The Vaigaga Congregational Christian Church of Samoa celebrated its 150th anniversary on Friday.
The church acknowledged the vision of Papali’i Viliamu Cowley who started it in his rundown house at Lotoā 1865-1868.
When he passed away, his son Sale, who also inherited the title Papali’i, took the baton and carried on with the vision.
As the years passed and the number of people grew, they relocated to a place known as Malae Samasama. In 1874, they moved again to where the church is currently located.
The church celebrated their 100th year anniversary at the same location and has since created a monument to remind them of God’s love.
“There are three corners of this monument, it’s a representative of three jubilees that this church has achieved. This is an indication of the great love of God to the people of Vaigaga and their children,” Pastor Fa’auuga Matautia said.
“This parish has continued to be a shelter to everyone here. This monument is here as a reminder for the people who have contributed to building this church, including those who have passed on, especially Jesus Christ who is the cornerstone of the church, the house of God that gives life to everyone and for each person to be the living breath of Christ to the world.”
The monument has the carvings of the Bible verse Psalm 33:12: “Great blessings belong to those who have the Lord as their God! He chose them to be his own special people”.
A descendant of the founders of the church, 90-year-old Caroline Lupo Cowley, travelled from New Zealand to be part of the celebrations.
“My heart is full because I am able to celebrate this day that everyone has been waiting for,” she said.
Caroline is the daughter of the late Papali’i Viliamu Cowley and Saitaugatauafiafi Tuimanua.
“I remember that my father had always tried to develop the church. Being here today brings back memories of those days.”