New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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A brief ouutline of the Onehunga Methodist Church and its influence through one hundred years.

The Flowing Tide - Onehunga 1850-1950

by Frank A. Leadley


First Period 1850-1909
The Beginnings
The Manukau Circuit
The First division - Waiuku
Onehunga New Church
Further Developments
New Sunday School Hall
Further Progress
New Parsonage Onehunga
The Second Division - Onehunga

Second Period 1909-1950
The Present Onehunga Circuit
Additions to school Hall, Onehunga
Evangelistic Mission
Penrose School Hall
Concerning the Parsonages
Electric Light
Onehunga Primary Department Extension
The Depression Period
Walsley Road Church
Westney Road Church
Our 90th Anniversary
Church Renovation
Waitangi Road Church Hall
Fire! Fire!
The Women's Missionary Auxillary
The Ladies' Guild
The Church Choir
The Men's Fellowship
The Brigades
United Services
Facing the Future

Onehunga Circuit Stewards (from 1909)
Onehunga Sunday School (from 1909)
Succession of Ministers


Looking back to the early days of the Christian Gospel in New Zealand, it must be borne in mind that the pioneer Missionaries of both the Anglican and Methodist Churches came predominantly to the Maori people. Indeed, it may be said that fully 80 of Christian teaching a hundred years ago was given to them. The establishment of churches for the pakeha closely followed the settlements which sprang up rapidly along both east and west coasts of the North Island, as emigrants from Great Britain arrived.

It is with devout gratitude to Almighty God, and sincere admira-tion for a noble company of men and women pioneers, that the Trustees of the Onehunga Methodist Church review a century of Christian service, in which this Church has been the head of a reli-gious movement which extended through Otahuhu, Papakura, Waiuku, to the Bombay settlement, and Pukekohe; all of which places are today centres of Christian service to the community.

The first Methodist Church in Onehunga, built in the year 1850, has long since served its purpose, and been sold. But there remains still in occupation the first Parsonage, a sturdy kauri building, erected in 1840 at Mangungu, at the head of the Hokianga harbour, and in 1855 brought by water and re-erected here. Morley's "History of Methodism in New Zealand" contains the following reference to the old parsonage:-

"It says much for the timber and the faithfulness of its builders, that after standing the stress and storm of 60 years' service, it is still habitable and comfortable." This was written, in the year 1900. The old house is still "habitable and comfortable" 50 years later. With a record of 110 years, surely it is one of the oldest inhabited houses in New Zealand!

As the reader follows the brief outline of Christian effort given in this Centenary brochure, may he, or she, realise that we today are the successors of Christian stalwarts who, from small beginnings, and with limited resources, used to the full those Divine influences, that through the years have transformed thousands of human lives. Today, with greater facilities, it is our privilege to maintain, and extend in even greater measure, this "flowing tide" of devoted Christian service.