Peter Mortlock was a regular kid growing up on a farm in Taranaki when, at the age of twelve, his world was rocked when his father passed away.
Not long after the loss of his dad, Peter’s sister took him to church. When the preacher asked if anyone wanted to receive Jesus as their Saviour, Peter found himself standing with tears streaming down his cheeks. “I knew at that moment God was real. He touched my heart like nothing else I had ever experienced.”
Peter knew straight away he was meant to start preaching the Gospel. Not really knowing what that meant or how to go about it, he asked a minister in Stratford how to become a preacher. “To some degree, he shattered my dream because he told me you had to go to university. Well, in those days, going from Stratford to university was like going to another planet.”
Peter’s encounter with God was never forgotten but as his teenage years unfolded, he began living rebelliously.
“I felt the world owed me something for the loss of my father, and I set out to take it. I went from job to job – I’d had around 30 different jobs by the time I was 20.”
But things began to change after he met Bev, a Presbyterian minister’s daughter. She invited him to church and, although at first the sight of people clapping and singing to God seemed crazy to him, he couldn’t help noticing their sense of joy and assurance. At age 21, he was born again and filled with the Holy Spirit.
After Peter and Bev married, he began a successful career in sales, breaking records at every company he worked for. But the couple, who by then had two young sons, felt called to start a church.
In 1982, Bays Christian Fellowship (City Impact Church) was born into humble beginnings. In St Anne’s Hall in Browns Bay, Peter and Bev started with just 20 people, including themselves and their boys.
In 1982, on the 4th of July, Ps Peter and Bev Mortlock founded City Impact Church (originally Bays Christian Fellowship) in St Anne’s Hall in Browns Bay, with just 20 people, including themselves and their boys. They had the vision to reach a nation and a generation for Christ. Their contemporary approach and empowerment of others grew the church into what is seen today.
City Impact Church now has campuses across 6 countries, including 9 campuses in New Zealand and 60 mission-based campuses.
The North Shore campus in Auckland is also the home of City Impact Church School, two Childcare Centres, an Arts Academy, and TV Studios. The North Shore campus also has a sanctuary seating 2,000 people, constructed primarily by volunteers.
An online campus has also been established following the events of 2020 and is flourishing with every Sunday service.
Local outreach into the community has always been extremely important to Pastors Peter and Bev. The church runs four Community Impact Days a year which are devoted to helping those in the community.
The ‘Here to Help’ ministry which started from lockdowns, continues to provide groceries and cooked meals to families in need within local communities.
Internationally, the church supports mission work in orphanages in India and Tanzania, and health clinics in remote villages in China and Nepal.
As City Impact Church approaches its 40th birthday in 2022, the focus remains the same as in 1982, “We exist to be a church full of faith-filled Christians who co-labour together, with and, for Jesus and the Holy Spirit to build and establish a large, strong and healthy church, which glorifies God. A Church that prays and worships God, desiring to see His Kingdom established on the earth!”
“When God places something in your hand, He expects you to do something with it. When God gives you a space, He expects you to fill it.”
– Ps Bev Mortlock
In the year 1990, City Impact Church were blessed with 30 acres of land in Albany and knew that God put it in their hands for the purpose of expansion. Originally, they had thought about building a 5,000 seat capacity sanctuary. But, at the time, that was way out of the picture for council consent.
Pastors Peter and Bev worked closely with architects to bring their vision to life; a project totalling $16 million dollars. For three consecutive years they took up miracle offerings and received around $10 million dollars; an absolute miracle. They were so incredibly thankful for faithful people, who not only worked, but gave.
The God of heaven will give us success; therefore we His servants will arise and build…”
– Nehemiah 2:20
The whole building project was an absolute credit to the people of City Impact Church. Elder and civil engineer, Syd Jones, carried the faith to be able to undergo the project internally rather than outsourcing labour. Following in the legacy of his father, who constructed the clock tower in Gore, Syd believed that this was his opportunity to leave a legacy; not only to his family and the district of the North Shore, but also to the rest of New Zealand.
“Collectively, we can do so much more.”
– Ps Syd Jones
It was important that City Impact Church looked and felt like a home, more than just being a commercial building. Mark Mortlock was a key part in bringing the design of City Impact Church to life. He was responsible for the majority of the design work that went into the building; the furnishings, skirtings, textures, colours, materials. He carried the heart of the house and carried it through the design process.
“All of those little things are extremely important, and it was my job to make sure they were right.”
– Mark Mortlock
The church moved into the Sanctuary on the 25th July 2007, just in time for their 25th anniversary.
Building Quick Facts
- Poured over 800 trucks of concrete
- Poured over 8 acres in concrete
- Handled 80 tonnes of steel
- Applied 1,308 sheets of reinforcing mesh
- Laid over 37 kilometres of cable wiring
- Moved 30,000 tonnes of dirt and clay
- Worked over 100,000 man hours
The TV show, Impact for Life, has been reaching the homes of people worldwide since 2005. Filmed all over New Zealand, Impact for Life is visually stunning. It communicates a message of hope through the Word of God and the testimonies of individuals.
Ps Peter and Bev have a gift for communicating the word of God and explaining it in a way that all can understand. The TV show combines their teaching with incredible, real-life stories of people who’ve had their lives changed by Jesus.
You can watch Ps Peter’s story. Just a regular kiwi kid growing up on the farm in Taranaki. Then, at 12 years old, his world was rocked when his father died. Or watch Donna’s story; she was adopted, and then as a young woman found herself having a baby alone and giving her daughter up for adoption. Then there’s Richie, who had a troubled life, eventually ending up in prison but whose life has been turned around through finding God and learning about forgiveness. These are just a few of the many stories you can find with Impact for Life.