It was 1918, and the end of the First World War. His plans to travel to China with the Chinese Inland Mission forcibly postponed, Jack H. Robinson remained in Melbourne conducting evangelistic meetings with the Melbourne City Mission. But God had further plans for Melbourne, and through a series of "coincidences" Jack Robinson, together with Hervey Percival Smith (manager of one of Melbourne's largest unlicensed hotels) and with the support of John Griffiths, (who had hosted several Bible Study groups, led by C H Nash, in his Upwey country home) decided to organise a Convention at Upwey.
For some years Christian gatherings - inspired by the deeper life conventions that had begun in Keswick, England - had been held around Victoria: in a marquee at Eltham, at Black Rock, at Beaumaris and in homes at Vermont.
The 1918 convention at Upwey saw 57 people accommodated in houses booked for the occasion and around 100 attend the meetings. The convention included open air meetings held each evening at the railway station, early morning prayer meetings, a boys' camp and various house parties.
The first convention "proved to be a season of great blessing and many, we believe, will look back to it with hearts full of praise to God. The Convention meetings in the church, the Bible Readings in the houses, the early morning prayer meetings, the open air preaching at Upwey and Belgrave, were all feature that were manifestations of spiritual power... Many have asked if the Upwey Convention is to an annual one... In this we ask for the prayers of the Lord's people that we may know and do the will of the Lord." (from the Melbourne Gospel Crusade Report).
And that was the beginning.
For a detailed history of BHC click here.