The Presbyterian Church of Eastern Australia is the oldest of Australia's Presbyterian and Reformed denominations. It co-operated with the likeminded Free Presbyterian Church of Victoria and absorbed the remnant of this body in 1953. There were similar churches in South Australia and Tasmania.
When unions were effected between different branches of Presbyterianism in the 19th century, these were recognised by the Free Church of Scotland but the faithful remnant who stayed apart was not. This created major problems for those who continued on the original basis as they could not obtain regular supplies of ministers. As well, in quite a few cases the larger Australian church did not act in a principled way toward them. Added to this was the contention within her own ranks in the 1880's that stymied church extension.
By God's grace the PCEA survived, consolidated in the first half of the 20th century, and contributed to the revival of the Reformed Faith in Australia in the second half, although not without controversy. No longer a church that is essentially Scottish, her roots are there and valued. However, she enters into the 21st century aware of Australia's multi-cultural context and with the future as bright as the promises of God. As she faces the rising tide of secularism, she knows that the Gospel of Grace is still the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.