It all started in 1918 as a Mission Hall in Tory Street, Wellington, in a slum filled with many broken hearts and often destitute families. A group of Christian people used the Mission Hall to reach out with the love of Jesus Christ. The first Sunday morning service started in 1923 and in 1928 a new brick building was built for the growing church.
By the 1950s Tory Street was no longer a downtrodden residential area. A mission to the poor was no longer relevant in the area, and a shift was planned to another residential area. The church relocated to Elizabeth Street in May 1958, and we adopted a new name to reflect our new location and identity as a Christ-centred worshipping group.
Elizabeth Street Chapel was a church with a vision to broadcast the message of Christ over the radio. Until the 1980’s live radio broadcasts regularly included children and adult choirs, musical groups and soloists. International outreach is also in our DNA, and many mission organisations have had their beginnings through the people of this church.
Over the decades that followed we wrestled with how we could change with the times while remaining faithful to our core beliefs and values. Elizabeth Street Chapel had its highs and lows, before emerging as a vibrant, Christ-centred and Bible-based place of worship. Over time, first casually and then formally, the church became known as “E.Street”.
By the end of the millennium, the growth of the church made it clear that another building move was necessary, and in 2002 we shifted to a new facility on Hania Street. The shift meant the “E” in “E.Street” no longer made sense, and so we became The Street.
Today we believe the best way to reach people is to be a church that meets in multiple locations. Through our mission partners, we continue to rally around people who are oppressed and lost, both in New Zealand and internationally. As we continue to grow and learn, we believe we are also called to share our experience and serve the wider Church.
While the name of our Wellington church and meeting places have changed over time, our call remains the same as the original mission established on Tory Street, Wellington all those years ago. Our history reveals what it means to follow Jesus - growing in our love of God and others as we allow Him to work in and through us.