1907 - 1949
Services were conducted in private houses by Pastors Tyler, Hassold, Dierks and Frese. The latter was resident in Auckland. World War II terminated these meetings and it was not until 1949 that they recommenced with the visit by Pastors Hamuera Te Punga and Clem Koch.
The spiritual needs of the congregation were met by periodic visits from Rev C.I. Koch and Rev R.R. Reinfelds.
In the meantime Danish people were settling in Auckland. These were ministered to by the Rev. A. Christensen of Palmerston North. Their first service was held in the Presbyterian Church at Ellerslie. In between visits, their spiritual needs were met by Mr Viggo Pedersen.
The congregation in Auckland constituted itself at a meeting held in the Y.W.C.A. building in Queen Street on January 6th. It formally adopted a constitution and adopted the name ‘St John'. At this time it consisted mainly of new settlers from Latvia and Estonia. Services were held in the Y.W.C.A. building, and later in All Saints Anglican Church in Ponsonby Road.
Pastor Reinfelds moved to Christchurch and the spiritual leadership was taken over by Pastor Clem Koch, under whose ministry the congregation grew. The following year ‘St John' was affiliated with the Lutheran Church of New Zealand.
A manse, which also provided space for worship, was built in Panmure. Pastor Koch was assisted by Mr Ben Koch who served for a year as a layworker.
The St John and Danish groups were worshipping together.
1955 - 1957
An old house in Crummer Road, Grey Lynn, was bought and converted for use as a central place of worship (dedicated November 7th) until a central church could be built. A Sunday School, Youth Society and Ladies' Fellowship were established, so that in late 1957 it could be said that ‘the various organizations of the congregation are now fully functioning'.
Lutheran worship services in the Mt Wellington-Panmure area began during the ministry of Pastor C.I. Koch. Services were first held in the manse on a monthly basis until the church was built on this corner site, adjacent to the manse. The first service was on 7th October.
1960 - 1961
Work commenced on the building of the church, and took almost 18 months to complete. At the time of the opening the building was valued at around $16,000, although actual costs were kept to $8,000, largely because of voluntary labour. After the opening and dedication of the new church on May 7th, 1961, regular services were held each Sunday (with both morning and evening worship).
1961 - 1964
With Pastor Clem Koch concentrating his efforts in Auckland, the membership and contact list grew rapidly. A large city church such as this demanded a second pastor, and received one when in mid 1961 Rev. C.L. Janetzki became assistant pastor and a second manse was bought, located in Pakuranga.
On the departure of Pastor Koch during 1963 he was replaced by Rev R.J. Matthies. With the arrival of Pastor Matthies the Pakuranga manse was sold and a replacement bought in a central location, Wairiki Road, Mt Eden. In the following year, Pastor Clem Koch returned to Australia and was replaced by Rev. Edwin W. Koch, who was installed on May 31st, 1964.
With the return of Pastor Matthies to America, graduate pastor John Fraser was called to serve specifically in the Mt Wellington area. Pastor John was born in Palmerston North and prior to going to America to train as a pastor, had been working as a farm adviser in the Pukekohe area. He also spent many weekends as a volunteer working on the building of the Panmure church plant.
At this time the Lutheran Church in Auckland was functioning as a congregation with two worship centres. With the arrival of Pastor Fraser the decision for the Panmure church to operate as a ‘stand alone' congregation was made, and Pastor Fraser appointed as the first pastor.
Following the dedication of the Panmure church plant (now Our Saviour), major events such as confirmation and reformation services were held as combined services, as the Crummer Road plant could no longer cope with numbers attending.
Though the central church did not materialise as quickly as expected, the central congregation remained the strong point of the work. A relocation committee was appointed.
The Mt Eden site for a new central church plant was purchased for $24,000.
After much debate on whether or not to build the new church immediately, the old house on the property was finally altered and renovated and dedicated as a place of worship on August 28th.
1967 - 1968
The old Wairiki Road (Mt Eden) manse was sold, and a new manse was built on the property by J.B. Wishnowsky, a member of the congregation. This manse, built for $11,000, was dedicated on March 3rd.
The planning and building of the long-awaited central church posed the congregation with many problems until finally the present building was erected for $19,374. With furniture and fittings added the cost came to little over $25,000. The church was dedicated on December 14th.
Special celebrations took place on September 18th to celebrate the 25th anniversary of St John. The guest preacher on this occasion was Pastor Clem Koch, the first pastor of St John, and now second Vice-President of the Lutheran Church of Australia.
Disaster! The old house which St John were now using as a resource centre was burnt down due to a fault in the old electrical wiring. The building was demolished by volunteer labour and a hall attached to the chapel, built.
The Panmure church plant was renamed ‘Our Saviour'.
Our Saviour celebrated 25 years of service.
The next significant event was the combining of the two worship centres to form the present Parish. This took place in June. While St John was a self-supporting congregation, Our Saviour was receiving a substantial subsidy from the Lutheran Church of New Zealand to meet expenses.
We come now to period of major change within the Parish.
With the introduction of a Strategic Planning process to the Parish a key task set was for the investigation of the possibility of establishing a Lutheran School in Auckland. A dream or reality?
June 1st: block of land was purchased for this project in the Greenhithe area.
November 21st: ground was broken at the Gateway Lutheran School site.
July - August 1999: Plant options for the best use of both plants to meet our mission objectives was presented to the Parish. Plans and a model were presented to the Parish showing development possibility on the Mt Wellington site.
August 29th, 1999: the decision was made to sell St John church and manse and redevelop on the Mt Wellington site. The redevelopment plan being approved by the Parish on October 16th, 1999.
January 2nd: the Parish accepted an offer of $1.2 million for the St John plant, to be vacated by June 2000. Then on May 14th the congregation decided to change its name to ‘Mountainside Lutheran Church'.
May 21st: the final service held at St John and Mountainside Lutheran congregation comes into being.
May 28th: the first worship service of Mountainside Lutheran Church at the Mt Wellington site.
June: a manse was purchased at Botany Downs for Pastor Adrian Kitson.
November 26th: the final service and closing of Our Saviour worship facility.
From the closure of the old building and the dedication of the new building, services were held at Christ Church Anglican in Ellerslie.
November 30th: the old church is demolished and construction of new building begins.
Easter: a time when we were reminded of the Israelites wandering through the wilderness. Maundy Thursday service held in Ellerslie Town Hall, Good Friday at Christ Church, and Easter Sunday at the Panmure Community Hall. Despite worship being held in three different locations, each service was well attended.
May 27th: opening for worship and dedication of the new building.