Iliafi Esera is married to Fia and they are the Senior Ministers of the Faith City Church Wanganui. The Esera’s have been the Senior Ministers of the church for almost twenty years; in fact it will be twenty years next January. They are held in high regard within the city of Wanganui among both the church and the un-churched. Faith City Church is a vibrant assembly and it is distinctly Pentecostal. It is a church with a distinct sound and leads the City in the areas of praise and worship. It is active in missions not only locally but internationally. The church is the proprietor of Faith Academy Christian School which is one of the most respected schools in the city. The School is part of the church’s outreach into the community and has for many years made a significant impact on the generations of the city, many of whom have gone on to excel in the fields of medicine, education, law, music, sports and technology just to mention a few.
The Esera’s are leaders in the faith to many pastors and Christian ministers across the globe, speaking regularly across New Zealand, Australia, the Pacific Islands, Asia the USA and Russia. Ps Iliafi held the position of Assistant Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in New Zealand, a role which he has fulfilled since 2003. Ps Iliafi is a missionary at heart and is happiest when he is ministering cross-culturally. His passion for God and for people is contagious and his desire to see people live their Christianity in a practical way is well known. Pastor Iliafi loves young people and will go out of his way to mentor and train young people to fulfill their God given destinies.
Pastors Iliafi and Fia are also pioneers at heart and have helped with pioneering and church planting work in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, as well as Australia, the USA, India and Russia. The Esera’s have been in pastoral ministry for 27 years and they have eight children and eight grandchildren.
Don and Julia were radically saved on 10 October 1978 and the following day led their best friend to the Lord. Over the next year, God miraculously transformed their family seeing every relative saved and many people in their neighborhood also saved. They raised a youth group from 3 to 150 that influenced every youth group within Whangarei.
The family moved to Tonga in 1985 and saw numerous inmates in the prison saved then rehabilitated. They also saw many people in the villages saved. During this time Don traveled to Fiji during the coup to speak at many crusades that saw hundreds give their lives to the Lord.
In 1987, the family moved to Melbourne to attend Harvest Bible College and also serve as Assistant Pastors at Waverly Community Church. Ten years later Don was awarded “Student of the Decade” by Harvest Bible College for his contribution to the Kingdom of God.
In 1989, Don and Julia were approached to help pioneer South City CLC in South Auckland and function as the evangelists for the church. This was the beginning of twelve years of evangelism that took Don to many countries seeing thousands saved and many churches pioneered.
Don was challenged eight years ago to pioneer a church in Albany, to raise up the next generation moving in the power of God. His belief is within the prophetic walls of the local church, where hope is conceived, dreams are nurtured and destiny is released.
Don and Julia have four children and six grandchildren. The blessing is generational.
Whiromena (Mina) Acraman
Mina Acraman has pastored Hastings Assembly of God with her husband, Dennis, for 20 years in a “Priscilla and Aquila” leadership style. She has held a credential with NZAG for 13 years and has 35 years of ministry experience in this fellowship at local church, regional and national levels, including church planting.
Mina has been a pioneer and leader in NZAG women’s ministry – from initiating conferences for hundreds in the early 90’s to smaller mentoring groups for our nation’s key leaders currently.
The gift on Mina’s life has taken her to many nations. In each of these ministry contexts, Mina has found herself amongst Christian leaders as much as their congregations. Her ethnicity gives her acceptance nationally and internationally along with her capacity to operate in the Holy Spirit.
Mina has a strong preaching and exhortative gift, ministering from life-tested perspectives, encouraging both men and women. She passionately believes that people can “rise and become who God has uniquely created them to be”; that each person has a destiny that is revealed through faith and courage despite all impediments; and that indigenous perspectives can be a significant part of that divine positioning.
Mina is well-connected to key leaders outside of NZAG, adding to her breadth of influence.
Mina comes from a large Maori Iwi; she and Dennis have five grandchildren who are the love of their lives.
Steve (Stephen) was born and raised in New Plymouth.
His spiritual journey began when He attended with his siblings a local Presbyterian Church until his early teens. He was saved in Palmerton North while a second year teacher trainee in 1976. There he met Pip who was also at teachers college and they married in 1977.
Steve taught for the next nine years, becoming a Senior Teacher and Department Head.While teaching in Hawera he began to attend the Hawera A/G and was water baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit in 1982. He was invited to become the church administrator for the Hawera A/G in 1986. In 1988 Steve & Pip became the churches Senior Pastors. They led the Hawera church for the next 12 years, in that time planting three other churches from within its leadership. In 2000, they were invited to become Senior Pastors of the New Plymouth A/G (now citywestchurch).
Steve has served as Regional Overseer for the West Coast Region for more than 12 years. Pip currently serves on staff and the movement as New Zealand Women’s Ministries Coordinator. They are blessed with four great children aged between 26 and 33. Their eldest son currently serves with YWAM coordinating Marine Reach short-term medical missions teams. Their daughter has recently returned from London and married; their third (son) is married and currently studying at London University and their fourth (daughter) is married with their first grandson in Palmerston North.
Steve’s great desire is to see the movement continue to grow and flourish. His heart to build and mentor others in leadership and vision has built a great team within his own church. He has 25 years of ministry experience to bring to the executive. Steve and Pip also have a passionate heart for missions.
Terry has been married to his wonderful and industrious wife Rowena for twenty two years; Te Kuiti is where their family of five fun children were raised.
Terry was ordained in 1999 by NZAOG while still a grocery manager of a local New World; prior to that he served in New Zealand Army’s two rifle battalions. In March 2000 he became a fulltime assistant pastor of the then Waitomo Christian Fellowship (now Journey church). In January 2001 he became and still is the senior pastor.
Together with his wife Terry has experienced the highs and lows of pastoral life. He understands the challenges of being in a rural town and having limited resources. He knows the power of vision having travelled many times to Rwanda as part of Hope Rwanda, and has witnessed the significant after-affect on his church.
Terry’s church presently enjoys a healthy season of growth. Firstly because of the grace of God; secondly, because the church grew with Terry as he completed his MA in leadership through Alphacrucis.
Terry’s passion is to see churches excel with powerful ministry/leadership teams. He believes that each local church exists to be a present channel of Gods life and love.
Lau has been involved in the Assemblies of God in New Zealand for many years serving mainly in the Samoan churches. He was born again in Samoa in 1969 while studying in Avele College, Apia Western Samoa; and then travelled to New Zealand in 1976 for further education. He served in Porirua Samoan A/G for a number of years in various positions including oversight of the youth for many years.
He is married to Nancy and they have two sons Makisua and Charles and daughter Rose who all love and continually serve the Lord. Lau and Nancy have recently taken on the role of leading the Samoan churches with A/G NZ.
In 1979, Lau and Nancy moved to Napier to pastor the Napier Samoan A/G, and have seen the church grow and expand and have in the past three years built a new church seating 1000 people on a ten acre property. God has blessed them and they have reached not only to their Samoan people but across the borders to other cultures and nations. They both have a passion for missions and often travel on mission teams.
Pat Lamborn has been leading Connect Community Church in Timaru along with his wife Margie for the last 14 years. It has been a joy to see it grow into a strong community-minded church with a team of effective leaders. Having recently transitioned their church into new leadership they will be planting a new church in Christchurch early in 2012.
Pat is currently in his first term on the national executive with responsibility for the South Island. He has been the movements ‘Earthquake Relief coordinator’ for Christchurch and has recently taken on responsibility for Overseas Missions
He and Margie have 5 children, 4 who are married and currently 7 grandkids. His ‘sanity project’ is rebuilding a ’65 S-Type Jaguar.
Peter is married to Annette and they have 3 grown children now living in various parts of the world. Peter is currently Senior Pastor of Nations Church in Dunedin and loves South Island life (snow and all).
Peter comes from a primary teaching background. He first pastored Marton Assembly of God for several years before moving to Auckland to take over the Avondale church which was struggling at the time. Over a period of almost 16 years Peter and Annette worked to grow and build a stable multi-cultural church in Avondale. During that time they learned a great deal about cross-cultural ministry and learned to appreciate the joys and struggles of working cross-culturally. Out of that valuable ministry experience was birthed a desire to see our movement grow into a true multi-cultural movement where each culture is respected and honoured. In March 2011 Peter & Annette moved to Dunedin as Senior Pastors of Nations Church.
Peter served as Auckland Regional overseer for two years prior to completing his first two-year term on the Assemblies of God Executive. He graduated in 2010 with an MA (leadership) from Sydney College of Divinity and Alphacrucis. He is also a part-time lecturer in Homiletics and Leadership studies at Alphacrucis. He desires to see the Assemblies of God growing as a relational movement, where each pastor feels supported and encouraged in the work they are called to do, no matter how large or small the church they lead. He also would like to see our ministerial training programme continue to develop so that our churches have available to them a wide variety of well-trained ministers at a variety of levels. He believes the Assemblies of God has a great future in New Zealand. The best is yet to come!