THE Hobart Baptist Church has turned the soil on its former grounds amid the upcoming development of an $8 million apartment complex.
The complex includes both a five-storey, 16-unit residential building, plus $1.3 million in upgrades to the church building and to the development of a multicultural café on Elizabeth Street.
The café will match the multicultural nature of the Hobart Baptist Church, and be serviced by professional hospitality and barista staff from the congregation.
A 15-month construction period is anticipated for the residential building, with the church upgrades following.
Since the cornerstone of the tabernacle was laid in 1887, only a small number of upgrades and additions have taken place.
Although the current project has been seven years in the making, it will undoubtedly be the most significant redevelopment for the church in its history.
Senior pastor at Hobart Baptist and leader of Tasmanian Baptists Stephen Baxter said Hobart Baptist Church was one of the most diverse churches in Hobart.
“People have come from 20 different countries including many ex-refugees,” he said.
“Our building is used by these communities and many other community groups as well.
“This development will help the church serve these communities in a much deeper and richer way for years to come.”
Caption: From left, Rev. Dr Joel Ortiz, senior pastor of Hobart Baptist Church Paw Nay, leader of Tasmanian Baptists Stephen Baxter, and congregation member Ojo Ojom.