KNBC's History

1997 - KNBC's 150th Anniversary

On the 15th October 1847 a chapel came into being on Wharf Road. What was once two homes was now a meeting place of worship. It started life as a church plant from Cannon street Church in the centre of Birmingham. The chapel had it's 150th anniversary celebrations on 15nd Oct 1997. The photo to the left shows the road back in the late 19th century.

To mark the occasion an invitation was tentatively sent to the then Lord Mayor who graciously accepted. A Christian Lady, who, after arriving on that cool but sunny morning, gave a clear address to us all who had been eagerly awaiting her arrival in the car park. We then followed her inside to see the exhibition and cake cut etc.

Left and below left: The Lord Mayors visit to our chapel to celebrate our 150th Anniversary as a church since being planted by a city centre church in 1847.

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How it started

The chapel was built in 1847, the opening services being conducted by the Revs. J. Angell James (Carr's Lane) and T. Swan. (Services had previously been held in a room at the Navigation Inn nearby, and a Sunday School since 1822.) Cannon Street Church purchased three houses, demolishing two to make room for the chapel, and leaving the third for vestry and classrooms a front wall being added to match the rest of the buildings. Lay preachers sent by Cannon Street Church conducted afternoon and evening services, walking to their appointments and often taking their food with them. In 1896 Mr. F. B. Andrews, A.R.I.B.A., was appointed deacon in charge, and here he was married. In 1898 the Rev. W. Hackney's assistantóRev. H. W. Bakeróbecame joint-pastor of King's Norton and Alvechurch, his stipend being provided by the two Churches, helped by Cannon Street Church, now occupying Graham Street chapel. Mr. Baker ministered seven years. In 1905 Mr. Walter J. Glover, of King's Heath, became honorary lay pastor and served ten years, resigning owing to ill-health.

Mr. F. G. Saunders became pastor in 1915, and his work has been greatly blessed. On October 15th, 1922, King's Norton was formed into a separate Church, the Rev. F. V. Mildred, pastor of Cannon Street Memorial Church, conducting the special service. Prior to this the baptismal services were conducted by the Cannon Street minister. Since then Mr. Saunders has baptised over 100 candidates, many of whom had been members of Methodist and other Churches. Many of them remained in their respective Churches, the pastor believing it is the duty of the Church to evangelise, and not proselytise. On two occasions the canal nearby has been used as a baptistery. Mr. Saunders joined the Sunday School in 1892, afterwards becoming teacher and the Church Secretary. He has been three times President of King's Norton Christian Endeavour Union, and also the President of the Birmingham and Midland Brotherhood and Sisterhood Federation. (From the Birmingham Baptists book 1942 p. 135/6)