The Lakemba-Tongan group in Sydney, has become an official company of the Seventh-day Adventist church. Pastors David Blanch and Michael Worker—president and general secretary of the Greater Sydney Conference—welcomed the company into the sisterhood of churches.
Forty six foundation members were voted into the company which will meet in the Lakemba Uniting Church.
“After many prayers and much fasting, it is very nice to see the work God has started in this church. We are now working towards becoming an organised church.”
The group was formed by the Fine family in their home about two years ago. Ana Lolohea has been working as the volunteer pastor with the help of retired minister Aisake Mafua.
In his address to the new congregation, Pastor Blanch summarised the 28 fundamentals, encouraging the fledgling church to hold onto its values in these last days. Reverend Janie French, minister of the Lakemba Uniting church, where the group meet, said she couldn’t believe how much she learnt about Adventists in one day.
The Granville and Sydney Tongan churches and the youth choir from Punchbowl Samoan church supported the event. Also in attendance were members from the Hurstville and Lakemba Uniting churches and the Anglican church from across the road—friendships the Lakemba company have formed connections with.
Ana Lolohea said the application to become a company was accepted in February and had been a very exciting development for the church. “After many prayers and much fasting, it is very nice to see the work God has started in this church,” she said. “We are now working towards becoming an organised church.”
The afternoon program began when two young people were baptised by Pastor Blanch outside the church, a powerful witness in a concentrated Muslim community. The crowd then moved inside for the worship and dedication service, which was taken by Pastor Worker. A performance by the combined Lakemba Tongan and Hurstville Uniting choirs was a highlight of the program.