History of DBC
The first Dawley Baptist Chapel in 1846 was built on the site of a former Bull Baiting and Cock Fighting area.
The area was chosen to remove this use of the site and was chiefly inspired by two men both called James Jones. The one was a farmer at the Piece Farm and the other was a Charter-master living in Old Park. Both were deacons in neighbouring Baptist churches, one in Wellington and the other in Broseley.
It's a long way from Dawley to Broseley, and in those days there was no convenient transport . These were two very dedicated men.
Most of the Baptist congregations in this area were small, and few were able to afford settled ministers. Our own Church at Dawley had to wait till 1849 before the first Minister was appointed but the records show that while we have had 22 ministers since then, there has never been a period greater than three years without a minister.
The longest serving minister was Rev Arthur Lester (1892 - 1920) a period of 28 years.
In the early years ministers, for whatever reason, did not seem to stay long with most staying for 3 years or less. The period from 1892 till 1958 was a very stable part of our history with four consecutive ministers serving for 28, 11, 17, and 8 years respectively.
Here's something interesting...
Before the erection of the Chapel (1846), worship was conducted for 30 years in a private house; being straitened for room, and feeling the claims of the population in the neighbourhood, an effort was made, and the present building erected, for preaching the gospel in connection with their own denomination.
The Rev Mr. Wrigley, was ordained the 1st pastor of the Church on January 1st 1849. About this time two schoolrooms were added to the building.
Mr. Wrigley resigned his charge at Christmas 1849 and removed to Blackburn in Lancashire. Alfred Cox, having received a unanimous invitation from the Church to become their pastor, accepted it and entered upon his labours November 24th 1850.
Owing to the increase of the congregation & Sabbath Schools an effort was made in the spring of 1852 to erect galleries in the Chapel with free sitting for the poor. The Chapel was opened Sunday May 25th & the entire cost was £48-9-5, the whole was collected & paid by the end of August 1851.
In July 1851, a bazaar of fancy & useful articles was held at the Friends Meeting House, New Dale for the liquidation of the debt on the Schoolrooms, by which a profit of £40 was realised & the debt reduced. Several Pounds worth of goods still remains to be disposed of, the whole of which was kindly contributed by friends in the neighbourhood.
The remaining goods were offered for sale on Monday & Tuesday, the 26th & 27th of April 1852, in the Schoolrooms belonging to the Chapel, by which a profit of £13-1-5 was realised.
After all those years the chapel was no longer fit for purpose. After lots of prayer the church voted to take the old chapel down and build something more fit for purpose. The old came down, the new went up and God carried on doing amazing work in the community through DBC.
As the church grew, families and children started filling the seats, and church community missions grew, it again became apparent that the current building was restricting all that we felt God wanted to achieve in Telford and on Dawley Bank.
The church began to seek God's will (as is our Baptist way), and after years of prayer and discussion, prophecy and insight, in 2018 the church voted to extend the current building.
The decision was made that the sanctuary space should remain at the same size and the entire extension should be focused around the community areas. A clear intention of where DBC sees itself and its mission.
The plan is to expand the current community room and kitchen facilities as well as adding a number of smaller rooms for children's work and smaller community mission groups.
That's where you come in. Dawley Baptist Church is not the building, it is the people. Jesus calls everyone to work together to further God's kingdom. You belong here, come and be a part of something great.