The story of Eastgate began when a group of people worshipping at Panmure Baptist had a vision for a satellite church in East Auckland. Within a short space of time, three homegroups formed the nucleus of the church known as Pigeon Mountain Fellowship and started meeting weekly at Farm Cove Intermediate School. After a successful twelve months, the need for a pastor of its own became apparent.
When Allan and Lynette arrived, the church offices were based at Panmure Baptist Church, however Allan and Lynette purchased a home with a view to it being used as a church base. It wasn’t long before the church began to grow and employed a part time secretary, Judith Grobelny, who worked in the office located in the Taylors’ basement. A few years later, the office moved to Elliot Street and then to 14 Ben Lomond Crescent where it remained based until the church purchased the current facilities.
Sunday services were the highlight of the week, having commenced in October 1984 in Farm Cove Intermediate. Four years later they moved to Pakuranga College Hall. Associate Principal Athol Agnew, who had recently joined the church with his family, was instrumental in obtaining the consent of the college. The years in the college were wonderful years of growth with many new people joining the church and new ministries starting. In March 1998 the lease at the college was terminated and in AprilSunday services began at the Rugby Club in Lloyd Elsmore Park (complete with the lingering stench of cigarettes and alcohol from the night before!) As there was no storeroom available, a truck was purchased to transport all the equipment that was needed, with set up starting at 6:30am every Sunday.
While the original vision had been to grow on relationships rather than to purchase land and buildings, the huge job of setting up every Sunday was proving difficult to sustain. Back in 1995 the church had purchased land on the corner of Botany and Cascades Road, but it became increasingly clear that it was too small for church requirements. Finally in 1998 the decision was made to sell the land and purchase a vacant, dilapidated warehouse at 5 Ben Lomond Crescent. In faith, the building was purchased. The church was renamed Eastgate Christian Centre and held its first service at the new facility in November 1999. Although the church is blessed with its fine facilities, Pastor Allan has always emphasized the church is not about buildings but about people and that the strength of the church lies in its love for God and people; that is what matters most!