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assembly of god

Takapuna Assembly of God

Takapuna Assembly of God, located in Auckland, is one of New Zealand's largest churches, with an average weekly attendance of about 1500. Its 1800-seat auditorium was built in 1985.

The church is Pentecostal in theology and holds to a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible. The church believes in salvation by personal faith and commitment to Jesus Christ, and that Biblical miracles are true, and are able to be duplicated in the present day.

Founded in the 1950s, the congregation had 20-25 members for most of its early history. In 1975 Wayne Hughes was appointed Pastor. A dynamic preacher, Hughes began attracting larger crowds. Within five years, the congregation had grown to 400, and by the mid-1980s, to 700. On 31 December 1999, Hughes announced his vision of growing the congregation to ten thousand members, which would make it the largest congregation in New Zealand. Over the last five years the church has been restructuring to facilitate outreach and growth.

The church has forged a close relationship with the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida, a dynamic church in the Pentecostal world, which has attracted pilgrims from all over the world since 1995. The church also has a relationship with Korea's Yoido Full Gospel Church, whose Senior Pastor, Dr David Yonggi Cho, conducted a major conference hosted by Takapuna Assembly of God in 1996.

Wayne Hughes pastored the church for 30 years, before retiring in April 2005. He announced that he was stepping down after allegations of sexual impropriety surfaced in the media. Hughes denied the allegations, but said he was stepping down to protect the church from negative publicity. In May, Martin Steel, a missionary and evangelist, was named to succeed him.

A well-known figure of this church is Luis Cabral, an evangelist of Portuguese origin. Cabral divides his time between Takapuna Assembly of God, where he serves as an Associate Pastor, and his crusade ministry, both in New Zealand and internationally.

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