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National Christian Heritage Sunday

by | Tue, Jan 31 2023

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National Christian Heritage Sunday will be celebrated for the 11th time this weekend.

It marks the arrival of the Gospel in Australia.

The country’s first minister Reverend Richard Johnson arrived with the First Fleet just over 235-years ago.

He held the nation’s the first Christian service on the 3rd of February, 1788.

Christian historian Dr. Paul Roe told Vision Radio that the writer of Amazing Grace and former slave trader John Newton was Reverend Johnson’s mentor, confidant and advisor.

“He was one of the men who encouraged Richard Johnson to come to Australia and to bring the Gospel to Australia, not only to Australia but to the whole South Pacific.”

John Newton dubbed the Reverend Johnson the “first Apostle to the South Seas”.

His Botany Bay chaplaincy was also supported by abolitionist William Wilberforce who suggested to British Prime Minister William Pitt that he appoint a chaplain in the region.

Reverend Johnson also opened Australia’s first schools.