Our story

Barneys is on about Jesus

Barneys is on about Jesus. For over 150 years we’ve been meeting together to dare one another to re-orient our lives around him. And because we are on about Jesus, we are for making a difference in his name.


A church for the whole city

We seek to call people from all nations, generations and communities to repent and be baptised. It’s in our DNA. In 1856 a former drunkard turned evangelist called Thomas Smith came to Sydney, and asked to be sent to “the worst place in the colony”. They sent him here. He started with 7 people; thirteen years later there were 1200 people including a Sunday school of 1000.

Ever since, we’ve been passionate about welcoming the whole city, with a particular heart for all the colourful and diverse urban communities around us. No matter who you are, or where you’re at with God, there’s a place for you here.

And for the last 65 years we’ve also had a particular mission to the tertiary students who come to the city to live and study. Many of the students come from Asian or South East Asian countries, hence our Mandarin speaking Barneys Overseas Chinese Church and our partnership with International Christian Fellowship.


A church for the whole person

We’re a church for the whole person, which means we are always looking for opportunities to serve our neighbours in practical ways – with no strings attached. In 1918 R.B.S. Hammond led Barneys through the Great Depression, providing shelter and helping find work for hundreds. You can be a part of this tradition today through our Love Your Neighbour program, meeting people where they are, hitting deep needs with long term commitments.

It also means we don’t just want to learn things about Jesus; we want to serve him with our whole lives – our work, our study, Monday to Sunday. We aim to train thousands of women and men in Godly living, humble service and credible gospel witness. We want to send out leaders into every field of work and every place where the gospel needs to be heard and good needs to be done.

A few of our stories

Caitlin’s story

“…I knew God was real and I knew he was so powerful, but we weren’t friends. For four years I was just holding on…The first time I walked in the doors of Barneys, I had never felt so welcomed. So many people smiled at me and welcomed me!…”

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Mel’s story

“…I first came to Barneys when I was about 10 years old, after being invited along to Sunday school by a friend…”

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Ryan’s* story

“…To be a Christian isn’t always an easy choice in your life in particular when you were not born as a Christian!! … But, when the darkness of fear comes when you think there is no way, knock the door, don’t hesitate the doors will be opened by his love!…” (*not his real name)

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