New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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The Rev. James Wallis of the Wesleyan Missionary Society


CHAPTER 1 The Waingaroa Mission Established 
CHAPTER 2 Transfer to Tangiteroria 
CHAPTER 3 "Southwards" Again 
CHAPTER 4 Educational Problems 
CHAPTER 5 Latter Days
Rev. James Wallis

Born in 1809 in Blackwall, London, James Wallis felt the call to ministry at a young age after a personal spiritual awakening. In 1834 - after being accepted for a position to the Pacific via the Wesleyan Missionary Society - he married Mary Ann Reddick. A few weeks later they were aboard a vessel bound for Australia en route to the fledgling Mission at Mangungu, in the Hokianga, New Zealand.

After several months in Hobart, Australia, James and Mary arranged a vessel to carry them to the Hokianga Harbour, New Zealand whereby they arrived on 1 December 1834. Immediately upon entering the harbour mouth, their ship was caught by a gust of wind and laid

"nearly on her beam ends and the rocks. Recovering from this danger the captain ran his vessel a mile or two up the river and dropped anchor at the pilot station . A few minutes after the anchor was down a large number of natives came on board whose wild antics and unitelligable jargon gave us an insight into the kind of people among whom out lot was to be cast for an indefinite time"

After several months at Mangungu, where a Mission Station was already established and a new mission house was under construction, James was surprised at the practical nature of his work "A New Zealand Missionary was to be a man of all work". Eventually becoming frustrated at the lack of spiritual input he was able to contribute he pushed for a new mission base to be established under his leadership in the Kawhia and Whaingaroa (now known as Raglan) regions further south on the west coast of the North Island.