Centre of Sabbath Rest Advent Church (NZ)Sabbath Rest Advent Church (NZ) is open to everyone and welcomes enquiries and visitors.
Our centre is located in rural Manawatu on 3 hectares (7 acres) of park-like grounds and gardens.
We are a Christian protestant group with Bible-based beliefs and principles that we apply practically.
We keep the biblical 7th day Sabbath, and welcome visitors to our services each Saturday morning.
Our wholegrain organic healthfood shop is open from Sunday to Friday.
Our enviro preschool is open from Monday to Thursday.
Our health centre will open soon.
Please contact us for further information or a visit.

A Short History Review

New Zealand was actually the starting place for Sabbath Rest Advent Church in the 1950s. A revival movement based on the gospel message of justification by faith had sprung up within the Seventh-day Adventist Church in USA and Australia. An Australian, who was teaching in New Zealand in 1958 came in contact with this message. He was a woodwork teacher at Longburn, the Adventist College in Palmerston North, in the centre of the North Island, and his name was Frederic T. Wright. He was not aware of the full import of his experience at that time, but in fact he had stumbled across the original faith of the Protestant reformers of the sixteenth century. This in turn was the essence of the Christian faith of apostolic times, as revealed in Christ’s life.

Whenever Fred Wright spoke of his new faith it caused consternation among the school authorities, so eventually he was obliged to leave the college and speak to others privately. Increasing numbers of speaking invitations led Fred to become a full-time preacher in 1961. The following year he moved with his young family to Australia where a group of like-minded believers met together and separated from the SDA church in 1963. During the following years, the small group of believers in Australia and New Zealand extended to USA, Europe and Africa.

In 1989 the group officially became a worldwide church adopting the name Sabbath Rest Advent Church, with its headquarters at Palmwoods in Queensland, Australia. Its organisation eschewed any hierarchical structure, recognising Christ as its Head. Fred remained as the messenger and main preacher of the group, until in 1988 when his progressing Parkinson’s disease prevented him from public speaking. Instead Andreas Dura from Germany took over as the main speaker. In 1993 the headquarters moved to Germany, where Fred died in 1997. Andreas then became the messenger for the international church.

In New Zealand the believers were scattered mainly through the North Island as the message spread. Eventually a centre was established about 45 minutes north of Palmerston North, just north of the small village of Kimbolton. This rural location enjoys alpine views and the climate is ideal for the growth of rhododendrons and other plants. Members of the church grew until in 2003 a new building was erected to house a church meeting room, a registered kitchen and upstairs classrooms suitable for a school. Preschool children were cared for under the umbrella of a home-based care organisation until in 2008 an application was made for a registered preschool. Little Ark Christian Enviro Preschool was opened in 2009 with a maximum of 20 preschoolers attending from Monday to Thursday.

Simultaneously the registered kitchen began producing baked goods to be sold in a small shop on site and at the Farmers’ Market in Feilding, 20 minutes south of Kimbolton. This baking business grew to become Wholegrain Organics, which also supplied another market in Palmerston North with baked bread, crackers, sweet biscuits, pasta, sauces, desserts, pizza bases, and other baked and dry goods. A trailer and canopy were purchased to meet increased demand at the markets and hot lunches were offered, along with smoothies in the summer. Fresh fruit and vegetables were also added.

The health area expanded to include therapeutic massage, infrared saunas, and simple hydrotherapy treatments, so eventually a house across the road was purchased and renovated as a health centre. This will open early 2014. The healthfood work also needs a constant supply of fresh organic produce, so the agriculture work is also expanding, with a 20-metre plastic house added in 2012. A small tree nursery was also established to provide fruit trees that are grown in the alpine climate of Kimbolton.

Finally, a Hands-On Education programme has also begun, with OSCAR approval enabling holiday camps and workshops to be organised. Before and after-school care will be offered from 2014.