The Congregational Christian Church of Samoa traces its beginnings to the arrival in 1830 of missionaries sent by the London Missionary Society, accompanied by missionary teachers from Tahiti and the Cook Islands and a Samoan couple from Tonga. Within a few years, virtually the whole of Samoa was converted to Christianity. A burning zeal for the gospel was engendered within the spirit of the newly converted nation. Huge numbers of people soon offered themselves for overseas mission work. In 1839, only nine years after the arrival of the LMS, the first twelve Samoan missionaries left for mission work in Melanesia. Ever since then, and up to 1975, Samoans have continued to take the gospel message to other Pacific islands, e.g. Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Niue, Tokelau, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Wallis & Fortuna. Many of these early Samoan missionaries never returned home, buried in the many un-named and unmarked graves in the islands of the Pacific.

The setting-up of the first printing press in Samoa (1839), only the second in the Pacific region, was a mark of the missionary zeal to bring the people to understand the gospel through the written word. By 1855 the whole Bible was translated into Samoan. The missionaries also introduced a monthly journal – the Church Chronicle – which continues to this day. Malua Theological College was established in 1844, with the main objective to teach and educate local students so that each village of Samoa would eventually have a theologically educated pastor as spiritual leader. By the end of the 19th century, a pattern of ministry had emerged. It was modeled on the Samoan village structural organization and aimed at preserving, as much as possible, the value systems of the Samoan way of life. The church community functions in the same way as the village, where five main groups – matais (titled men), spouses of matais, untitled men, unmarried women, and children – each have their own individual and corporate roles and responsibilities for the maintenance of order and welfare. The village congregation is the basic unit of the CCCS with the pastor as the spiritual leader.

The Samoan church during the missionary period engaged itself in the “social redemption of humanity”. This vision was based on the church’s understanding of God’s sovereignty. It saw the divine purpose of redemption not in individual terms only but also in corporate, social and political terms. The newly acquired faith had its focus on the transformation of life and society. That legacy remains a motivating force in the nation’s idealism as well as in the church’s commitment to active social efforts. The church has been able to maintain five high schools: Leulumoega Fou College, Maluafou College, Nuuausala College, Papauta Girls College and Tuasivi College along with its Theological College in Malua, and Leulumeoga School of fine Arts. 

Since the second half of the 20th century, the Samoan church has continued to forge ecumenical relationships with other churches locally, regionally and internationally. Now it has become a transnational church with nine Districts (synod or diocese) outside Samoa: one in the USA, one in Hawaii, four in Australia and three in New Zealand. It has one congregation each in Fiji and American Samoa.

The Divisions of Districts are as follows:

1. America Amerika USA
2. Hawaii Hawaii USA
3. New South Wales Niusauelese Australia
4. Victoria Vitoria Australia
5. Queensland Kuiniselani Australia
6. Queensland South Kuiniselani i Saute Australia
7. New Zealand South Niu Sila i Saute New Zealand
8. Manukau Manukau New Zealand
9. Auckland Aukilani New Zealand
10. Apia East Apia i Sasa'e Samoa
11. Apia Apia Samoa
12. Faleata Faleata Samoa
13. Malua Malua  Samoa
14.  A'ana A'ana  Samoa
15. Falealili West  Falealili i Sisifo     Samoa
16.  Lotofaga, Lepa, Aleipata  Lotofaga, Lepa, Aleipata  Samoa
17. Faasalele'aga Faasalele'aga Samoa
18. Ituotane Ituotane Samoa

Within these eighteen (18) Districts, there is a further division of Sub-Districts according to their divisions by locality and region.

There is a system in which congregations are observed and nurtured. For each parish there is a minister, and in the sub-district which is made up of a number of parishes, there is an Elder Minister. The amalgamation of two, three or even four Sub-Districts make up the District, and of the Elder Ministers in the District, there is one selected to be the Representative of the District in the Ministerial Sub Committee.

“The Congregational Christian Church in Samoa believes that it was the Will of our Lord to give the Apostles oversight of the Churches, and particularly the leaders of their congregations. We believe also that they used and are still using those who succeeded the Apostles in the oversight of Churches, and that God has blessed His whole Church through them.  As recited in the Letters to Timothy and to Titus, those who oversee the Churches must be exemplary in their conduct through watchfulness and prudence, uprightness, patience and love, and they must also be able to instruct others.”

“We call these servants Elder-Ministers. They are elected from Ordained Ministers of the Sub-Districts of the Church, presented to the District for approval, and then confirmed by the Elders’ Committee and the General Assembly.  The Elder-Minister oversees his Sub-District, and his first duty is to be the Spiritual Father to Lay Preachers and Ministers who are resident in that part of the District.”

The General Assembly of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa.

Elder-Ministers, Ministers, Lay Preachers, Deacons, Women and Church Members are invited to the General Assemblies of the Church to share in the blessing and joy of fellowship with our Lord through the services of Communion and Ordination, in the consecration of those who have dedicated themselves to the service of our Master and His Church;  to join in any Services of Worship of the Assembly; to listen to the sermons and presentations and take part in the discussions; and also to listen quietly in the spirit of reverence to the deliberations of the delegations to the General Assembly.

The General Assembly of the Church:
1.THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY is the supreme Council of the Church.

2.This Council shall be known as the General Assembly in the following instructions and resolutions:

a.THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY shall be responsible for making resolutions pertaining to the general business of the  Church, whereas the implemen tation of the individual ordinary business of the Church shall be carried out by the following committees:

b.In addition, these Main Committees shall have sub-Committees which are appointed when required, with the exception of the Elders Committee where each District appoints a representative to the Elders Ministerial Sub-Committee.
c.   These sub-Committees shall report to their respective Main Committees, and the Main Committees shall submit full reports to the General Assembly annually.


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