The Bible Christian Church in New Zealand
The First Attempt
The Mission Established
A few months ago. the Rev. L. R. M. Gilmore wrote me that, he was desirous of preparing a brochure, containing in brief the history of the Bible Christian Church in New Zealand and requesting me to write a brief foreword thereto. Since then I have received a manuscript copy of the booklet.
My first words must be of appreciation and congratulation to Mr Gilmore upon his success in writing on a subject with which he has had, on account or his youth, no actual personal contact. It has for many years impressed me, that without exception; every Church of Christendom with which I have come into touch, has had an atmosphere of its own. I think I could bestow no higher praise than this, that Mr Gilmore has caught the atmosphere of the old Bible Christian Church.
The spirit of that Church is indicated by the fact that both beginnings, in 1841 and 1877, were by laymen. This is as it should be. Did I have space, I should like to particularise with regard to the gifts and graces of my brethren in the ministry of the Bible Christian Church. One fact of the ministry of the Rev. J. Orchard (the "Bishop" as we affectionately called him) is worthy of special mention. When after a quarter of a century of work in Victoria and New Zealand, he visited the Bible Christian Conference in England he told the Conference that there had been built under his direction, a Church, a Schoolroom, or a Parsonage every six months of the time.
Three ex-Bible Christian ministers are still living (the Rev. Arthur Mitchell, Canon F. Quintrell and I)-all of us in our eighties. We are, or will be, when these pages are scanned, grateful to Mr Gilmore for his excellent work in recording in brief space the history of the Bible Christian Church in New Zealand.