Our Community

Canberra Baptist Church believes that the Good News of Jesus is for all people without qualification, and we are deeply committed to creating a community of genuine welcome.

We come together for worship, in small groups, a variety of social activities, to care for creation and those in need remembering God’s heart for justice, and to share hospitality with others and through our community centre.

Led by the Spirit, we will explore together what it means to follow Jesus today, build an inclusive, caring community, and share God’s love and justice in words and actions.

Our Story

Formed in 1929, Canberra Baptist Church was established so Baptists would have a presence in the new national capital. Our beautiful church was built with donations from Baptists all over Australia.

From the very beginning, Canberra Baptist Church has believed that the gospel that gives us life should also give life to others. Our community holds together a breadth of theological views and expressions, while enjoying welcoming and caring fellowship. We firmly believe compassion and justice are not optional extras for the church, but essential to following Jesus.

In 2017 we affirmed again our church mission statement – to build a vibrant and open community which is responsive to God’s love in Christ and committed to serving God and people – and committed ourselves to three goals.

Led by the Spirit we will:

  • Explore together what it means to follow Jesus today
  • Build an inclusive, caring community
  • Share God’s love and justice in words and actions

In October 2023 we re-affirmed these commitments as we expressed our grief that the NSW/ACT Baptist Association has decided to disaffiliate churches and disaccredit ministers who do not support the statement on marriage (adopted 12 Nov 2022). We have been part of the Association since our inception in 1929 and we remain committed to association with other Baptist Churches. We do not want to be disaffiliated.

After much discussion, reflection and prayer, we have prepared the following statement – Same-sex Marriage and the NSW/ACT Baptist Association.

    Our Ministry Team

    Rev. Belinda Groves

    Belinda is the Team Leader at Canberra Baptist Church. Her role includes leadership, preaching and worship, pastoral care and building community. She loves being part of a community with a rich tradition of thoughtful worship and theological reflection and a living practice of discipleship, hospitality, mercy and justice.

    Belinda has a BA (Hons), Dip. Ed., a BTh (Hons) and an Advanced Diploma in Christian Ministry. Her background includes eight years as Associate Minister of Canberra Baptist, six years at Seaforth Baptist Church, three years at Northside Baptist Church, and some pastoral experience at Yokohama Union Church in Japan. As well as having lived in Japan, she has lived in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

    Belinda has one husband, Aron Downey, two dogs, Mischief and Monty, and three children; Miriam, Grace and Zachary.

    Steve Coster

    Steve is our Community Leader at Canberra Baptist Church. His roles are focused on: the Currie Crescent Community Center; Young Families and Young Adult Ministry. He loves engaging with people from a wide range of backgrounds and ages, working together to support the development of a sense of belonging and participation.

    Steve has a BA from the ANU and BTh from the Sydney College of Divinity, he was ordained a Uniting Church Minister of the Word in 1993. Steve has ministered in Wollongong, Sydney, Taree, Canberra and Queanbeyan. A few years ago Steve stepped back from the pulpit to focus on wider community needs, spending time as the CEO of a local church charity organisation in Canberra.

    Steve is married to Alison, they have two adult children Sam and Beth and a grandson Arthur.