Assistant Pastor role – Sam Cutforth

Following the appointment of Richard Cutforth as Senior Pastor of Howick Baptist Church, the elders have been looking for another full-time pastoral worker to share in the work of the ministry. After much prayer and consideration, the elders have extended a call to Sam Cutforth to serve at HBC in 2016, which has been accepted.

Sam recently completed theological studies at Sydney Missionary Bible College. After interviewing Sam and consulting a number of referees, the elders are confident that he will be a helpful addition to the staff team at HBC. Sam’s likely areas of responsibility will include preaching/teaching, gathered worship, discipleship and pastoral care, with a focus on the younger members of the church.

Sam and Anna will be moving back to New Zealand early January after spending Christmas with Anna’s family in Perth. We pray that Sam and Anna would be refreshed and ready to serve the Lord in 2016.

There will also be a special commissioning service for both Richard and Sam on Sunday 24 January, with further details to be announced next month.

An insert was placed in the church bulletin a few weeks ago where Sam shared a bit about his background and journey in Christ. For those of you who missed it, you can read the conversation here.


A note from Jayana

Note: This letter was shared by Jayana, one of our members here at HBC.


Dear Church Family,

I will be nearing the end of my 6 year medical degree at the end of this year. Final year students are given the option to go overseas to a place of their choosing, in a specialty of their choice.

After much consideration (and general indecisiveness), I am going to Lusaka, Zambia! I will be leaving on the 10th of June, will be there for 8 weeks, returning in early August. As you can imagine, this is something a little outside of my comfort zone (understatement) Especially as I’ll be going by myself! I would greatly appreciate your prayers over this time.


Why Zambia?

  • Something different to New Zealand, both in terms of the healthcare system, and also in terms of culture.
  • Connections through Kabwata Baptist church through some doctors I have been liaising with (through Pastor Joe Fleener and Pastor Conrad Mbewe).

What I will do there…

  • Four weeks general medicine plus four weeks general surgery at The University Teaching Hospital, one of the main hospitals.
  • An opportunity to put med school into practice.

Zambia University Teaching Hospital

Please pray…

  • That I will quickly get myself organised and sort out a daily routine.
  • For safety: flight, day-to-day travelling, health.
  • That I will quickly get plugged into the church and meet good friends.
  • For lots of growth: spiritually, personally, professionally/vocationally.
  • That my family (this includes you guys!) don’t miss me too much (more so vice versa!)
  • For my 2015/2016 job application process in New Zealand.


– Jayana Devathasan

Notice of 2015 Annual General Meeting

Notice is hereby given of the 63rd Annual General Meeting which will be held in the Church Auditorium on Wednesday 25th March 2015 at 7.30pm. For your information, the agenda is included below. Printed copies will be available in the church foyer on Sunday morning.

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus…”
Philippians 2:1-5

Interim Pastor Candidate and Notice of Special Members Meeting

Update 12/3/2015: At a Special Members Meeting on Sunday 8 March, the members of HBC voted in favour of appointing Richard Cutforth as interim pastor. We thank God for His faithfulness and provision.


In November last year, our Senior Pastor Peter Somervell announced that he had accepted a call to serve as Lead Pastor in Grace Church in Richmond, Nelson. Peter, Francelle and his family will be greatly missed as they begin a new chapter of their ministry at the end of March.

As per Section 5.1.1 of our Constitution, the Church may, on the recommendation of the elders, appoint an Interim Pastor to temporarily oversee pulpit arrangements in consultation with other pastoral staff and elders. An Interim Pastor helps to prepare the church by providing leadership and stability while the Search Committee looks for a new Senior Pastor.

Some of you are aware the elders have been working with a possible candidate to take up a role as Interim Pastor at HBC. They are now able to make their recommended candidate public: he is Richard Cutforth, pastor of Papakura Baptist Church.


The pastors of HBC have enjoyed a long and happy relationship with Richard over the years and he is held in high regard by many in our gospel-preaching network.

A full profile of Richard, along with his proposed job description, can be found below.

In light of this, the elders give notice that a special members meeting is scheduled for Sunday, 8 March to vote on whether to accept this appointment. If you have any queries or concerns regarding this, the elders encourage you to speak to them prior to that date. Please continue to pray for us as a church, that God would be glorified and the gospel would advance through the upcoming year.

(Click here to view the candidate profile and proposed role description.)


HBC Elders Update – January 2015

The elders at HBC would like to inform you on a number of important matters in the life and ministry of our church.

Search for an Interim Pastor

The elders are presently following some strong leads for an interim pastor who will fill the position of a Senior Pastor (temporarily) until a new one is found. This takes the pressure off the church and helps things run smoothly after Peter has gone. Please pray that the Lord provides the right individual who will be a good fit for HBC, maintaining its biblical integrity and high view of God. The elders intend bringing this individual to a members meeting as soon as one is found.

Search for new Senior Pastor

A special members meeting is scheduled on Feb. 1st for the approval of a call committee comprising of the elders plus 3 church members (see bulletin announcement). The church has already received two enquiries for this position so the elders are keen to get underway with this as soon as possible.

Jonathan’s resignation

Jonathan Macfarlane, an assistant pastor here at HBC submitted a letter of resignation to the elders at the end of 2014. His plan is not to seek another full-time ministry role at present but instead take some time out with his family and move down to Wellington and become part of a church family he knows well there. Jonathan (and Lauren) will be greatly missed; he has served faithfully at HBC over the past 7 or more years in a number of ministry roles. Their last Sunday with us will be February 1st.

Meeting with Parents of teens

There will be a meeting for all parents of teens re. HBC Youth ministry on Sunday Jan. 25th following the morning service. The purpose of this meeting is to hear from parents what might be best for 2015 (considering we will be starting without a Youth Pastor). The elders, in conjunction with Peter and Jonathan also have some options they would like to offer.

Please be in prayer for the elders and the matters that are at hand as well as for the future of HBC. Ask the Lord to lead and guide our congregation into his perfect will. He is the Great Shepherd and is able to do what no man can.

Peter Somervell, Ian Lange-Smith, Roger Alexander and Chris Wade