Central Church has a long association with the city of Ipswich. Presbyterian Christians were among the first Europeans to settle in Ipswich when it was open to free settlers in 1842. A number of Presbyterian ministers, including the Rev Dr John Dunmore Lang, visited or stayed for short terms of ministry in the town. The Church was originally known as Scots’ Church Ipswich. In 1853, the Synod of Australia of the Church of Scotland, inducted Rev Dr Nelson as the Minister of Scots’ Church Ipswich. The first service conducted by Rev Nelson was held on Sunday, 25 September 1853. In 1859 Queensland became a State in its own right and Rev Nelson served in the first State Parliament. His son Hugh would later become Premier of the State. In 1862, the church changed its name to St Stephen’s Presbyterian Church, Ipswich. The heritage listed church that is situated on the corner of Limestone and Gordon Streets was built in 1866.
The steeple is 37 metres high and, for 23 years, was the tallest structure in Queensland. Since 1853, many ministers and elders have served the pastoral needs of St Stephen’s Ipswich. In 2001, we renovated the building behind the Heritage Building into a modern auditorium that seats more than 200 people comfortably. We began holding contemporary services in that building. In 2008, the church again changed its name, this time to Central Presbyterian Church Ipswich. While the name has changed, our commitment to Jesus, the Bible and Christ’s mission has not.