The 11th of July was a Sabbath of celebration for Kaikohe Adventist Church. On this day in 1970, Kaikohe church members dedicated their new church building and in 2020, the church celebrated 50 years of worshipping in the very same church building. Although the original building has been extended over the years, retired pastor Ken Curtis can still point to the places where he helped hammer nails into the church’s timber frame, timber that was donated from his father’s farm.

The original Record article reporting on the dedication of Kaikohe Church is proudly displayed on the foyer wall, along with the black and white archive photos from 1970 that share the story of an active church in the local community. These old photos are contrasted by the more colourful collage of a rich and diverse church life today further along the same wall.

Anticipating an increase of visitors and worshippers for the celebration, Kaikohe’s Fellowship Hall was set up as an overflow area and it was needed for the 200 people who made their way to Kaikohe church this Sabbath.

Welcoming and opening the worship appropriately in Te Reo was Mr. Tono Mason. Linking the dedication Sabbath with the 50th anniversary, the congregation joined in singing the hymn, “The Church Has One Foundation.”

Pastor Ben Timothy, North New Zealand Conference President, spoke at the divine service and took the congregation on a journey of how our world has changed in the past 50 years. “We live in a rapid changing world and the church also needs to change to be effective,” said Pastor Timothy, “The context in 2020 is different than it was in 1970, but what remains the same is God, as the hymn we just sang – The Church Has One Foundation.”

Pastor Timothy encouraged the congregation to build their foundation on Jesus, anchoring their faith in God. Speaking about 1 Peter 2:4, Pastor Timothy expressed that as disciples of Jesus, we are living stones, a chosen people. “When we build our foundation as a church, and as believers on Jesus as the cornerstone, we see God’s Kingdom grow around us,” Pastor Timothy said, encouraging people to recognise that as we all are created in God’s image, we should also see the image of God in the people we meet, and minister to them as Jesus would.

This was a testimony that resonated well in Kaikohe Church, and several people recalled how through the years, the greatest strength of the church has been the love of its members who ministered to their needs and welcomed them to church fellowship. Pastor Garry and his wife Marianna Hallmond led the day’s celebrations by taking time to recognise two of the longest serving church members, Bella Edmonds and Jane Lorna Edmonds.

Many people from surrounding churches came to celebrate with Kaikohe Church, and several pastors connected to Kaikohe took part in the day’s festivities. Pastor Hallmond shared how in his years as a pastor there, he has seen how the [AH1] Holy Spirit is moving in the community and connecting people with the Kaikohe Adventist Church.

The Sabbath celebration saw a diversity of people and generations, from newly baptised members busy serving alongside long standing members, to first-time visitors, all enjoying the worship and fellowship experience.

Kaikohe Church continues to impact the community fifty years on from the dedication of the original church building. It is through the love of God that Kaikohe is making a difference demonstrated though Gospel teaching, healthy living seminars, and friendship and service in the community.

Written by Kirsten Oster Lundqvist – NNZC Communication/Media Officer
Photos by Kirsten Oster Lundqvist – NNZC Communication/Media Officer