New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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For All the Saints - Waimate Primitive Methodists


The Ministerial Succession
Primitive Methodist Origins
New Zealand Mission Established
Established in Timaru
Waimate Society Formed
Oamaru and Waimate Station Formed
First Appointment
Oamaru Mission
Oamaru and Waimate Station
A Local Camp Meeting
Oamaru Circuit
Church Built at Waimate
Rev Charles E. Bailey 1878-1881
Rev James Clover 1881-1883
Rev Thomas Sadler 1883-1884
Temporary Appointments
Mr Thomas Harwood Lyon
Rev Jesse Boothroyd
Mr Thomas Ellis Jones
Rev William Coombs Woodward
Mr Walter Harris
A Parsonage is Built
A Crisis Overcome
A Church Union Move
Rev Joseph Carlisle
The Temperance Clause
Church Music
Sunday Schools and Youth
Country Preaching Places
A Quaint Resolution
Transfer of Allegiance
Church Union Consummated
Final Quarterly Meeting
The Final Church Services
Farewell to Rev James Guy
New Beginnings
Obituaries Recorded
Personal Notes


It is highly likely that most people in Waimate have never heard of the Primitive Methodist Church, and yet the older generation whose memories go back beyond 1913 will' remember it as one of the most virile of the smaller denominations in the district.

I have pleasure therefore in presenting this volume covering its history from 1875 to 1913, a period of 38 years.

It had all the trappings of a well organised church, conservative in doctrine, and rigid in discipline. One could not be a member of the church merely by attending, but had to be accepted by the Quarterly Meeting, firstly on trial, and later as a full member on the roll. One could be disciplined by suspension of membership or removal from the roll. "Doubtful members" were interviewed by the minister, and reasons for removal included "backsliding", "ceased to attend", and giving way to strong drink. Members seldom died. They were "called home", or "called to rest from his labours".

The membership of Waimate and Oamaru combined usually totalled around the 50 mark, but in those days church attendance by "hearers" was ii feature of public worship, and full churches were quite usual.

The Waimate society provided, though maybe not evenly over the whole period, two services on Sunday, class meetings, prayer meetings, weekday as well as Sunday, Sunday School, Christian Endeavour societies, both junior and senior, Bible Classes, Harvest festival's with the usual tea meeting and auction on the Monday, church anniversaries followed by a soiree, revival missions at regular intervals, and temperance meetings. There would be the usual baptisms, marriages and funerals.

Early Methodism spread rapidly mainly through the services of the local preachers. Doctrine rather than education and refinement was the test applied and local preachers on trial' were required to state in writing their doctrinal belief before being fully accredited.

Guy and Potter in their "Fifty Years of Primitive Methodism in New Zealand" speaking of doctrine say, "The early preachers were required to know it by heart, and with its provisions as part of their mental constitution, they preached a full, free and present salvation and had the joy of seeing hundreds and thousands of sinners converted."

I cannot close this preface without thankfully acknowledging the help given by Marcia Baker, archivist of the Methodist connexional office in Christchurch, Don McCabe of the Waimate Advertiser, and Lynda Wallace who is in charge of the Waimate Historical Museum.

245 Otipua Rd,