The first discussions about forming a Baptist church in North Finchley began in 1866 between Mr Edwin Smart and Mr Joseph Bruce. This was at a time when Revd Charles Haddon Spurgeon was actively involved in planting Baptist churches in and around the fast-expanding metropolitan area. One of his students, Mr William Clark, was sent to help with the formation of a new church. William Clark was to become the church's first pastor.
The early history of the Baptist Church
The Baptist Church was founded on Sunday 5th January 1868. At the Communion Service held in a rented room at No 2 Beaumont Villas, Finchley Common, fifteen members committed themselves to one another.In February 1868 the congregation began worshipping in the Cottagers Chapel, which could accommodate about a hundred and fifty worshippers.
William Clark moved to a church in Kent in 1870 and was succeeded by Mr Fred Groombridge, another of Charles Spurgeon's students. His ministry could have led to the demise of the young congregation when he and several of the members left to join the Plymouth Brethren in 1872.
However, in August of 1872 Revd John Chadwick was invited to become the minister of the church with a view to re-establishing the church, which he did with great success. From ten members in 1872, the church had grown to seventy-four members by the end of 1984.
In 1875 a building committee was formed with a view to erecting a new chapel. The foundation stone of the new chapel on Ballards Lane was laid in 1878, and was opened in September 1979.
By the time John Chadwick moved to become the minister of South Norwood Baptist Church in 1887 the church was completely free of debt from building the new chapel.