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Prayer and praise are central at Mt Louisa, Townsville

Baptism at Mt Louisa House of Praise church camp; (L to R) Ben Neideck, Brian Christie, Rev Anne Harley, Joel Mackereth. Photo: Steve Hawes

Mt Louisa House of Praise is located in Townsville, North Queensland. The congregation has strong links with local churches and engages with the community through a range of outreach ministries. Tara Burton spoke to minister Anne Harley.

How are you enriching your community?

We play a significant role in Stable on the Strand, a Christmas event put on by the churches of Townsville.

Over 35 000 people attend and it continues to change the spiritual atmosphere across the city.

Neighbour to Neighbour is another combined churches initiative, where volunteers go into the homes of hundreds of elderly and disabled people to do small tasks.

Each year we give away the equivalent of 20 per cent of our income to causes beyond ourselves.

Members of our congregation are involved in activities including the YWAM Medical Ship, Live FM radio station, religious education, and prison chaplaincy.

We have a child care facility attached to the church, MOPS (Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers), playgroup, Kids' Club and seniors' ministry.

For the past three years at Easter the Uniting Church in Townsville has held The Call.

The vision comes from Ezekiel, when the dead bones came to life and formed a mighty army. For some this weekend has been truly life changing.

This year The Call will be held on 29 – 31 March, with the theme Never be the same.

What are the current trends?

The lead minister has been on sick leave for an extended period and this has had a huge impact.

Many members have had to stand up and take on roles that they have not done before. The body of Christ has been a huge blessing.

One non-Uniting Church group visited us for three Sundays, blessing us with love, bringing words of encouragement, morning tea, their offerings and preaching.

We continue the cross-church work with youth ministry this year, which has seen the coming together of the youth from three different churches and their leaders.

What does forming disciples mean for your church community?

There is a growing hunger for the things of God; deeper worship, prayer, healings and divine encounters.

Presently we have congregation-driven prayer meetings every morning of the week.

It is not as much about learning the Bible as living the Bible.

It is not only about conversion of the head but transformation of the heart.

We emphasise the transformation of lives through the power of God's Holy Spirit Being called a "House of Praise", worship is a critical part of our church life.

Worship becomes a time when we can experience God and be changed.

Our motto is Experience God, be changed, make a difference.

We continually ask the question: What does it mean for the church to be demonstrating the power of God and the life of the Spirit in a hurting and broken world?

Fast Facts:


· Townsville is the largest regional town in North Queensland, with a population of over 19 000

· average age is 33 years, with 80 per cent born in Australia

· major areas of employment are health, defence and education.

Mission focus:

· families

· the broken-hearted

· looking beyond the church community

· working with other churches.

What's new:

· the installation of a commercial kitchen, which will be used to feed the community

· the excitement for God and His church being generated as a group of men meet together on Saturday mornings.

Social media:

· congregation and child care websites

· congregation and youth Facebook pages.

Photo : Baptism at Mt Louisa House of Praise church camp; (L to R) Ben Neideck, Brian Christie, Rev Anne Harley, Joel Mackereth. Photo: Steve Hawes