Church celebrates anniversary of first missionary contact


THE United Church members in Isulailai of Fife Bay circuit, Milne Bay, honoured the memory of their pioneer missionaries in celebrating the opening of a new church.
Church member and chairman of the Ibou Isuleilei Historical Society Dian Vamilei said a 20-metre long mat was unveiled by Rev Baiti Levi on Aug 15 in the new Isulailai Memorial Church.
Vamilei said the mat was woven without any joints and the villagers made it to use in the celebrations of historical events only.
He said a monument was unveiled to mark the first time the gospel of Christ was brought to Papua in 1871.
Vamilei said the new church was built in the memory and honour of the South Pacific Island missionaries who came to work with the London Missionary Society (LMS) in Papua from Torres Strait to East Cape in 1871 to 1970.
He said the LMS was now called United Church in PNG.
Vamilei said a big feast was held that week with the slaughtering of 40 pigs by church members.
On Aug 16 the new church was opened with Alotau MP Charles Abel in attendance.
He said it was a big event for the community and church members gathered in unity to celebrate the gospel of God.
He said on Aug 18, the United Church in PNG East Central Papua Region Church Synod was officially opened at Isuleilei.
He said this important church meeting was attended by staff from the regional office and all the United Church circuits from Gabagaba in Central to Suau in Milne Bay.

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