Celebrating 25 years: Springfield Christian Family
GOD works in mysterious ways and one Springfield pastor can definitely account for that.
Springfield Christian Family pastor Phil Cutcliffe once said he would never build a church, yet a series of chance events eventually led him to set up what is now one of the most popular churches in the region.
"It's a bit of a weird story but the church I worked in at the time, the Christian Family Centre said they were looking at opening a church and said it would have to be out Camira way because the kids we taught religious education to were always so interested and open which was really inspiring," Ps Cutcliffe said.
"My wife Julianne said that was in Ipswich and that she'd never move there and I said I would never start a church because I didn't feel it was something I could do.
"That conversation happened many years ago and then a few years later we drove out to Springfield and came home and saw a block of land we liked, even though we weren't really thinking of moving.
"We had two little girls at the time and lived on the busy Moggil Road at Indooroopilly and there was just no community where we were, so that weekend we looked at a block of land, put a $50 deposit on it and we had a block of land."
Pastor Cutcliffe and his family moved into their new home at the end of 1995 and once in Springfield, the father of two recalled the conversation about starting a church and thought maybe he could do it after all.
In May 1996 he decided to start up the Springfield Christian Family and not long after he started the Westside Community Care Centre as a result of the large number of people struggling throughout Camira.
"Our church has been running for over 21 years, we have four campuses and about 500 people between each," Ps Cutcliffe said.
"There was a bakery in Camira which was throwing out bread on Saturdays so we started distributing it around and that's how Westside Community Care grew.
"When I first came here I said to myself I'd give it a 10-year commitment, but it went so quickly and I thought how could I stop now, I just can't see myself going anywhere else.
"I feel like I'm a missionary for Springfield, it's an exciting place to live and there is always something new happening and not many people get to experience that."
Pastor Cutcliffe puts the success of Springfield and the sense of community down to the developers and applauded them for their foresight.
"One of the things that captured my imagination here is that there were only 500 houses when we first we moved to the area, yet they were saying the Centenary Highway would be expanded, there would be a train line and all houses would have a computer," Ps Cutcliffe said.
"There was no evidence to support those claims and it were obviously a sales pitch and the developers dream, yet I believed in what they had to say and thought this really was the place to be.
"Our kids probably take it for granted, yet I think it's amazing to be a part of the vision of Maha Sinnathamby and Bob Sharpless and to see it all come to pass and I look forward to see what's coming up."