Our Over 105 Year's History

Our History


The Mairangi Bay Community Church was established in Mairangi Bay in the 1950s, and at the time consisted of about 20 locals (Kiwis). However the roots of the church go back much further to 1912.


MBCC began as a small fellowship of people meeting on Auckland’s North Shore in Devonport. The church was an offshoot of the Ponsonby Road Church of Christ. The first chapel (in Old Lake Road, Devonport) was opened on Saturday December 17th 1927.


In the early 1950s the Devonport chapel was physically relocated to Mairangi Bay and the church became known as the Mairangi Bay Church of Christ. The little chapel (seen to the right) stood almost on the corner of Beach Road and Ramsgate Terrace - where Countdown Supermarket car park is today. 


The old chapel was demolished in December 1972 and a new church opened not far away in March 1973 at our present site on the corner of Maxwelton Drive and Noumea Place. In 2012, on the occasion of our 100th. anniversary, our beautiful new auditorium and extended facilities were officially opened.   


Early in 1998 the name of the church was changed to Mairangi Bay Community Church, a name which reflected our calling to serve the community and our desire to welcome all, regardless of denominational or ethnic background.


MBCC is an autonomous, self-governing evangelical church and members come from many denominational backgrounds. Many indeed come from totally non-church backgrounds.


We are affiliated with a dynamic movement of churches known as Christian Churches New Zealand.


CCNZ is the name for what used to be the Associated Churches of Christ in New Zealand which historically is linked to groups around the world known variously as Christian Churches, Churches of Christ, and Disciples. Today there are about 4,000,000 members of these churches in the United States and many similar churches around the world.


These denominations grew out of the so-called Restoration Movement of the early Nineteenth Century which stressed non-sectarianism and Christian unity and encouraged a return to the simple faith and practice of the Early Church. The Restoration Movement was part of the wider explosion of evangelical Christianity known as Second Great Awakening.


The photograph on the left shows Brent Liebezeit (current President of Christian Churches New Zealand) & his wife Viv. Brent is also senior pastor of Annesbrook Church in Nelson.


We are very happy that at the October 2014 CCNZ Conference a very fine biblically-based Statement on Marriage and Sexuality was overwhelmingly endorced by all our churches. You may read this statement below.


At MBCC we highly value the fact we are part of the wider "body of Christ" both in our local context and worldwide. Denominational labels and affiliations, as well as social, linguistic and ethnic background should not become barriers hindering true believers from enjoying fellowship together and from witnessing together to our common faith and our common Lord.


We recognize that true unity grows out of a common commitment to the Word of God and out of an obedience to the Holy Spirit. 


MBCC is also privileged to be a member of the New Zealand Christian Network. The NZ Christian Network seeks to promote the unity & mission of the Church in NZ & reflect the common views held by the 500,000 evangelical or biblically orthodox Christians in our nation. NZ Christian Network seeks to:


  • Gather Christians to share topics of interest & concern

  • Build networks to bring Christians together,

  • Speak with & listen to the Church & the wider community throughout New Zealand.


Rodney Cowell (seen to the left) served as MBCC pastor from late 1997 to February 2006. He played a key role in helping the church look outwards in reaching the community and in becoming intentionally multi-cultural and welcoming. After retiring Rodney wrote a book entitled "God's Secret Plan - Experiences & Lessons in Multi-cultural Christian Ministry" which drew upon his rich experiences in leading MBCC. For some years in retirement Rodney (supported by his lovely wife Beryl) helped in a number of churches around New Zealand as their interrim pastor - including the well-known Baptist Tabernacle in Auckland City. After a brief illness Ps Rodney went to be with the Lord on 18 November 2015 at the age of 74. 


Rodney and Beryl were succeeded by Peter and Elizabeth Anderson, who served with MBCC for just over 10 years. Peter ‘retired’ at the end of March 2016. He was born in Zimbabwe and after studying at the University of Cape Town taught geography in a high school in Bulawayo.


Following theological studies at the London School of Theology (formerly known as London Bible College) in the UK, Peter and his late wife Geralynserved with OMF International in Taiwan (1976-82) and Hong Kong in the China Program of OMF (from 1982). In the mid eighties they helped set up the Friends of China Foundation and in 1991 Peter was appointed the International Director of the Jian Hua Foundation (JHF) in which capacity he and Geralyn travelled widely in China and overseas. In 1998 Geralyn was called home to heaven after battling cancer for 14 months.


Peter lived in Asia for a total of 29 years, most of that time in Hong Kong and China.


Peter and Elizabeth were married in 2000. Together they served in JHF for 5 years, based in Hong Kong, before returning to NZ in February 2005. They began their ministry at MBCC on 1st. March, 2006.


Elizabeth was born in Taiwan, spent her early teenage years in Japan and then emigrated to NZ with her family late in 1975. She has taught Japanese at high school and at Unitec and Auckland University. At the end of 2009 she resigned her part-time position in the University of Auckland Faculty of Education in order to give herself more fully to serving in the church.


Peter has been a visiting lecturer at the Carey Baptist College in Auckland and has a Master of Theology degree (in missiology) from the South African Theological Seminary.


He has written a book entitled “Weapons of Peace”, first published in 1995, which is the exciting and true story of William and Johanna Anderson, his forebears, some of the earliest missionaries in South Africa. A new revised edition is now available.


The Andersons handed over to Pr. Abri Brancken at the end of March 2016 but remained active in the church for a six-month overlap period. The almost 400 sermons Peter preached at MBCC can be found on YouTube.  Peter was committed to systematic, ‘expository’ Scripture-based preaching. Peter and Elizabeth said their final goodbye at the end of September 2016 and are now attending St Chad’s Church in Meadowbank, close to where they live. Peter is doing some more serious writing and he and Elizabeth are serving as volunteers, locally and overseas.  


Today, our Leading Pastor is Abri Brancken. Abri completed (1994-1997) 4 years of full-time Theological studies at the Waterberg Training Centre in South Africa, obtaining his degree in Religious Studies. During his studies, he met his wife to be Leoni and they got married in 1996.


In 1998 Abri & Leoni moved to Pretoria and joined a megachurch where they became actively involved in the church’s missions departments' short-term international outreaches program. In 2001 he received a call to another megachurch (Moreletapark Church) in Pretoria where he served as Arts Director and Senior Worship Leader for four years, overseeing the worship, dance and drama departments of the then 17 000-member church. In 2006 Abri and his family moved to Israel in order to gain a greater understanding of the culture and traditions in which the Bible was written, furthering his informal anthropological studies while in Israel.  


In 2007 Abri & his family returned to South Africa and he co-planted the Living Word East congregation in Pretoria where he served for 6 years. In December 2012 Abri and his family moved to Mauritius to pastor the Living Word Church on the island, a multi-cultural evangelical congregation. They served there until February 2016. In March 2016 they moved to Auckland to join MBCC.  


Abri is also a strategist, author & songwriter. His books can be purchased online through Amazon.com, Lulu.com and other media platforms. In 2014 Abri was awarded his Doctorate (PhD) in Biblical Studies after completing 2 1/2 years of research on the topic of "Life Alteration through GRIN Technologies". His thesis was entitled, "Altering God's Design", and addressed the complex issues surrounding the morals and ethics of altering life on earth through genetic engineering and other GRIN technologies. He argued against the advancement towards Trans-humanism and the creation of new life forms, whether plant, animal or human, through GRIN technologies. Abri is also a qualified Chaplain and over the years Abri & Leoni have travelled to more than 30 countries for business and church-related projects. Some of these countries include Israel, Russia, America, England, Brazil, Holland, Belgium, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, Egypt, Greece, Malawi, Mauritius, Hong Kong, etc. Abri & Leoni enjoys assisting people from around the globe and from all walks of life to take the necessary steps towards greater spiritual growth, fulfilment and success. The LORD has blessed them with three boys. ​