Assemblies of God

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First started in Tonga in 1906, when a group of missionaries arrived. The leader of the group was an American and it included Fijians, Indians and one New Zealander. They immediately started a well-planned evangelistic outreach programme.

After 9 months, most of the members of this group returned. Two missionaries couples stayed behind and looked after the work.

AOG is regarded the fastest growing religious group in the Kingdom. This is with regard to an average annual growth rate of 20% since 1976.

There were 16 churches mostly located on Tongatapu and around Nukualofa, the site where the work started. This was by the year 1992. Smaller AOG groups are also to be found in the outer islands groups. Sixteen full time pastors and the same number of assistant pastors, led by a local superintendent, were looking after their flock in 1992. Winds of Change.

Most of the new converts are from the Free Wesleyan Church, a few from the Mormons, Free Church of Tonga and Roman Catholic Church.

With a typical emphasis on church autonomy the AOG in Tonga is nearly self-supporting and gets money from the mother church overseas only for bigger building projects.

The AOG is not a member of the Tongan National Council of Churches though the president does not exclude membership as an option in the future. But the AOG is a member of an interdenominational committee of Pentecostals and Charismatic which includes members of the Free Wesleyan Church, Church of Tonga, Free Church of Tonga, Seventh-Day Adventists, Tokaikolo Christian Fellowship, Anglican Church and Brethren, which because of its composition has a far wider range than the ecumenical body, and proves that cooperation beyond denominational borders is possible in certain areas of common interest. Winds of Change.