Beginnings in Whanganui
The first known meeting of the church dates back to 28 April 1867. This is believed to have been held in the home of Brother Peter Mc William in an area know then as Mars Hill, situated between Whanganui and Fordell. Later in 1868, the meetings were held in the town where a few believers met to share int he Lord's Supper.
On 27 October 1875 at a meeting of the members a building committee was appointed and it was "resolved that a Meeting House" be built, 40 feet by 25 feet, at an estimated cost of £375". By 9 March 1876, the little congregation was established in its own "Meeting House" on the present Mathieson Street site which was leased from the Wanganui Hospital Board. Edwin Lewis came to guide the work and to be the evangelist. At this particular time there was a total membership of 43, only 16 of whom resided in the town area.
From a very small beginning the work gradually developed over the years. Through the particular gifts of the Ministers and the co-operation of the members in the early years, the congregation grew numerically and spiritually. Rising to over 300 members. But going through periods of decline and advance.
In the mid 1920's while the congregation was rapidly growing enquiries were being made for another site. Several had been purchased and re-sold, but in May 1926 the present Ingestre Street property which backed onto Mathieson Street Chapel was purchased. Later the house that was on the section was moved to the rear of the property to make room for the new chapel and the foundation stone was laid for the new building on 17 March 1928 by J.E. Wilson and G. Purnell. This was during the ministry of F. j. Marshall.
Prior to this period work a building had been erected in Caversham Street in Springvale where Sunday School and morning and evening services were being conducted. It was on this site that the first Dominion Youth Camp of Churches of Christ was held under the leadership of W.R. Hibburt. In 1930 the work was brought to a close and the building demolished and the material used for the construction of classrooms on the Mathieson Street building.
During 1934 a Sunday School was commenced in the Gonville Town Hall where they met for 33 years.