High Street Baptist Church - Tring
This is the story of a General Baptist Church in Tring, Hertfordshire.
In their Confession of 1660, the General Baptists maintained (in opposition to the Particular Baptists) “that God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance and the knowledge of the truth that they may be saved. For which end, Christ hath commanded that the Gospel…should be preached to every creature.”
Dr John Clifford, the greatest of all modern General Baptists, had many links with Tring and its ministers. There was a General Baptist Fund for Assisting ministers and students founded in 1726 and on the distribution lists were the names “Sexton, William, Tring” and “Student for Books John Clifford, London”.
In 1750 the first actual Baptist in Tring was built in Frogmore End.
During the late 1960s and 1970s High Street suffered a period of decline, its membership and congregation reaching a low point during a time without consistent ministerial oversight. Thanks to Home Mission Fund support during the 1980s, however, and under the ministry of the Reverend Michael Humphreys, the church began to recover and grow. Towards the end of the 1980s, the church became independent of Home Mission support, and has continued to be financially independent since that time. Michael Humphreys’ successor, Reverend Dr Steve Sims, was the minister at High Street from 1990 until 1999. Reverend Bill Ives joined High Street in November 2000 and retired at the end of June 2010 and Reverend Andrew Cowley served as our minister from October 2011; there has been continued numeric, financial and spiritual growth within the church during this century.
We are indebted to Mr Trevor Wright, Church Secretary, who compiled a short history of the church from 1750 to 1950, to celebrate its bicentennial.
The following have served as ministers of the church during its more recent history:
Revd Michael A. Humphreys (currently Emeritus Professor of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University) (lay pastor, 1975–1978; student pastor 1978–1981; minister, 1981–1989)
Revd Steve J. Sims (later High School Principal, International School, Basel) (1990–1999)
Revd William G. Ives (retired) (2000–2010)
Revd Andrew D. Cowley (October 2011–2018)