By Fidelis Sukina – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The launching of the Papua New Guinea United Church’s 50th anniversary commemorative stamps has shone a spotlight on the history of the church and grabbed the interest of Papua New Guineans and foreigners alike.
The United Church of Papua New Guinea has a rich history and one that is well-documented. London Missionaries arrived in 1871, the Methodist Missionaries from Australia arrived in 1875, and the United Church of Australia arrived later on. The three churches than united, to form the United Church of Papua New Guinea.
The United Church in PNG is celebrating 50 years this year, since the union in 1968, and they still have the name and photos of the first United Church member to be baptized by the London Missionary Society. This is on one of the stamps in a recently-launched stamp collection.
The church has grown from having missionaries landing on the shores of PNG, to growing the church throughout the country.
It is now one of the most organized indigenous churches in Papua New Guinea, with a set hierarchy that is still effective to this day.