Members of the Samoa Unity Christian Church (S.U.C.C) are gathering at Nuu Fou for their annual conference this week.
S.U.C.C was established by Pastor Ropeti and his wife Bronwyn Mata’afa in New Zealand in 1984. It was established in Samoa in 2007.
“The church started in 1984 and the name at that time was Samoa Christian Fellowship,” said Pastor Ropeti.
“Then in 1990, it was changed into Samoa Unity Christian Church when I realised that many of the people don’t really speak English. “We started with one church in Auckland and five years later we had about four branches around New Zealand.
“In 1989. me and my wife moved to Australia to start up another church in Sydney and as we go on the organization was growing and now we have about seven branches in Australia and in New Zealand as well.”
Pastor Ropeti said one of the keys to the church’s growth is the teachings.
“Our teaching is simple, we don’t believe in telling families to donate thousands of dollars for the church,” he said.
“No we don’t, I don’t believe in enslaving and making people suffer. [But] we do believe in a tithing system and free will offering, so ten percent of the people’s earnings goes to the church. Those are the only ways we raise our finances.”
Even Pastors don’t get special treatment, unlike most churches in Samoa.
“When it comes to church, we are the same as everybody else,” he said. “We don’t address anybody in a special way, no we are all the same.”
He also spoke about the love of God in the church and His blessings upon the church.
“In 2007 we opened up a branch in Samoa. We first held it at one of the Minister’s houses and then we decided to buy land and buy this place.
“In the building of this church we never owed any money to anybody or the bank. I don’t believe in borrowing money from the bank because the church is a free will thing, they can come anytime and they can also leave whenever they like.
“We also started up new branches in American Samoa and we have a guy, he offered the church two acres free of lease to the American Samoa branch to be built.
“So we are growing and I believe that there is a revival coming and God is going to bless this organization.”
The church conference is for one week.