Free Church of Tonga
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Founder was the first King, George Tupou I. Because of this, the FCT can claim to be the first independent church in the South Pacific Islands.
FCT experienced severe setbacks through two major breakaways. The first one was in 1928 of the Church of Tonga, the second one then was recently in 1984. The later of the two was through the breakaway of the Free Constitutional Church. Despite these severe setbacks, the FCT in terms of size is still in the forth place in the kingdom (after the FWC, the Mormon Church and the Roman Catholic Church).
If ever there will be someone who wants to know what church life was like by the end of last century, the best picture of this is of visiting the FCT. This is because of how the Ministers dress, the style of the services, the interpretation of the scriptures-they still use the King James version, the moral cate and the hymns, which have hardly been changed over the last 100 years.
'The constitution of the church, written in 1885 and confirmed in 1925, forbids any connections to or with other church bodies or organizations.' Winds of change.
Their only cooperation today is with the Bible Society. The leadership has been handed down in the same family line for about a decade now! It is said that this was the main cause of the Free Constitutional Church's breakaway, and most likely to be the major contributing factor to the slight decline in numbers since the mid 1970s.