New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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Tuapeka (Lawrence) Methodism

There was a time when the residents in and around Lawrence, Gabriel's Gully, Munro's Gully and Wetherstones numbered more thousands than there are hundreds in the district today. The rich finds of gold in the Gully in 1861 caused great excitement and people came from all over New Zealand, Australia and California. Among them were Methodists who soon made the hills echo with the singing of hymns. The local preachers conducted services in the mining camps, dressed in the digger's garb of blue jumper and moleskins.

Two canvas churches were speedily erected, one in Munro's Gully, and another in Gabriel's Gully. It was in the latter, which was situated at the foot of Jacob's Ladder, that the Rev. I. Harding of Dunedin, conducted the first service. He preached from I John 5: 7. "There are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one"....................