Rev David Brown
I grew up in various places around the state of Victoria (Foster, Ellinbank, Cloverlea, Hamilton) with my four brothers, before we "settled" in Eltham in 1970. Dad was a teacher/principal, Mum a nurse. My earliest memories of church were attending Hamilton Presbyterian at age six to seven, and Flinders Presbyterian when holidaying with my paternal grandparents. As a family we stopped regular church attendance when I was about seven.
I was astonished and delighted to become a Christian at age 17 when my vague inclination to explore the Christian faith resulted in God making Himself known to me with great clarity, resulting in deep conviction in me. I then spent some time with the Montmorency PFA and various Bible studies before settling at the Eltham Presbyterian Church. During those years I grew and served at Eltham, sang with various groups for Campaigners for Christ, served on SU camps and completed a B.Sc. and a Diploma in Audiology. This took me to Wollongong NSW and the Anglican Church at Oak Flats, where I continued to grow and serve and where I met and married Roslyn (formerly Roslyn Berry from Taree NSW) in 1982.
After five years as an audiologist the desire to move from helping people hear words (audiology), to helping them hear The Word, was too strong to resist. Encouraged by the Minister and elders at Oak Flats we moved to Melbourne, where I studied at the PTC. During this time Roslyn and I were involved with two others in arranging guitar chords for the Rejoice! hymnbook.
I was ordained in 1988 in the Koroit - Port Fairy Parish. After 8 years we moved to Woori Yallock (an appointment parish) and nearly 12 years later I accepted a call to Cheltenham. Over the years I have had the privilege of serving in a great variety of ways at a Presbytery level, as well as over ten years on the Church Education and Nurture Committee and in 2011 on the STAMP team to Malawi.
We've been blessed with four wonderful children to raise, each of whom, by God's grace, is serving Him in the Presbyterian church, and we are now blessed with four grandchildren. One of the highlights over the years for our whole family has been the annual Ministers' Family Camp, which we have rarely missed. The blessing of this camp for ministry families is, I believe, immeasurable.
I regard it as a great honour and privilege to serve in the capacity of Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Victoria. Please uphold me in prayer as I serve and, on occasion, represent the church.
We Are Part of the Presbyterian Church of Australia
Together with the Presbyterian Church in each of the other states, we form the Presbyterian Church of Australia, which came into being on 24 July 1901 as the mainline Presbyterian denomination in this country in historic continuity with the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland, accepting the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as our supreme standard and only rule of faith and practice, and the Westminster Confession of Faith with slight modifications as our subordinate standard.
We Are Christians Who Believe the Bible
We believe that the whole Bible is the Word of God in written form, that the Bible is not mistaken in anything it says, that it is the final authority for the church's beliefs and practices, and the ultimate guide for all mankind. Therefore we believe that hearing God's Word carries with it the responsibility to obey God's will. To help us understand the Bible we accept and use the Westminster Confession of Faith as a reasonable summary of the Bible's teaching.
We Are Christians Who Proclaim God's Promises
God gave mankind a message of Good News ('the Gospel') through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a message which demands a response from all people everywhere.
We seek to proclaim the good news that when people put their trust in Jesus Christ and obey His commands their sins are forgiven, they live under God's blessing day by day, and they receive the assurance of eternal life.
We Are Practical Christians
We aim to provide opportunities for people of all ages to learn how to respond to this good news, and then to become effective followers of Jesus Christ. As they do this they progress in the Christian faith through Bible study, prayer, fellowship with other Christians, and service to others.
We Are Relevant Christians
We believe that the Bible's message provides tried and true answers for every modern problem and issue. As we worship God we seek to maintain a simple format with emphasis on the practical teaching and application of God's Word, the Bible, to the needs of our world.
We Are Australian Christians
Since 1823, Presbyterian Churches have taken an active part in Australian society. Subsequently, Australia has become a home to people of many ethnic and cultural backgrounds. So has the Presbyterian Church, with people of many different origins worshipping in our local congregations as well as in congregations which cater for specific ethnic groups, such as Arabic, Chinese, Cook Island, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portugese, Samoan, Spanish.
We Are 'Presbyterian' in Church Government
The spiritual leaders of the Presbyterian Church are called 'ministers' (who are particularly responsible for preaching) and 'elders' (who join with the ministers in exercising pastoral care and oversight in the congregations and courts of the church). These words are English equivalents of the Greek word 'presbyter'. Ministers and elders are elected by members of our congregations from among themselves, being those whom the members believe are spiritually qualified to lead and care for them.
Each congregation looks after its own affairs under the general guidance and oversight of the presbytery, a gathering of ministers and elders from the several congregations in the local area. The General Assembly of each state provides leadership in wider areas of the church's work such as social services, chaplaincy work in the defence forces, hospitals and other institutions, training of ministers, mission and evangelism, and Christian education. The General Assembly of Australia deals with matters of doctrine, overall standards of training of ministers, receiving ministers from other churches and the church's mission to the world.
Church Office Address
Presbyterian Church of Victoria
Mezzanine Level, 156 Collins Street
Melbourne, Vic, 3000
Phone: (03) 9650 9311
Fax: (03) 9654 5018
Rt Rev David Brown
C/- Presbyterian Church of Victoria Office
Rev John Wilson
c/- Church Office
Phone: (03) 9650 9311 Fax: (03) 9654 5018
Rev Peter Phillips
1 Warrnambool Rd
Terang, 3264, Victoria
Phone: (03) 5592 1041
Convener: Rev Jared Hood
3 Walker St, The Basin, Vic, 3154
Phone: (03) 9761 2680
Mr Brian D Bayston BComm LLB
c/- Church Office
Phone: (03) 9650 9311 Fax: (03) 9654 5018
Date of Next General Assembly:
Commission of Assembly (10.30 am, 6 May 2014)
General Assembly (7.30 pm, 6 October 2014)