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Leading the Church

“To equip God’s people for works of service so that the body of Christ may be built up…”  Eph 4:12 (ESV)

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Jesus is Lord of His church.   The Scriptures teach that the congregation should appoint a plurality of qualified men to serve as overseers or elders, to direct the spiritual life of the church at the pleasure of the congregation. 


Elders are required to meet the qualifications as laid out in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1. Some of our elders are employed by the church while others work in secular jobs.  

Our Elders are:


Deacons are spiritually mature Christians who are appointed by the church to oversee practical areas of ministry so that the elders can accomplish their God-given calling of shepherding and teaching (a pattern first seen in Acts 6).


Deacons are required to meet the stated qualifications for this office as laid out in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Our Deacons are:

  • Mike Austin (Sound & Audiovisual)

  • David Chua (Treasurer & Finance)

  • John Gray (Chairperson, Health & Safety)

  • Cathy Hawley (Fellowship)

  • Tim Dhinakar (Property)


Senior Pastor            

Associate Pastor         

Office Administrator   Ray Scrivener (Tuesdays to Fridays)

Office Volunteer        Lynette Dersley (Mondays)

Custodian                Geoffrey Downing

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Ray Scrivener I Office Administrator

Ray serves as the friendly face behind the counter in our church office. | Day off: Monday


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Chris grew up attending church and Sunday School, but only began to seriously consider the Christian faith while going through baptism classes as new parents in an Anglican church in South Africa. After becoming a born-again Christian, Chris and his wife Ruth joined St James Church in Kenilworth, Cape Town under the Bible teaching of Frank Retief.

Chris has attended HBC since 1996, and was baptised as a believer in 2002. He has worked in the building industry for many years, but is now retired. Within HBC, Chris oversees the Children’s ministries, co-leads a homegroup. In his spare time, Chris enjoys working on his two-seater airplane and playing with his grandchildren.

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Dion grew up in South Auckland and was raised in a non-Christian family, but remembers his grandmother’s love and joy for Christ. At the age of 20, his cousin invited him to a Saturday night youth group where he first heard the gospel and responded in repentance and faith in Christ for the forgiveness of his sins.

Dion joined HBC in 2006, and over the years has served as a Sunday School teacher, bible reader and block course coordinator. Dion is part of the organising committee for the Stand for the Gospel conference hosted at HBC each year.

Dion shares: “While I’m not sure what ministries I would start or continue as an elder, I am sure that I love the people of the church family here at Howick Baptist. With the collective wisdom and guidance of the men I serve with and more importantly the Word of God and Holy Spirit working in me, I will look to serve wherever that may be to God’s glory.”

Dion currently works full-time as a vehicle painter. He is married to Ray and together they have one daughter, Megan.

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Ian was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in a Christian family. He remembers accepting Jesus at 5 years of age, but truly committed to follow Him as Lord and Saviour at the age of 12 after hearing a gospel challenge in an evening service. Following high school and two years of military service, Ian moved to the Natal region in South Africa to study engineering, and met his wife Alison there. After getting married in 1984, they moved to Johannesburg to work and raise a family. They attended Honeyridge Baptist Church during this time, enjoying a season of formative spiritual growth. Ian and his family moved to Auckland in 2001.

Ian serves the HBC family by leading a homegroup and as Chair of the Missions Committee. He works full-time as a telecommunications manager for an office equipment supplier. Ian and Alison have three adult sons: Bruce, Keith and Hylton. When he’s not working, Ian enjoys sailing Paper Tiger class catamarans and cycling along New Zealand’s many bike trails.



Richard Cutforth was privileged to grow up in a Christian family, and attended Whangarei Baptist Church as a child. Although he attended Sunday School and Bible classes, he rebelled as a teenager and pursued a self-centred life. At age 20, Richard became disillusioned with his lifestyle and felt guilt and conviction about how he was living. He confessed his sins and asked for forgiveness through Jesus Christ, and for the first time in his life experienced true freedom. He was baptised a number of weeks later in the same church he was once kicked out of. Today, Richard loves seeing the Lord work in people’s hearts and changing their lives over the years, and has a passion to help raise up new workers for the Harvest.

Richard served as the Pastor of Papakura Baptist Church for 15 years. In 2015, he served as Interim Pastor of Howick Baptist, then as Senior Pastor from 2016 to 2024. Richard has been married to Donelda for over 30 years and has four adult sons who are also his brothers in Christ.

As Associate Pastor, Richard is responsible for assisting the Senior Pastor, especially in our preaching, teaching, visitation and counselling ministries, and in fostering godly relationships among the congregation. He has a particular but not exclusive focus on pastoral ministry to new comers and to the older members of our congregation.

Email: | Day off: Friday

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Sam Cutforth was born in Levin into a Christian home. He put his trust in Jesus at 6 one night in bed when feeling that he wasn’t right with God. Since that first confession of faith, he has grown more and more in love and service of Christ. Prior to full-time gospel ministry, Sam worked as a builder, completing his apprenticeship in Auckland. Sam studied at Sydney Missionary Bible College from 2013-2015, and began serving at HBC in January 2016 as an Assistant Pastor, then as the Associate Pastor. He was inducted into the role of Senior Pastor in 2024. Sam and his wife Anna married in 2015, and now have two daughters.

As Senior Pastor, Sam is responsible for our preaching, teaching, outreach, discipleship, pastoral and marriage guidance ministries, along with the administration of the church and the care and direction of staff and volunteers. He has a particular but not exclusive focus on pastoral ministry to the younger members of our congregation.

Email: | Day off: Friday



Michael is Ngai Tahu, and became a Christian in his early teenage years. For most of his adult life until retirement he worked in education, primarily in Christian schooling, during which time he also served in a variety of churches and Christian ministries, including as a university chaplain, National Chaplain for Girl's Brigade, and as an Associate Staff Worker for the Tertiary Students Christian Fellowship in Auckland. He writes and publishes books on Christian life and theology. Michael and his wife Priscilla (who have four adult children and nine grandchildren) have been members of the HBC family since 2018.

Michael describes his greatest passion as "making Christ known and the Bible understood in a way that brings peace with God, certainty of eternal life, and  vitality to every aspect of life."

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Andrew was born in Hong Kong, and immigrated to New Zealand with his wife Debbie, and son,
Kenneth, in 1987. It was a life changing experience, including transforming their walk with the Lord.
Andrew and Debbie were Christians and went to church in Hong Kong on Sundays. However, starting
new life in a new country, with a job, they were emotionally and spiritually vulnerable. God used this
opportunity to teach them what faith in Him really means.

They had attended Chinese Baptist Churches after moving to New Zealand, then in 1997, they
started attending Howick Baptist Church and have remained here ever since.
Andrew’s first HBC ministry was visiting the senior members of the congregation. Barry Thomas,
one of the elders at the time was considering stepping down from the visiting ministry and Andrew
was happy to take it up. With the support of Debbie, Andrew has been able to build up friendship
with the seniors. Andrew and Debbie realise what a privilege it is, and are always grateful to have a
chance to serve them.

Andrew joined the eldership in June 2021, and prays that the Lord will use him in pastoral care of
the flock.

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