New Hope Fellowship met together for the first time on 7 March 1999 at Charlie and Brenda Forrest’s home in Onehunga. The initial vision for the work had been given to Charlie back in 1981 when he was doing outreach on Onehunga Mall.
In the intervening years Charlie and Brenda lived in Hong Kong for some time where they headed up Hosanna Ministry, a ministry of Asian Outreach International. When they were back in New Zealand on furlough in 1994, a group of people began to meet regularly to pray concerning the timing of the Onehunga vision. This group included Larry and Julie Murphy, who God had called to New Zealand from Ireland in 1992.
At the end of 1998 the Forrests returned from Asia to live in New Zealand and again gathered with others to pray concerning the Onehunga work. In March 1999 it was felt the time was right to go ahead and establish New Hope Fellowship. Charlie and Brenda Forrest, Pesa and Liz Wilson and Larry and Julie Murphy were at that first meeting and are all still involved in the leadership.
After a short time we moved to the old council chambers on Church Street, now the Onehunga Community Centre. We met there for a few months before moving into rented premises upstairs at 133b Onehunga Mall. A larger room at the back of the building later became available and we moved our main meeting there, retaining the front part of the building for additional Sunday School rooms and an office.
In 2007 warehouse space came up for rent at the back of the same building at 8 Waller Street. The church worked together, removing partitions and renovating to create a large meeting space with offices and Sunday School rooms upstairs. We later discovered this premises was originally built as a place of worship. This is where New Hope Fellowship still meets today.
In mid 2017 we also leased the shop in front of the church in Onehunga Mall, 1/133 Onehunga Mall. This also now gives access to the main church area from the Mall as well.
In 2015 we also started a new work next to the Church, the New Hope Community Impact Center, 12 Waller St. This is a part of the church’s ministry to the community, it provides a free gym, free counselling program, free budgeting courses as well as provided food and support for the homeless in the community. For more information about this visit New Hope Community Impact Centre
Over the years God has been fulfilling the original vision of equipping and releasing people to go out and serve Him in different places. We have seen many people being built up and restored and we are excited about what God is going to do in the future.