Our Story

In May of 1984 Weston and Annette Finlay pioneered the Thames Elim Church. This was the nineteenth Elim Church of New Zealand. Meetings were held in eight different venues until a lease was secured on our present venue in 1997.

Weston and Annette left behind them a family sheep farm on the banks of Lake Karapiro to follow God's call into ministry. They did not know then that it would lead them to the small town of Thames, on the beautiful Coromandel Peninsula. God spoke to Weston through a dream where he saw a vision of a gateway. This was confirmed to him later through the bible passage in Micah 2:12 & 13.

“I will surely gather all of you, Jacob;

I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel.

I will bring them together like sheep in a pen,

like a flock in its pasture;

the place will throng with people.

The One who breaks open the way will go up before them;

they will break through the gate and go out.

Their King will pass through before them,

the Lord at their head.”

Through a long journey of waiting and resting in God's promises, God eventually did break open the way! Upon a visit to the town, the couple felt God again confirm their call to plant a church in Thames, as the very first sign they were greeted with when turning down the main street read:


Nathan Finlay, the youngest son of Weston and Annette, only 4 months old when the family moved to Thames, was officially inducted as Thames Elim's Lead Pastor, along with his wife Jessica, at the start of 2018. Both Nathan and Jessica have grown up in Thames, attending Thames High School and representing Thames in their sporting codes. Nathan has served as the church's Youth Pastor for over 10 years and Jessica heads the worship team. On Christmas day 2017 they welcomed their first child, Adelaide Hope.