Our history


Reformed churches trace their history to apostolic times (Matthew 16:13-20, Acts 2) and before (e.g. Psalm 122). They trace their history through the 16th-century Protestant Reformation (when Catholicism was challenged by leaders such as Martin Luther) to today.

More recently, in the late 1940s migrants from the Netherlands settling in New Zealand expected to find their spiritual homes in existing churches of Reformed persuasion. Instead they found departures from Reformed doctrine and practice that they could not overlook.

The Reformed Churches of New Zealand were officially established in 1953 at a meeting (synod) in Wellington where churches from Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch were represented. Over the years further congregations have been established, and the denomination now comprises about twenty congregations.

Despite the Dutch background of many of the members of our churches, the Reformed Churches strive to be a New Zealand church. Our focus is not on ethnic origin, but on God's calling. We strive to practice Paul's words: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).