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Gloriavale Christian Community is a small Christian group based at Haupiri on the West Coast of the South Island in New Zealand. They were founded in the 1960s by Neville Cooper (Hopeful Christian), who in 1994 was jailed for 1 years for indecent assault upon several young girls and women.


The group was founded in 1969 by Cooper, an Australian-born evangelist who was invited to preach in New Zealand. He founded what became known as the Springbank Christian Community near Christchurch in the South Island. When this community grew too big for its property, the members bought land on the West Coast and shifted there over a period from 1991 to 1995. They named their new property in the Haupiri Valley "Gloriavale" and established the Gloriavale Christian Community. This property is about 60 km inland from Greymouth. In 1995 Neville Cooper was jailed for almost a year on sexual abuse charges. He was convicted based on the testimony of his son and of a young woman who had fled the compound.[1]


Known by some outsiders as the "Cooperites", the group rejects this name and members refer to themselves only as Christians. Members of the community live a fundamentalist Christian life in accordance with their interpretation of the teachings of the New Testament. The community attempts to uphold the example of the first Christian church in Jerusalem (Acts 2:41-47) for its principles of sharing and holding all things in common. The group teaches that the only true way to salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to the commands of God.[2]

The community earns its income from several ventures including dairying and the manufacture of gardening products made from sphagnum moss. They also run deer and sheep farms as well as run charter/scenic flights from Greymouth.[3]

Those who leave the community are shunned and denied contact with family members still remaining at Gloriavale.[4]

One Christian cult-watching group refers to Gloriavale as a "cult, both theologically and sociologically." It says that "Theologically this group is a cult of Christianity, as its theology -- as well as its practices based on that theology -- places it well outside the boundaries of the Christian faith."[5]


The community runs Gloriavale Christian Community School, a private coeducational composite (years 1-15) school with a roll of 127.[6] The school moved to the West Coast in 1990.[7]


  1. ^ Quilliam, Rebecca (23 April 2009). "Father tells of rescuing kids from West Coast cult". APN New Zealand. Retrieved 19 July 2014. 
  2. ^ What We Believe, Springbank, First Edition, The Eighth Month, 1989 (The book, researched and written by the group, sets out the way its members should live, what they should believe, and how they should behave. The book is never taken to replace the authority of the Bible, but is considered only to be guide to doctrines and beliefs.)
  3. ^ Brown, Giles (9 January 2010). "West Coast Christians in search for gas". Fairfax NZ. Retrieved 5 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "Sunday speaks to families who have recently fled Gloriavale". TVNZ. 19 April 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "Gloriavale Christian Community at a Glance". Apologetics Index. Retrieved 2 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Te Kete Ipurangi - Gloriavale Christian Community School". Ministry of Education. 
  7. ^ "Private School Review Report: Gloriavale Christian Community School". Education Review Office. November 2004. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Beale, Fleur (2009). Sins of the father: the long shadow of a religious cult. Dunedin. ISBN 978-1-877460-30-2. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°36′13″S 171°42′1.7″E / 42.60361°S 171.700472°E / -42.60361; 171.700472

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gloriavale_Christian_Community — Please support Wikipedia.
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78 news items

New Zealand Herald
Mon, 03 Aug 2015 22:18:38 -0700

A fake Facebook profile set up in the birth name of Gloriavale Christian Community leader Hopeful Christian has reportedly been used to proposition a Greymouth woman with sexual innuendo. The page is in the name of Neville Cooper. The real Neville ...


Fri, 07 Aug 2015 09:52:30 -0700

It took years of negotiation for Amanda Evans and her team to persuade the leaders of Gloriavale Christian Community on the West Coast to let the cameras into their world to make a documentary about them. The first one, Gloriavale: A World Apart ...
New Zealand Herald
Mon, 03 Aug 2015 02:52:20 -0700

Gloriavale's Christian Community School has hit back at claims it is teaching a "sexist curriculum". The school's principal Faithful Pilgrim said most female students chose to follow traditional and biblical roles because of their own faith, love for ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 22:53:50 -0700

The family, many of whose children were born in the Gloriavale Christian Community in Haupiri - on New Zealand's west coast - have moved 200 miles away to live with a 'normal' family as they begin reintegrating into society, the New Zealand Herald reports.


Thu, 20 Aug 2015 03:48:28 -0700

In der Gloriavale Christian Community. Der neuseeländische Fernsehkanal TV2 öffnete die verschlossenen Türen der Glaubensgemeinschaft. Der zweite Teil einer Dokumentation über die Sekte, "Gloriavale: Life and Death", war mit elf Prozent der ...
New Zealand Herald
Sun, 09 Aug 2015 19:44:40 -0700

Last night's Gloriavale documentary on TV2 was a ratings winner, with 477,000 Kiwis tuning in for a look into the lives of members of the secretive Christian community. The show was the second of a three part series, which has scored $459,033 from the ...

Daily Mail

Daily Mail
Tue, 28 Apr 2015 07:24:23 -0700

Former members of a remote Christian commune have been urged to speak to New Zealand police after one woman came forward to authorities. Julia, a 22-year-old who was previously living in the Gloriavale Christian Community approached police last ...


Thu, 30 Apr 2015 10:00:37 -0700

Gloriavale Christian Community, across from Lake Haupiri on the West Coast, where ex-members have spoken out about abuse. Gloriavale's men are "groomed" to have sex with underage girls and should not shoulder the blame, the granddaughter of the ...

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