Christian teachers to redeem wages

A group of teachers who quit a fundamentalist Christian school in North Parramatta en masse late last year is claiming $6 million in wages the teachers say are unpaid because they had received only small stipends for years of religious work.

The nine teachers from the 470-student Redeemer Baptist School are part of a group of about 20 who left the Redeemer Baptist Church, which owns and controls the school. They are the latest in a long list of people who have fled the Redeemer church, which some former members claim is a sect because of the way it regulates relations between children and their parents.

Cult FAQ Frequently Asked Questions About Cults, Sects, and Related Issues

Includes definitions of terms (e.g. cult, sect, anticult, countercult, new religious movement, cult apologist, etcetera)

Plus research resources, and a listing of recommended cult experts
– CultFAQ is provided by Apologetics Index

The church broke away from the mainstream Baptist Church and formed a religious community on land near Castle Hill in 1974. The school is supported strongly by NSW upper house MP Fred Nile and prominent conservative Liberal backbencher David Clarke, who have accused the breakaways of trying to force the church to pay up by threatening adverse publicity if it does not.

A spokesman for the group, Graeme Glossop, a Parramatta accountant whose daughter attended the school, said he used to be a strong supporter of the school until he realised how the church was exploiting the teachers. Many of them had put their houses into the ownership of the church, which was controlled by a group of elders.

The issue blew up last week in the upper house as Reverend Nile claimed there was a campaign to destroy “one of the finest Christian schools in the country”.

“A small number of disgruntled former members of the Redeemer Baptist Church are driving this campaign of destruction and they are using un-Christian methods to achieve their aims,” he said. “Quite simply, they are after money, $6 million, in fact, a ridiculous amount that is just not owed to them.” In Parliament, Mr Nile pointed to what he called offensive material on a website established by the rebels. One comment said the ex-members should “go ’em for all their $40 million!” while another said: “We are going to get you. Just like the sleeping giant. We have awakened from a deep sleep. It is now our turn to rise up and expose these charlatans to the world.”

Russel Bailey, the school bursar and a church elder, acknowledged to the Herald that 16 “unhappy” church members had left without giving reasons late last year.

“On joining the church they all signed ministry orders accepting the lifestyle and conditions of the church,” Mr Bailey said. “They were all paid a small stipend to meet basic needs, but they were also provided with housing and transport at the cost of the Redeemer community. This was their voluntary commitment to our Christian life together.”

Mr Glossop disputed the numbers, saying 14 teachers had left the school out of a staff of 48.

Several had lost their houses and were offered no holiday, sick or termination pay. Some had received “a pittance” when they left.

Travel Religiously

Book skip-the-line tickets to the worlds major religious sites — or to any other place in the world.

We appreciate your support

One way in which you can support us — at no additional cost to you — is by shopping at


Our website includes affiliate links, which means we get a small commission — at no additional cost to you — for each qualifying purpose. For instance, as an Amazon Associate Religion News Blog earns from qualifying purchases. That is one reason why we can provide this service free of charge.


(Listed if other than Religion News Blog)
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
Mar. 8, 2005
Gerard Noonan

More About This Subject

Religion News Blog last updated this post on CET (Central European Time)