The Mairangi Bay Community Church was established in Mairangi Bay in the 1950s, and at the time consisted of about 20 locals (Kiwis). However the roots of the church go back much further to 1912.
MBCC began as a small fellowship of people meeting on Auckland’s North Shore in Devonport. The church was an offshoot of the Ponsonby Road Church of Christ. The first chapel (in Old Lake Road, Devonport) was opened on Saturday December 17th 1927.
In the early 1950s the Devonport chapel was physically relocated to Mairangi Bay and the church became known as the Mairangi Bay Church of Christ. The little chapel (seen to the right) stood almost on the corner of Beach Road and Ramsgate Terrace - where Countdown Supermarket car park is today.
The old chapel was demolished in December 1972 and a new church opened not far away in March 1973 at our present site on the corner of Maxwelton Drive and Noumea Place. In 2012, on the occasion of our 100th. anniversary, our beautiful new auditorium and extended facilities were officially opened.
Early in 1998 the name of the church was changed to Mairangi Bay Community Church, a name which reflected our calling to serve the community and our desire to welcome all, regardless of denominational or ethnic background.
MBCC is an autonomous, self-governing evangelical church and members come from many denominational backgrounds. Many indeed come from totally non-church backgrounds.
We are affiliated with a dynamic movement of churches known as Christian Churches New Zealand.
CCNZ is the name for what used to be the Associated Churches of Christ in New Zealand which historically is linked to groups around the world known variously as Christian Churches, Churches of Christ, and Disciples. Today there are about 4,000,000 members of these churches in the United States and many similar churches around the world.
These denominations grew out of the so-called Restoration Movement of the early Nineteenth Century which stressed non-sectarianism and Christian unity and encouraged a return to the simple faith and practice of the Early Church. The Restoration Movement was part of the wider explosion of evangelical Christianity known as Second Great Awakening.
The photograph on the left shows Brent Liebezeit (current President of Christian Churches New Zealand) & his wife Viv. Brent is also senior pastor of Annesbrook Church in Nelson.
We are very happy that at the October 2014 CCNZ Conference a very fine biblically-based Statement on Marriage and Sexuality was overwhelmingly endorced by all our churches. You may read this statement below.
At MBCC we highly value the fact we are part of the wider "body of Christ" both in our local context and worldwide. Denominational labels and affiliations, as well as social, linguistic and ethnic background should not become barriers hindering true believers from enjoying fellowship together and from witnessing together to our common faith and our common Lord.
We recognize that true unity grows out of a common commitment to the Word of God and out of an obedience to the Holy Spirit.
MBCC is also privileged to be a member of the New Zealand Christian Network. The NZ Christian Network seeks to promote the unity & mission of the Church in NZ & reflect the common views held by the 500,000 evangelical or biblically orthodox Christians in our nation. NZ Christian Network seeks to:
· Gather Christians to share topics of interest & concern
· Build networks to bring Christians together,
· Speak with & listen to the Church & the wider community throughout New Zealand.
Rodney Cowell (seen to the left) served as MBCC pastor from late 1997 to February 2006. He played a key role in helping the church look outwards in reaching the community and in becoming intentionally multi-cultural and welcoming. After retiring Rodney wrote a book entitled "God's Secret Plan - Experiences & Lessons in Multi-cultural Christian Ministry" which drew upon his rich experiences in leading MBCC. For some years in retirement Rodney (supported by his lovely wife Beryl) helped in a number of churches around New Zealand as their interrim pastor - including the well-known Baptist Tabernacle in Auckland City. After a brief illness Ps Rodney went to be with the Lord on 18 November 2015 at the age of 74.
Rodney and Beryl were succeeded by Peter and Elizabeth Anderson, who served with MBCC for just over 10 years. Peter ‘retired’ at the end of March 2016. He was born in Zimbabwe and after studying at the University of Cape Town taught geography in a high school in Bulawayo.
Following theological studies at the London School of Theology (formerly known as London Bible College) in the UK, Peter and his late wife Geralyn served with OMF International in Taiwan (1976-82) and Hong Kong in the China Program of OMF (from 1982). In the mid eighties they helped set up the Friends of China Foundation and in 1991 Peter was appointed the International Director of the Jian Hua Foundation (JHF) in which capacity he and Geralyn travelled widely in China and overseas. In 1998 Geralyn was called home to heaven after battling cancer for 14 months.
Peter lived in Asia for a total of 29 years, most of that time in Hong Kong and China.
Peter and Elizabeth were married in 2000. Together they served in JHF for 5 years, based in Hong Kong, before returning to NZ in February 2005. They began their ministry at MBCC on 1st. March, 2006.
Elizabeth was born in Taiwan, spent her early teenage years in Japan and then emigrated to NZ with her family late in 1975. She has taught Japanese at high school and at Unitec and Auckland University. At the end of 2009 she resigned her part-time position in the University of Auckland Faculty of Education in order to give herself more fully to serving in the church.
He has written a book entitled “Weapons of Peace”, first published in 1995, which is the exciting and true story of William and Johanna Anderson, his forebears, some of the earliest missionaries in South Africa. A new revised edition is now available.
The Andersons handed over to Ps Abri Brancken at the end of March 2016 but remained active in the church for a six-month overlap period. The almost 400 sermons Peter preached at MBCC can be found on the church website. Peter was committed to systematic, ‘expository’ Scripture-based preaching. Peter and Elizabeth said their final goodbye at the end of September 2016 and are now attending St Chad’s Church in Meadowbank, close to where they live. Peter is doing some more serious writing and he and Elizabeth are serving as volunteers, locally and overseas.
CHRISTIAN CHURCHES NEW ZEALAND
STATEMENT ON MARRIAGE AND SEXUALITY
Conference (October 2014) adopted the following statement, recommended by the National Leadership Team, to be the policy of the Christian Churches New Zealand, and affirmed that it is a policy statement having force until such time as a future Conference of the Christian Churches New Zealand (CCNZ) revises or replaces it.
Statement on Marriage and Sexuality
1. Holy Scripture is the final authority on all matters of faith and practice, including marriage and sexuality. The interpretation of Holy Scripture is a matter on which dialogue occurs within the church, and to which the Tradition of the universal church of Jesus Christ and statements of church councils, and our own Conference contribute; this statement being such a contribution.
2. The church is the people of God in mission to the world, as taught by Scripture, witnessing to new life in Christ made possible through Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection to life, and available to all people through repentance from sin and belief in Christ; in this mission the church desires that people experience the true grace of God and freedom in Christ which is the healing of our wounded humanity; this grace and freedom being available to all people, including people of all sexualities and whether or not they are single, married, widowed, divorced, remarried, or otherwise; and to this mission the Christian Churches of New Zealand is committed. This statement is intended to assist rather than inhibit this mission as described above.
3. The clear intention of Scripture is that marriage is a monogamous, lifelong, covenantal relationship between a man and a woman; it is a gift from God which provides a holy and blessed context for a husband and a wife to encourage each other’s love for God, to develop their love for each other, to enjoy sexual intercourse, and to begin and nurture family life; it is not equivalent to other forms of relationships described as ‘de facto marriage’ or ‘civil union’ even though these relationships may contain elements in common with marriage as defined here; and it is not a relationship into which two people of the same gender may enter.
4. The mission of Christ’s church includes the nurture, encouragement, and instruction of single people, married couples and families in the way of Jesus Christ; and the development of faith communities as true and loving expressions of the family of God in which Christian people of all ages and stages in life, including all sexualities, recognise themselves and each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
5. As an expression of the mission of the church and of CCNZ’s commitment to marriage as defined above, ministers and pastors in the CCNZ are encouraged to conduct marriage services; but because of our commitment to marriage no CCNZ minister, may participate in leading any service, ritual, ceremony, or blessing of a relationship which is similar to marriage such as a ‘civil union’, whether such relationship is between two people of opposite sexes or the same sex, and whether or not such relationship is legally recognised in Aotearoa New Zealand or any other country.
6. Singleness is an honourable way of life specifically endorsed by Jesus’ own example and by the Scriptures. The CCNZ acknowledges a continuing tension in the life of the church as it seeks to honour both marriage and singleness. (Singleness is here defined as not being in a sexual relationship with another person).
7. Honouring both marriage and singleness in today’s church involves facing sensitive pastoral questions concerning people who identify themselves as homosexual, are divorced, or divorced and remarried.
8. While acknowledging that a range of views concerning sexuality exists within God’s church at this time, the CCNZ itself maintains the view that Scripture endorses marriage between a man and a woman as the only acceptable domain for sexual relationships, and therefore does not endorse sexual relationships between people of the same gender.
9. Consistent with clause 8 above the CCNZ requires its ministers, to be either single (that is, not in a sexual relationship with another person) or married; and if married to be sexually faithful to their spouse.
11. The CCNZ recognises a specific challenge to its mission at this time when voices in the world and in the church are calling for a different assessment of the morality of same sex relationships than that given in this statement; it encourages ministers and congregations to work creatively and compassionately to welcome all people into our churches, especially in this context, people who identify themselves as homosexual.
12. The CCNZ expects that any ministers with permission to officiate, and office holders in the CCNZ will uphold the views of the CCNZ as expressed in this statement, both by their example of lifestyle and in their teaching and in any public statements they should make.
We move this for the following reasons:
- As a consequence of the Marriage Reform Bill 2013 the NLT believe it is wise and important for CCNZ to clarify our tradition and heritage as a biblical referencing movement of churches, by stating a biblical position regarding marriage. And;
2. Given that The Marriage Act authorises but does not oblige any marriage celebrant to solemnise a marriage, and given that the Amendment Act states that no religious or organisational celebrant is obliged to solemnise a marriage that would contravene religious beliefs or philosophical or humanitarian convictions of a religious body or approved organisation. We the NLT believe it is important for our organisation (the religious body of CCNZ) to have a clear position regarding marriage.