Sunday, July 18, 2010

Good Sheperd Lutheran Church gets a new lease of life

Port Moresby is undergoing a massive building boom at the moment, especially in light of the liquefied natural gas project, with new buildings and renovation being carried out just about everywhere in the city.
Koki, site of the famous Koki Market, is no exception.
Entrance to Good Sheperd Lutheran Church.Note the church does not have a door and the windows are broken.
However, one building that stands out like a sore thumb amidst the building boom is the iconic Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, which was first built in the early 1960s.
A view of the rundown Good Sheperd Lutheran Church at Koki

Bell tower at Good Sheperd Lutheran Church

While other Lutheran churches around the country have progressed over the year, the church building at Koki has become derelict, with the all-too-conspicuous hands of Father Time.
Not to be outdone, the English and Tok Pisin congregations at Good Shepherd are now embarking on a major fundraising drive to renovate the church, at an estimated cost of K500-K600, 000.
Fundraising committee members including English chairman Kingston Alu, Tok Pisin chairman Perry Gene, maintenance committee chairman Awan Sete and pastor Jerry Mack are appealing to congregation members – both past and present – to give generously towards this cause.
Sete is assistant commissioner of police and divisional commander of national capital district (NCD) and Central provinces.
Already, one business house, Namba Wan Trophy Ltd (NWTL), has chipped in K50, 000 and has set up collection boxes in all its stores throughout Port Moresby to assist the Good Shepherd cause.
NWTL’s range of stores include Kwik Shop, Paradise Palms, Fone Haus, fone2fone, Sea View Restaurant and NWTL supermarkets.
“Nambawan Trophy is proud and happy to assist,” says general manager Gui.
The history of Good Sheperd Lutheran Church goes back to after World War 11 when a increasing population of expatriate Lutherans decided to set up a place of worship.
“The building itself was built in the 1960s,” Mack says.
“All material was brought in from Australian and these have gone through a lot of wear and tear over the years.
“In the 1960s, New Guineans, especially Morobeans and Highlanders, came to Port Moresby as labourers and a Tok Pisin congregation was established alongside the English congregation.
“To date, these two congregations run side by side, operating independently, but reporting to the Papua district council.
‘Now, there are talks of merging the two congregations into one congregation, with two separate church services, and hopefully, that will be done at the opening of the renovated church.
“Since the establishment of the Lutheran church in the country, it has produced many educated elite who are holding top jobs in the country.
“As such, we are appealing to them to give something back to the church.”
Alu says Koki is the first established Lutheran congregation in the Papua district.
“From there,” he adds, “it branched out into Kerema, Alotau, Popondetta, Daru and Kiunga.
“Even in NCD itself, there are now about 10 different Lutheran congregations around the city.
“”This (Koki) is the pioneer congregation.
“At one stage, all the people at Marimari (Gordon), Gerehu and all the others worshipped only at Koki.
“We are appealing to all those who have worshipped here at one time or another to help the Good Sheperd congregation with the project it is undertaking.”
It is envisaged that work will begin next month and be completed by the end of this year.
Renovation work will include complete maintenance, replacement of all rotten timber and roofing, new electrical wiring, state-of-the-art public announcement system and quality tiling.
“This is to make it conducive to worshippers,” Alu explains.
“We hope to have everything completed by the end of this year.
“This is a major project for our congregation.
“Congregation members must remember that they are not only there to worship, but they must also contribute to the wellbeing of the church.”
Mack says amidst the gloom, doom and despair of social problems in the city, churches such as Good Shepherd offer a ray of sunshine.
“In the city, we have a lot of social problems, law and order problems, alcohol and drug abuse, and the churches have a role to play in addressing these issues.
“My appeal is that all corporate organisations, foreign missions and government must realise the importance of the work of the churches, especially in Port Moresby, if we are to curtail these problems.
“They must work hand-in-hand with churches to combat these problems.
“The congregation has appointed the divisional commander of NCD and Central, assistant commissioner Awan Sete, as the chairman of the maintenance committee.”
Every Sunday, Lutheran faithful flock to Koki for service at Good Sheperd, in both English and Tok Pisin congregations.
“We have more than 1,000 people each Sunday, 500-plus in each congregation,” Mack says.
“If they, or anybody out there is willing to assist in cash or kind, that would be very good.”
Should anybody wish to assist the Good Sheperd cause, they can contact Sete on mobile 72182373, Mack on 72768997 or Alu on 76881932.


  1. Malum Nalu.
    Thank you for having to discuss the Koki Lutheran project in your blog. Koki is historical, it has a place for Lutherans especially on POM. Even for visitors out of town or overseas, Koki has a special place.
    One thing that always concerns me when I travel into worship is: The location is very awkward, especially when there is the interchanging time of the Services on Sunday Morning. Feel like walking in the market place in Lae on Saturday morning, pushing, shoving in the rush hour to find a seat in the pews. There is also the problem with parking. The location of the Church is hidden away, in a back alley. It is hidden from any new comer wanting to visit or come for service.
    The membership of Koki has some prominent Papua New Guineans, lawyers, Accountants, Dept Secretaries, Business men/women and Politicians and diplomats. I am sure they can contribute to face-lifting or even moving to a more ideal location.
    Lutheran Church has contributed to a lot to development in PNG. There are many Lutherans in places of Authority who can give of their time, resources and knowledge to meaningfully contribute.
    Secondly, out of all the Lutheran Congregations in Port Moresby, Koki would be ranked as affluent congregation. The membership can, I am sure afford to build up the Church, rather than be like a beggar or having Namba Wan Trophy become their offering boy.
    I am sure if the members faithfully paid their 1/10 Tithes, this project will be nothing. This should be a challenge. Do we continue to be beggars and borrowers in our rich country? Do we have to send a donor-funding request? We can do it. We have the people, the resources, and the money. We have it all! It is at the finger tips of the congrgants…

    Bapa Bomoteng

    1. Mr please rephrase your second paragraph (beggars/offering boy/borrowers. It seems that you are one of those who JUST COMMENT with no actions.
      Yes you gave an option of 1/10 tithes, but it all depend on each individual congregation members faith.
      I hope you have seen the latest improvements.
      Thanks to late Pr Mack and the organising team and big thanks to our heavenly father.