Our History

In January 1935, Rev. Crosen, a veteran of the New Zealand Army, who had served in WW1, and been miraculously healed from a gun shot wound,  came to Exeter to serve in Christian ministry. He held meetings in the upper part of the Old Opera House, on Main Street in Exeter, owned by Art Jones, who offered the building for weekly meetings. Mr. Jones gave his heart to Christ, and meetings, with attendance up to 250 continued to be held. The meetings were lively and exuberant,  with many people reporting decisions to follow Christ, and many healings were reported.

In 1936, the congregation moved to a house at 32 Nelson Street, owned by Della Peart. Thomas Edgar came to be the first pastor here. This group of believers became affiliated with the PAOC in 1936.

By 1938, the congregation was struggling and Rev. and Mrs. Ernest Clemens came to be the pastors in the later years of the Great Depression. More families joined the church under his ministry. Rev. Harold Kendrick came in 1944 and encouraged the congregation to buy the property on Main Street where Belongers and TJ’s are now.

People in the church, including Jenny Kipfer, put their shoulders to the wheel and built the new meeting place, which opened in Sept. 1947. This first building was gutted by fire the next February, and the church was rebuilt.

Some of the pastors through the years have been Rev. Ken Norcross, Rev. Lorne Krause, Mrs. Louise (Winn) Butler, Rev. Mel Holmes, Rev. Larry Talbot, Rev. Lloyd Johnston, Rev. Floyd Rhude, Rev. Austin Gedcke, Rev. Brian Colborne, Rev. Don Forrest, Rev. Keith Gonyou, Rev. Bob Donnan, Rev. Vernon Dean, Rev. Rod Chaulk, and presently Rev. Bob Loohuizen.

In 1970, the church relocated to the former Main Street United Church, and in 1985, another move was made to the new building at our present location.

This is the history of the buildings where the believers met, but the real history is in the hearts and souls of the many who have come to Christ and been filled with the Holy Spirit during this time. Only eternity will tell the results of the thriving ministry of Exeter Pentecostal Tabernacle.