The Bay grows from church plant to church company

From left: NNSW president Pastor Adrian Raethel, The Bay church pastor Sau Finau and NNSW church planting director Joseph Skaf.

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The Bay Seventh-day Adventist church plant (Bonnells Bay, NSW) became a church company on Sabbath, September 24.

An afternoon service was hosted by Pastor Sau Finau and attended by North New South Wales Conference (NNSW) president Pastor Adrian Raethel and church planting director Joseph Skaf.

The church plant stems from humble beginnings and has grown considerably during the past eight years. Church member Genevieve Latu reflected on the origin of the company as it grew from a group of Tongan students and families who wanted to meet for prayer meetings and vespers. The small group then developed into a congregation that worshipped in the Bonnells Bay Community Centre on a Sabbath.

The food pantry is the heart of the church plant and has been serving the community for six years. According to Ms Latu, the food pantry “is a model of service which works so [they] can be within the community, serving and living with people.”

Pastor Finau explained that established churches should aim to benefit the community around them. “Wherever Jesus went, that community benefitted. That’s what we want to do. The emphasis is where the food pantry started, but we used that as our filter to understand our community,” he added.

Despite the comfort of operating as a church plant under the guidance of the conference, Ms Latu said that “now we’re maturing [and] we’re growing too big for our pot, we need to be planted so we can produce more seedlings and more churches.”

The process of church plants becoming church companies is a recognition of the growth of their ministries and numbers. Pastor Raethel explained that the Bay church company are “formally becoming a part of the sisterhood of churches not only within our conference but right around the world.”

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