In October 1989, a group of Believers met to discuss restarting an Independent Baptist Church which had formerly been operating in the lower Blue Mountains as a mission church of Berean Baptist Church in Penrith (now known as Nepean Baptist Church). It was agreed that the church should recommence, and that Sam Keller would be the pastor of the new Blue Mountains Baptist Church, ably assisted in ministry by his wife Karen Keller. Sam and Karen Keller were church planting missionaries sent from their home church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.
On Sunday, 31st December, 1989, the first service was held in the evening at the Hazelbrook Methodist Church Hall (now Uniting Church), with meetings shortly after moving into the main Church building. In March 1990, the fellowship moved over to the new Hazelbrook Community Hall, built within the grounds of Hazelbrook Public School, with the commencement of morning services to add to the weekly evening services. Sam and Karen Keller served at Blue Mountains Baptist Church until called to take up the role of Pastor at Westlakes Baptist Church in Newcastle in late 1991. Mondars and Michelle Blicavs, who had been students at the Sydney Baptist Bible College where Sam and Karen were teaching, then took over leadership of the church until the end of 1992.
Wayne and Noeline Robilliard came in March 1993 at the request of the pastor of Nepean Baptist church who had taken on interim care. The church grew and was constituted in June 1995, with the new name of Central Mountains Baptist Church (CMBC). Although there were challenges, with the Lord’s help, CMBC has grown to approximately 100 attendees.
Andrew Mollenhauer served faithfully as Associate Pastor from 1995 until 2009, and Ray Smith from 2005 until the end of 2006. Other ministries were added including Ladies ministry, Mens ministry, a Teens group originally called Young People’s Group or YPG (now Teens4Christ), a young adult ministry called YABiS (Young Adult Bible Study), AWANA, and more recently a seniors group has been forming. At times the church had conducted meetings in Martyn Claver and Bodington nursing homes.
For 28 years, Wayne and Noeline faithfully carried out the ministry God had given them. Wayne retired from his pastoral ministry in August 2021 but served until December 2021 of that year as they awaited the coming of the new pastor. The church held a commemorative service in honour of Wayne and Noeline on 19th December, 2021.
After much prayer and waiting, the Lord brought a new pastor from the Philippines, Jan Digno, together with his wife, Xiu and 2 daughters. They have brought much energy, warmth, and a continued goal of sound Bible teaching and practice. Jan was inducted on 2nd January, 2022.
As God puts a fresh challenge to obey Jesus Christ’s command to make disciples, CMBC moves forward by God’s grace and for His glory, remembering that He promised, “...lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)