New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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Birkenhead Zion Hill Jubilee 1880-1930
           

In earliest days the only place of worship in these districts was a portion of the present Northcote Anglican, and within its walls there gathered week by week people of all denominations. But some, though regular attenders at this means of grace, were ever conscious of the fact that there they had no spiritual home. This sense of want was partly met in later years by "Cottage Meetings" held in various homes; and this in turn led on to the erection of our first small church (the building still in use as infant class room). Designed by William Francis Hammond, and built by "Charlie" Johnstone, it was opened free of debt in 1880. The site on which it was erected had been given for that purpose years before by Mr. Creamer, one of the earliest settlers on these northern shores of Waitemata, when it bore the quite appropriate name, "Woodside." The situation was ideal, but it lacked a name. In later years a Presbyterian Minister--the Rev. McCallum-standing upon its summit and gazing entranced across the land and sea-scapes stretching away unto the dim horizon, quoted the Psalmist's old familiar words-"Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is Mount Zion." A more appropriate name could not be found; hence "Zion Hill."