1957-1958 / NZBTI Certificate (Queen Street Campus)
“There is a longing in my heart which compels me to go and give others that assurance of salvation and share with them the joy, satisfaction and peace which I have had since my conversion” wrote Te Wahangu Hayward in his application to the NZ Bible Training Institute. He was converted at an Easter camp at age 15, and “went steadily ahead in his Christian life since the day of his conversion” wrote one of his referees to the NZBTI. Te Wahangu (known as Wally) entered NZBTI in 1957 with a desire to work among Māori after completing his two year certificate. He became the full-time worker for Taumata Christian Crusades, an evangelistic movement which grew out of the United Māori Mission (UMM) hostels, led by former UMM hostel boy and evangelist Muri Thompson.
In 1959 he began assisting in the hostel work of the United Māori Mission which provided accommodation and support for young Māori men who had moved to Auckland for training or employment. During the early 1960s he managed UMM’s Gillies Ave hostel in Epsom. Along with others in UMM, Wally was a founding member and leader of the Māori Evangelical Fellowship in the mid-1960s – an indigenous church which became the fastest growing church in the country at the time. He later became the pastor of the Mangere Māori Evangelical Fellowship (MEF).
In the mid-1980s Wally volunteered his services as a prison chaplain at Paremoremo and Mt Eden prisons – a ministry which lasted 33 years until his retirement at age 82. Wally served as chairman of both the Māori Evangelical Fellowship and United Māori Mission Councils, and was a founding member of the Bible College of New Zealand’s Te Rūnanga in 1991. He was still pastoring the Mangere MEF at the time of his death in 2019, aged 84.
At his funeral, it was noted that one of Wally’s constant sayings was that he would “never give up serving the Lord until his toes were pointing upwards”.