Richard Waugh came to Asbury in 2007 for the residential Beeson pastor program. He and his wife Jane and three children arrived from far-away New Zealand. Richard graduated with a D.Min and was awarded the Faculty’s Distinguished Dissertation Award for 2010. He currently serves as National Superintendent of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand, President of the South Pacific Conference of the Wesleyan Methodist Church and is Chairperson of the New Zealand National Church Leaders Meeting (all denominations). He is the South Pacific regional secretary for World Methodist Evangelism.
Ministry in New Zealand
I served the Methodist Church of New Zealand for many years but by the late 1990s the denomination was probably the most liberal Methodist Church in the world, accepting ministers living in sexual sin and more recently embracing same-sex marriage. Many of us prayed for a renewed Methodism, full of grace and truth.
In July 2000 the Wesleyan Methodist Church of New Zealand began with five ministers, five small congregations, no property assets but with a deep passion for Scriptural holiness, transformed lives by the Holy Spirit and real missional intent.
Despite the secular culture, we have grown through church planting from 5 to 25 churches, from 5 pastors to 51 pastors (most bi-vocational – including many younger men and women). Our renewal movement has gained full membership in the World Methodist Council, and we are pleased to take our place at the ecumenical table.
The Catholic Spirit I experienced at Asbury inspired me to take up senior ecumenical positions in the national New Zealand Church scene. Certainly in the Wesleyan theological stream we are especially well placed to bring unity within the wider Body of Christ.