New Destiny Church split
A top Destiny Church leader has become the latest high profile member to quit the church.
Destiny spokesperson, Richard Lewis, is leaving the church to start his own congregation at the Dream Centre in Manukau City, a community centre where a number of other churches meet.
"It is a response to a heartfelt call and burden, very recently revealed, yet clearly fashioned through time and seasons towards this juncture," Lewis said in a statement on his website.
Lewis will begin preaching this Sunday, and will then hold a weekly congregation in Manukau.
"The opportunity to be counted amongst the churches of our nation, past and present, is a massive privilege, and one I approach with sincerity and humility," he said on his website.
His departure is the latest in string of high profile members leaving Destiny Church.
Janine Cardno, the church's media spokeswoman for many years, and Paul and Michelle Hubble, who had been with Tamaki since 1990, quit Destiny last year apparently upset at Bishop Brian Tamaki's calls to hand over money for his "City of God" in South Auckland.
The departure of Cardno was seen as particularly significant. She and her late husband, Neil, moved from Rotorua to help establish Destiny in Auckland in the 1990s, and Neil, a former TVNZ employee, pioneered Destiny television.
The Hubbles joined Auckland's Life church, another "prosperity' church which has picked up several Destiny defectors, were some of Tamaki's closest supporters from his Rotorua days. Paul Hubble, a banker, looked after the Destiny finances in Rotorua.
Last year Tamaki called on church members to contribute $1000 each to help build the church's new City of God premises at Druces Rd, Manukau, a former warehouse that will house church facilities, including a school.