Beginnings in Knuckey Street
The Church has been a continuing congregation since 1873. A Methodist congregation was started in co-operation with the Congregational Church. The church was built in Knuckey Street on the corner with Mitchell Street.
Move to Smith Street and becoming United
In 1940, the Presbyterian Church purchased land in Smith Street and, in co-operation with the existing Methodist congregation, established the Interchurch Club on the site. In 1956, the congregation moved to the Smith Street site for worship and became a United congregation.
Memorial Church built
The site of the present Church building was the World War Two American Forces Headquarters in Darwin which was bombed by the Japanese in 1942.
The current building was opened as the Darwin Memorial United Church on the 23rd July 1960 as a memorial to all those who defended Australia in this area during World War II. The crosses on the ends of the pews are a reconciliation gift from the Japanese salvage company which salvaged wrecks from Darwin harbour after the war.
The United Church in North Australia joined the Uniting Church of Australia in 1977 as the Northern Synod. The congregation had already been multi-denominational since 15 May 1946. Formed originally of Congregational, Presbyterian and Methodist members, it was responsible to the United Church in North Australia Board in Sydney. Each of the three denominations had taken turns in providing ministers for a 3 year settlement. Becoming Uniting meant that oversight shifted to the Northern Synod which shared offices with the Darwin congregation on the Smith Street site.
Church in the city
The congregation has reflected the rapid growth and change that has characterised Darwin City. In 2000, the original Smith Street property was redeveloped as CBD Plaza to provide financial support for ministry and mission to both the congregation and the Northern Synod of the Uniting Church. The congregation still retains the feel of a “suburban church” but has also taken on the role of a “city church” for various civic functions, tourists and out-of-town visitors. It continues to explore what it means to be a church in the heart of the city.