Church arrives after 10-year journey
It's been more than 10 years in the making but Word of Life Church now has a place to call home.
Renovations for the View Rd church started last year and with construction now complete, members can attend services in the new building.
Pastor Tavale Matai'a co-founded the church 17 years ago and says it's been some what of a "nomadic journey" to have its own site.
"We've shifted from hall to hall and have had seven different locations all up," he says.
Services were first held in Grey Lynn's Maranatha Centre before moving into Epsom Primary School and then on to Auckland Intermediate School. From there it went to New Lynn and later St Pauls College.
The church's first home now lies in a converted panel beating shop in Henderson and its official opening was last Saturday. The space was purchased last June for $550,000.
All money raised to buy the 350 square metre building came from donations and fundraisers throughout the years the church has been in operation.
Renovations cost about $250,000 and again, were made more affordable by donations.
"Most of the labour was donated. The builders gave their time free of charge and we painted it ourselves," Pastor Matai'a says. "Everyone has contributed through to members bringing in cups of tea for the builders."
Pastor Matai'a wants to give back to the community and have his church open for events including weddings, funerals and functions.
"We want to be transparent and serve the community."
A concrete wall was knocked down during renovations to create an auditorium, toilet block, kitchen, several offices and an upstairs room for Sunday school classes. Former All Black Va'aiga Tuigamala co-ordinates the Men's Ministry, a group within the church that empowers men to be good role models.
He says a new home will give about 150 parishioners who attend the church a sense of belonging.
"More than any thing this is a celebration that we now have our own place and a space we can call home."
Call Pastor Matai'a on 021 543 220 or the church on 838 5438 for more information.