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‘Illuminated Address’

The Illuminated Address, held by the Tinonee Museum, was presented to the Reverend Samuel Pendleton Stewart on the 28th June 1904 to mark 25 years of service to the Manning River Congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia. The address is mounted and framed in a black etched frame.

To further reflect the esteem in which he was held, Reverend Stewart was also presented with an inscribed gold watch and double albert pendant at the Wingham church on 29th July 1904.

The Reverend S P Stewart was the 3rd minister inducted in the Manning in 1879, then in 1880 he was the officiating minister at the laying of the foundation stone of the John Knox Free Presbyterian Church in Tinonee. The church was formally opened on the 7th October 1880.

Reverend S P Stewart ultimately ministered to the Manning River Charge of the Free Presbyterian church for 50 years. He was well known and highly respected throughout the entire district.

Reverend Stewart was recognized as a man of great intellect who was fearless in upholding his convictions even when these were unpopular with many.

His funeral in Taree on 17 May 1936 was attended by a very large number of mourners and his remains were interred in Taree Estate Cemetery.

Among those attending his funeral were four ministers of the Free Presbyterian Church and ministers from the Church of Christ, the Baptist and Methodist communities.

A tribute that was written in the local press stated: “The Manning has lost its mastermind, and in his day, the greatest preacher and defender of the Protestant religion and one whose scholarly attributes were beyond question.”

Roland S Ward BA wrote in The History of the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia: “S P Stewart. He was the first teacher appointed to Macksville but subsequently trained for the ministry under Mr Sutherland. Ordained and inducted to the Manning in February 1879 he exercised a popular ministry. He could have entered the legal profession, such were his gifts in clear thinking and oratory, but he remained faithful to God’s call.”

The illuminated address acknowledges the esteem and respect the congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia had for the Reverend Samuel Pendleton Stewart.



The text of the illuminated address is as follows:

Our Beloved Pastor, The Reverend Samuel P Stewart, Dear Sir, We the elders and members of your church in this district feel that we cannot allow this year to pass without observing in some small way our appreciation of your loving work amongst us during the past quarter of a century. During the whole of that long period of time the relations which have existed between us have ever been most harmonious and we feel confident that the longer God shall be pleased to allow you to remain in our midst the more closely will the bonds of love unite us. We feel assured that your earnest discourses, your loving advice, the powerful influence of your example and your strong personality have been of immense value to all who have had the privilege of your ministrations and we appreciate Gods great goodness in blessing this Charge with your affectionate and faithful care.

We pray that your family may ever do honor and credit to the careful training of their youth that Mrs Stewart and yourself may long be spared to each other and to us and that the Master may still continue to pour down His richest blessings on the labors of our esteemed and faithful minister.

Signed on behalf of the adherents: Hector McLennan and John Robinson.


In September 1908 a further illuminated address was presented to Reverend Stewart, it read:

September, 1908.

To the Reverend S P Stewart, Tinonee, Manning River.

Reverend and dear Sir, —

We the office bearers members and adherents of the Manning congregation in connection with the Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia, beg to extend to you a most cordial welcome on your arrival home after an absence of eight months in Europe.

We can assure you that your presence and labours among us have been very much missed. In your enforced absence we have been comforted by the hope that under the Divine blessing, your health would be fully restored to you, which we know will be used in the Master’s Service in seeking by His Grace the salvation of sinners and the edification of the body of Christ.

Our earnest prayer to God is that you may be long spared to go in and out among us, as our loved and honored Pastor, and that when your work is finished in the Church militant, you may receive the greeting from the Master ” Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord. ”

We are Reverend and Dear Sir, Faithfully yours,

On behalf of the congregation, Hector McLennan, John Robinson, Alexander McLennan, James Robinson, Elders.

[The location of this address is unknown]