A Brief History
In 1972 the historic building “West Maling” was purchased as a “base for Evangelistic operations in Australia and throughout the South Pacific”. It was purchased by the Abundant Life Ministry, the trustees being Norman Armstrong, Gordon Gibbs and Ruth Harvey. In 1973 the name was changed to the Australian Evangelistic Association.
West Maling was then established as a Fellowship Centre and a base for evangelism, taking Isaiah 58:6-12 as a foundation scripture (v7 “Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and that you bring to your house the poor who are cast out.”)
Pastor Armstrong often recounted the story of when he first walked onto the property with Pastor Ruth without any funds and later received $70 as a seed fund, believing that “God would provide all” so that the building could be purchased.
West Maling was used in the years 1973-1980 as a base for missionary and evangelistic ministry throughout Australia, New Guinea and the Pacific Islands. The number of supporters and prayer partners was growing significantly and during a New Guinea Crusade, Pastor Armstrong related how “the Spirit of God moved upon him to start a church”.
Fifty people attended the first Sunday evening service held on the 5th October, 1980. Thereafter an afternoon service commencing at 2.30 was held followed by a fellowship meal and an evening service to accommodate those wanting to hear God’s word.
This was the beginning of the Revival Life Centre as a Church, co-founded by Pastor Norman Armstrong together with Ruth and Les Harvey.
The new Church or Chapel, as it was then referred to, was opened and dedicated on February 5 and 6, 1983. In February 2004 Revival Life Centre was officially incorporated as “Revival Life Centre Penshurst Incorporated”. Pastor Matthew Waqanivalu joined the Church as a full time Associate Pastor in March 2004.
Pastor Norm often said “I am not going to retire, I am going to refire”. However in 2005 due to failing health he handed over the leadership of the Church to Pastor Ruth who assumed the role of Senior Pastor.
In 2012 Pastor Ruth tendered her resignation as Senior Pastor and Pastors Grant and Michelle Hobbs are now in the role as Senior Pastor of Revival Life Centre. Pastor Ruth remains involved in Church life as Founding Pastor.