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Key moments

Spanning over 200 years, these are the moments that define who we are and how we have been unique shaped.

Old York St Methodist Church, 1840s

1812: Edward Eagar, John Hosking and Thomas Bowden launch the first Australian Methodist meeting in the Rocks, Sydney, on 6 March 1812.

1815: The first Australian Methodist minister, Rev Samuel Leigh arrives. The founding fathers of Methodism establish the roots of our philanthropic and evangelistic work.

1817: Rev Samuel Leigh opens our first Wesleyan chapel.

1884: The Methodist Church changes name to Central Methodist Mission.

1900: Foster care service, Wesley Dalmar opens a home for neglected children in Woolloomooloo, Sydney.

1905: Parliamentarian, Ebenezer Vickery buys the Lyceum Theatre in Pitt Street, Sydney, to re-house our growing congregation.

1912: Our first church fundraising event, known as Spring Fair opens. Now called Wesley Fair, over time, this annual fair has raised millions of dollars for our organisation.

1928: Our first aged care home, Taylor Village, opens at Narrabeen. Wesley Taylor Narrabeen takes its name from our first Superintendent, Rev William George Taylor.

1946: Waddle House (now known as Wesley Hospital Ashfield) is the first private Christian psychiatric hospital to open in NSW.

Rev Alan Walker at Easter Mission in 1977.

1959: Rev Alan Walker launches the inaugural Easter Mission. Today this missional event has grown to include public processions, shared meals and church services throughout Holy Week. Also, Wesley Impact! Magazine publishes its first issue.

1961: Our annual national televised Easter Sunrise Service launches at the Ryde Drive-in Theatre. This service is now hosted at the Sydney Opera House.

1963: A round-the-clock telephone counselling service, known as The Lifeline Centre opens in Darlinghurst. Today we continue to operate Lifeline Sydney & Sutherland.

1968: Located in Burwood, Pinaroo opens, marking our first accommodation service for people with disabilities. 

1969: The inaugural School for Seniors program opens, offering individuals over 55+, a place to socialise and learn new skills.

1972: Wesley Vision Valley, a conference and outdoor adventure centre in north-western Sydney opens for disadvantaged children.

1973: David Morgan Enterprises launches at Rydalmere, giving people with disabilities the opportunity to achieve independence through meaningful employment.

1977: The Central Methodist Mission becomes part of the Uniting Church in Australia and changes its name to Wesley Central Mission.

1978: A weekly television program called ‘Turn ‘Round Australia’ is aired on the Nine Network. Now known as Wesley Impact! TV, channel Nine continues to air this program each Sunday morning.

1979: The historical Bourke Street Wesleyan Chapel, built in 1847, opens as a homelessness centre known as Edward Eagar Lodge, named after one of our founding fathers.

Wesley Centre, 220 Pitt Street.

1980: Wesley Financial Counselling first established as Wesley CreditLine, due to an increasing number of calls to Lifeline.

1981: The first gathering of NSW Aboriginal elders was held at Wesley Vision Valley.

1985: A full-time Volunteers Coordinator is appointed in response to the increasing number of people wanting to volunteer. Today almost 4000 people volunteer for Wesley Mission.

1988: Rev Joan Horgan is the first woman to be appointed as a pastor at Wesley Chapel.

1994: Wesley Central Mission changes its name to Wesley Mission.

1995: Wesley LifeForce is established in response to the growing number of suicides in Australia.

2006: Rev Keith Garner, from the United Kingdom, is appointed as Wesley Mission’s Superintendent.

2011: We take over the operations of a respected child mentoring charity, now known as Wesley Aunties & Uncles.

2012: We celebrate 200 years since the first Methodists began their pioneering care in NSW.

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