The Vaigaga Congregational Christian Church celebrating 150 years
By Lagi Keresoma
APIA, SAMOA – FRIDAY 13 JULY 2018: Members of the Congregational Christian Church at Vaigaga came together today to celebrate 150 years of the church in the village and to pay tribute to past ministers including Englishman William Carling, who started the church in 1868.
According to the history of the church, Carling was born in England 13October 1825. He arrived in Samoa 18 August 1848, and married a Samoan woman named Tasiaeafe and settled in Vaigaga.
Carling and Tasiaeafe had a very big family and from 1865 to 1868, they started an annual family service – Lotu a le Aiga which was later established as the Congregational Christian Church of Vaigaga.
The church grew in numbers and was later moved from its original place on the family land to where it is currently located next to the village Primary School.
In 1974, the church celebrated its 100th anniversary.
Since establishment, 14 church ministers have served in the church including the current one, Reverend Tautua Aurelio. The late Reverend Poasa and Falesau were the longest serving ministers in the church for 42 years.
The names of the past church ministers are inscribed on a special plaque that was unveiled as part of the celebrations. They include: Reverend Poe and Sina, Reverend Panapa and Pine, Reverend Sinielu and Faletua, Reverend Timoti and Simou, Reverend Manase and Faletua, Reverend Sale and Mekala, Reverend Elisara and Ema, Reverend Neemia and Faletua, Reverend Silulu and Uaea, Reverend Poasa and Falesau, Reverend Talalelei Teo and Maria, Reverend Esau Toa and Faaloua, Reverend Apulu Pula and Anuilagi.
Moso acknowledged the celebration and challenged members of the church to persevere in not only building the physical but the spiritual side of the church.
“Let’s see you work towards another 150 years celebration in the future,” said Reverend Moso.
Eighty four year old Faleata Maluseu, one of the senior citizens of the village said the church has come a long way.
“My parents said this was the first church in the village, however, some of them have converted to other churches and the numbers had dwindled,” said Maluseu.
The celebration ends with the cutting of the cake and a feast.