heritage No.
Certificate of Title No.
CT 5301/577 F18084 A52
NTSA file exists
Heritage Status
State heritage listing
State Heritage listed
Date of State heritage listing
Local heritage listing
Date of Local heritage listing
NTSA listing
Date of NTSA listing
Section 23 (4) crtiteria
Risk status
Historic Themes
6.3 Worshipping
6.3.1 Places of worship/Churches
Silas Mead
Australian Curriculum references
Year 5: The Australian Colonies


  • ACA, Assessments, Smith Survey 1880; Hinds, J., 'Baptist Church' in D. Langmead (ed), Creed and architecture, 1970, p. 93; Hughes, Rev. H.E., Our first hundred years - the Baptist Church in Adelaide, 1937, pp. 21, 31, 49; Loyau, G.E., Notable South Australians, 1885, p.
  • 164; MLSA, Historical photographs (Town Acre 273); South Australian, 30 June 1838,
  • 1 September 1838; South Australian Register, 2 June 1861, 26 June 1861, 1 January 1877,
  • 1 July 1877, 23 March 1878.

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