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Item: 200235
Surname: Bavin
First Name: Rev. Rainsford
Ship: -
Date: -
Place: Newcastle
Source: Glory be 1845-1945, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the opening of the first Wesleyan Chapel in Newcastle. Camden Theological Library
Details: Newcastle Methodism was proud of the Central Methodist Mission when it was built in the early years of this century. When Rev. W. Woods Rutledge was at the Hill Church in 1901 (he was first President of the Union Conference, in that year) he initiated a movement designed to give Newcastle a central church worthy of Methodism and expressing the spirit of Union. Rev. Rutledge was in Newcastle only a year, and to his successor. Rev. Rainsford Bavin (father of the late Sir Thomas Bavin), fell the honour and responsibility of building what was known as the Central Hall.

Item: 197884
Surname: Bavin (obit)
First Name: Rev. Rainsford
Ship: -
Date: 3 August 1905
Place: -
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Details: DEATH OF THE REV. RAINSFORD BAVIN. The death took place yesterday morning of the Rev. Rainsford Bavin, who for over a generation has been one of the most prominent members of the Methodist ministry in Australia. His last station was Newcastle, to which, after his three years term, he had been re-elected for a fourth year. His health became unsatisfactory towards the end of last year. Work had to be relinquished in March, owing to the trouble becoming more acute, and Mr. Bavin came to Sydney for medical treatment. An operation disclosed the fact that the case was hopeless, and, rapidly sinking, the patient awaited the end with Christian fortitude. Death released him from his sufferings at 6 o clock yesterday morning. He was in the 61st year of his age. The Rev. R. Bavin was one of the most popular and best known Methodist preachers in New South Wales and New Zealand, having since 1867 been engaged as a minister in New Zealand, where he was President of the General Conference, and since 1888 in this State, and became President of the Conference in 1903. He had travelled considerably among all circuits, and had occupied as many pulpits in them as almost any other minister. He was of a commanding presence, strong physique, and was possessed of great tact, had a most genial disposition, and the gifts and graces of a powerful preacher and platform speaker. The late Mr. Bavin was born in 1845 in Lincolnshire of good Methodist stock, having a grandmother whose greatest joy was to notice the rapid growth in the spiritual aspirations of her dear Rainsford in response to her prayers and saintly efforts to mould his character. At the age of 16 he commenced preaching, and the round-faced lad soon became a favourite in village chapels in his native county. At this time his daily employment was that of a teacher, first in a Wesleyan school, and afterwards as tutor in a private academy. In 1864 he was accepted as a candidate for the ministry by the British Conference. At first he was designated for India, but after a course of theological study, his destination was, for health reasons, changed, and he, with the Rev. Joseph Berry, arrived in New Zealand in 1867. His first appointment was to Christ- church, after which he ministered in the Timaru, Kalapol, Wanganui, Nelson, Wellington, and Auckland circuits. In all of which he had a good measure of success. He filled many important connexional offices in the Church, having served as chairman in the Wanganui, Nelson, Wellington, and Auckland districts, and he was appointed a representative to the Australasian Conference of 1872. He was elected by the New Zealand Conferences to the General Conferences of 1878, 1881, 1884, and 1888. He held the office of secretary at the Auckland Conference of 1879, and also the Nelson Conference in 1881, and was elected by an almost unanimous vote as Chairman of the Conference in 1883. Judged by the Australian and British custom in appointing presidents, Mr. Bavin was an exceedingly youthful president. In 1888 he was appointed by the General Conference as an exchange with New South Wales, and in April, 1889, he took charge of the William-street church, Sydney. The next circuit was at Newtown, whero for a year he laboured successfully among a loyal Methodist people with much acceptance. The conference of 1893 appointed him superintendent of the Sydney Central Methodist Mission, and he held the position for three years He was appointed to the Newcastle circuit In 1902, and after the expiry of three years, the ordinary period, he was re-elected for a fourth year, showing the great esteem in which he was hold. Ho established the Central Mission at Newcastle, and erected the large hall in connection with it.