The Fiji Times »Fiji Methodist Church turns 186
The Methodist Church in Fiji yesterday celebrated the arrival of Christianity in Fiji 186 years ago as missionaries from the church arrived in Tubou on Lakeba in Lau.
Church members marked the anniversary celebrations with prayer, fasting, song, and thanksgiving.
Speaking in a virtual Facebook chat to mark the event, the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma historian Reverend Dr Jolame Lasawa said the biggest lessons Christians can learn from the celebrations were unity, love and peace.
Dr Lasawa said the arrival of Christianity literally extinguished cannibalism – establishing peace between warring tribes.
Dr Lasawa said Christianity brought light to pagan leaders who had various deities for their own districts, uniting them under the Christian god whose ideals centered on love and peace.
Dr Lasawa said that since the arrival of Christianity in Fiji on October 12, 1834, the church has played a major role in the spiritual and mental enlightenment of Fiji even to this day.
He said the history of the church noted the existence of missionaries in districts across the country before the Methodist missionaries arrived at Lakeba in 1834, who were very helpful in missionary work.
Dr Lasawa said the church continues to play a major role in developing the spiritual life of its members, communities and the nation as a whole.
Christianity was introduced to Fiji in 1830 by three Tahitian teachers from the London Missionary Society.
The Wesleyan Missionary Society, based in Australia, began working at Lakeba in Lau on October 12, 1834 under David Cargill and William Cross, along with a few Tongans.