New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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The Life of the Rev. John Hobbs.

                                       
Brother John
by T.G.M.Spooner

Contents 

Introduction
Vision and Call
Wesleydale-and Tragedy
A Fresh Start-Hokianga 
Tongan Interlude 
Hokianga Again 
Some Missionary Journeys  
Trials and Heartaches
"The Second Half"  
Family Life 
Retrospect

INTRODUCTION

Methodism, even today, is noted for its urge to go far from the busy centres of civilisation, the thickly populated regions, and to take the message of the gospel to the sparsely populated areas, to the newly settled districts. So we hear of the quiet, unobtrusive but loyal, efficient work done by its Ministers, Home Missionaries, and Local Preachers in mining and milling and scattered farming districts. It has a record in such work second to that of no other Church in New Zealand. That this is so, is not strange. Nor is it confined to Methodism today, in New Zealand. It is part of the genius, the mission of Methodism. The Methodist Church has always been a Missionary Church. Its strength as a world church today is evidence of that fact.

Speaking at the Morpeth Conference-a conference held at St. John's College, Morpeth, N.S.W. in February 1948 and attended by representatives of nineteen missions working in the South Pacific-the Rev. Norman Goodall M.A., a Minister of the British Congregational Church who is Secretary of the International Missionary Council and editor of the International Missionary Review, said, "Apart possibly from the early record of the Moravian Church, there is no record in the world to compare with the work of the Methodist Mission in the Pacific."

This statement makes an excellent background against which to study the life and work of a man who worked in two Pacific Mission fields and was responsible for printing the first passages of scripture to be published in two other Pacific Island languages.