Assemblies of God in New Zealand
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The Assemblies of God in New Zealand is a Pentecostal denomination in New Zealand and a member of the World Assemblies of God Fellowship, the world's largest Pentecostal denomination. In 2007, the denomination had nearly 200 congregations and preaching points and 30,000 members and adherents, mostly in the North Island, and it sends missionaries to South Asia and Oceania. The largest congregation is the Takapuna Assembly of God, founded in the 1950s, with a weekly attendance of 1,500 people.
The Pentecostal Movement in New Zealand started by the crusades of evangelist Smith Wigglesworth in 1922 and 1923, which lead to the establishment of the Pentecostal Church of New Zealand. As the result of an internal dispute, 13 congregations and some pastors withdraw from the PCNZ and in March 1927 sent a cablegram to the General Council of the Assemblies of God of the United States, asking for affiliation.
The 1930s were hard years for the Assemblies of God in New Zealand because of internal doctrinal disputes, the proselitism of the Apostolic Church, fragile relations with the PCNZ and economic distress generated by the 1929 Depression. However, frequent visits of preachers such as Aimee McPherson and A. C. Valdez helped to keep the Pentecost lit.
During the 1960s, the Assemblies of God in New Zealand experienced regrowth and came to be the largest Pentecostal denomination in Aotearoa. In 1975, the AGNZ was one of the founders of the Associated Pentecostal Churches of New Zealand, which counts more than 700 congregations.
The 60th General Council that met at City West Church A/G in New Plymouth in 2011 saw the election of its first non-European General Superintendent in Samoan born minister Iliafi Esera. This was also the first time the General Superintendency was held by a minister in a small New Zealand city (Wanganui). The 60th General Council also elected its first woman to the Executive Presbytery, Pastor Mina Acraman of Miracle Centre A/G, Hastings.
Leaders of the AoG in New Zealand
|1||W Chatterton||1927 (March)||1927 (Sept)||-|
|2||H H Bruce||1927||1931||4 years|
|3||E T Mellor||1931||1941||10 years|
|4||A W Thompson||1941||1953||12 years|
|5||T W Whiting||1951||1959||8 years|
|6||G C Jennings||1959||1960||1 year|
|7||R R Read||1960||1967||7 years|
|8||W F (Frank) Houston||Dec 1965||June 1977||10 years|
|9||S J (Jim) Williams||8 Oct 1977||1985||8 years|
|10||R W (Wayne) Hughes||1985||Feb 2003||16 years|
|11||K J (Ken) Harrison||Oct 2003||Nov 2011||8 years|
|12||I T (Iliafi) Esera||Nov 2011||present||-|
From 1927 until 1944 the AoG leadership body was called the General Council (or the General Council Executive). From then until 1997 it was called the Executive council. It was then renamed the Executive Presbytery. Originally the leader of this body was simply referred to as Chairman. In 1962 the title of the Leader of the Council was changed to General Superintendent.
- Pentecost at the Ends of the Earth, Ian G Clark ISBN 978-0-473-11056-7, 2007
- Assemblies of God in New Zealand website
- Associated Pentecostal Churches of New Zealand: Directory. 2005
- Roberts, H,V, New Zealand's Greatest Revival under Smith Wigglesworth. 1951
- Worsfold, James E. A History of the Charismatic Movements in New Zealand. 1974
- Ian G. Clark Pentecost at the Ends of the Earth: The History of the Assemblies of God in New Zealand (1927-2003).