The first Seventh-day Adventist church will be built on Nauru, after Parliament approved a 99-year lease on land belonging to a church member.
Nauruan president Baron Waqa signed the document giving Adventist Steve Mwea Amwano permission to build a Seventh-day Adventist church on his land. Church members have been meeting in a rented hall.
“This is something that the members of the Nauruan Church have been looking forward to for years,” said Pastor Glenn Townend, president of the Trans-Pacific Union Mission (TPUM), of which Nauru is an attached field. “Land in Nauru is very expensive and not easily transferred to others.”
There are 25 church members living on Nauru with up to 40 people currently attending weekly services.
The lease was the latest in a number of hurdles that had to be overcome before a church could be built.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church was not registered in Nauru until 2013 and the new land is now registered in the Church’s name.
Mr Mwea Amwano wanted to give land for a church after he had attended Navesau Adventist High School in Fiji. The land was transferred from his extended family into his care and then onto the Church, each time needing the approval of Parliament.
The final hurdle will be building the church. TPUM has been working with church members and the local pastor on plans for a double-storey church—with hall, kitchen, youth and children’s Sabbath schools downstairs and the main worship centre upstairs.
TPUM has also agreed to build a two-bedroom house for Mr Mwea Amwano and his family on other land that he owns, in exchange for the land.
Pastor Townend said building materials are already being shipped to Nauru from Fiji, with delivery expected sometime in October.
Church members in Nauru and the TPUM hope that members from across the South Pacific will help with a fly’n’build to put the church up.
Nauru has a population of about 9400 and is only 21 square-kilometres, making it the smallest country in the South Pacific Division.
For more information contact Eparama Drou, associate CFO of the TPUM <email@example.com>.