About Us

Early history

The first services at Kerang were held in the early 1880’s. These were held in homes and later in the Mechanics Institute (now demolished).
The first resident minister to Kerang was Rev JH Shalberg who was inducted into the Durham Ox charge in 1886; he later moved to Kerang. Rev William Webster came to Kerang in 1889 who build his house – which later became the first manse – in Victoria Street near to where the water well is today.
In 1890 a Congregational Meeting approved the architect’s plan for a new church building. Mr Jorgensen’s tender for £811-00 was accepted. The building was opened for worship on 24th July 1892.
The building has almost remained unchanged, except for the new vestry and meeting room built in about 1968-69. The Sunday School Hall was built in 1912.
Over the years the congregation grew; however it voted in favour of church union in 1977 when the Uniting Church of Australia was formed: some Presbyterian congregations, the Methodist and the Congregational Churches got together in the Uniting Church of Australia.

After 1977

A new Presbyterian congregation

For nine years there was no Presbyterian Church in Kerang. Early in 1986 Rev Dr John Muller (of Swan Hill Presbyterian Church) called Mr John Pascoe to ask if there were enough people interested in starting Presbyterian services in Kerang. With the support of the Swan Hill Session a meeting was called and the first service was held on 16 March 1986 with 55 people attending. They met in the Memorial Hall Supper Room. Soon after this they began to use the RSL rooms on the south side of the Memorial Hall.


At the beginning of 1990 the St Andrews building was rented from the Uniting Church. In 1994 negotiations were started to buy this building back for $75,000. Earlier a house was purchased for the amount of $80,000 at 8 Muir Avenue to serve as a manse.
By 2001 the properties were free of debt. The Ladies Guild did a mighty effort in raising $73,000 between 1986 and 2001. We also received financial help from the wider church and former Presbyterians who had left Kerang.


The decision for Kerang to have its own elders was made late in 1986. The first elders to be ordained and inducted were Bill Poor, Ernie Giles and Len McMartin. During 1987 Ernie Giles died and it was decided to increase the Session to four elders. That year Leena Koenen and John Pascoe were elected.
Until 1991 we had a joint Session with Swan Hill. We formed our own Session during 1991 and John Pascoe was elected Session Clerk. In 1996 both Bill and Len retired as elders. Keith Stanyer and Rob Cunning were a great help as assessor elders until David Douglas was ordained and inducted in March 2006.

Board of Management

During 1986 a Board of Management was formed. Margaret Mudie, Fran Crosbie and John Pascoe (Secretary of the Board) have served on the Board since then.


• Rev Dr John Muller (March 1986 – August 1987)
• Rev Geoff Drummond (from early 1988 – 1990 as minister and moderator till August 1993)
• Peter Wilding (exit student 1990 – 1991)
• Paul Smith (assistant to Rev Geoff Drummond 1992 – 1993)
• Rev Grant Vayne (1994 – 1995)
• Mr Evan Vance (1996 – September 1997)
• Rev Martin de Pyle (minister in Swan Hill, moderator of Kerang between October 1997 – 2005)
• Rev Michael Willsmore (moderator from January 2005 – June 2008)
• Rev Rudi Schwartz (minister from June 2008 – January 2011)
• Rev Kyung Rae Ee (Interim moderator from January 2011 – )

During his ministry Martin de Pyle did his best to encourage Kerang. Given the limited time Martin had in Kerang no one could have done better. We owe him a great debt of gratitude.
We continued to grow with Michael’s encouragement and support. As minister of Sunraysia (Mildura) and being a Patrol Padre of the Presbyterian Inland Mission as well as other commitments to the wider church in Victoria, Michael always found time for Kerang and we thank him for all he did for Kerang. Rev Rudi Schwartz was an excellent Pastor Preacher and friend he will be greatly missed by our congregation, many of his sermons are available for download on our podcast web page.

Recent history

In 2007 Kerang was made an appointment charge and on June 7th 2008 a service was held where Rev Rudi Schwartz and his wife Heila were welcomed.
Rudi would commence his ministry of 50/50% as parish minister in Kerang, and Padre for the Presbyterian Inland Mission, Mallee patrol (north-west Victoria).
The Board of Management negotiated with the local Anglican Church to rent the rectory in 60 Wyndham Street as a manse for a term. The Muir Street property is being rented out. Rev Rudi Schwartz left us in January 2011 due to poor health and Rev Kyung Rae Ee was appointed as our Interim moderator. The Muir Street property has been sold.


As his people we give thanks to God for meeting our needs and providing for us as a congregation in every way. Above anything else, we thank Him for our Saviour, Jesus Christ, the Head of his Church.

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Still just the Bible

Presbyterian Inland Mission

The Presbyterian Inland Mission is a ministry of the Presbyterian Church of Australia which by God’s grace is seeking to continue what John Flynn started 100 years ago, that is; to take the good news of Jesus Christ ‘beyond the furthest fences’.