What had moved America, several years earlier through Woodstock and music, was now moving Australia. So, Pastor Mitchell sent a band called Eden, led by a young man named Ron Burrell, to Western Australia where they played concerts and preached the Gospel of Jesus. The reception was huge!
In the little town of Collie, Western Australia, the whole town got caught up in the event. Streamers lined the streets and people came from many miles away. Schools across Australia opened up for concerts, TV stations broadcast interviews and during those ten days over 700 people gave their lives to Jesus Christ.
God had spoken to Pastor Mitchell, before the band left the United States, that Ron Burrell would come back from the tour ready to go back to pioneer a church in Australia. When the plane landed in America, Ron called Pastor Mitchell saying that he felt called to go and preach the Gospel in Australia and things began to be set in motion.
Pastor Ron Burrell started the first Perth Potters House Church on the 22nd October 1978, meeting at 11 Teddington Street, Victoria Park. The Perth Church started with a surge of growth. From the day they opened the doors of the building, 60-70 people started coming, and it grew rapidly to over 100.
From the beginning, the church was predominately a young peoples church. As a result, if the Pastor quoted: Joel 2:28 “Your old men shall dream dreams”, everyone would turn around and look at the 27yr old!
The young church was very lively, it was full of new converts, it was like a big family.
However the major focus of the church was outward! These new followers of Jesus began telling friends, family and strangers about what Jesus had done in their lives and inviting them to experience it for themselves.
Within two years the facility in Teddington Street was not big enough and in October 1980 the Church moved into a larger building at 41 Walcott Street, Mount Lawley.
In May 1981, Ps Wayman Mitchell came to Perth to Pastor the Church.
Pastor Mitchell held a vision luncheon, in June, at the Maylands Tennis Centre. After a chicken lunch, he placed a map up on the wall and asked the congregation where in Australia they could start new churches.
People began to call out names of different towns and cities around Australia. From that meeting many of those places ended up having a new church started. Most of which are still there to this day.
During this time a young Greg Mitchell (the current leader of the Potters House Christian Fellowship and son of Pastor Wayman Mitchell) first felt called by God to preach the Gospel during a Men’s Discipleship Class.
It was here in 1981 the first couple were sent out of Perth to start a new church in Geraldton, Western Australia. Lyn Litton, half-brother to Ron Burrell, went and began a Potters House church in Geraldton. This new Geraldton Church exploded in revival and very quickly became a church of 200 young people. From these early converts, came many of our current Pastors and Leaders in the Australian Fellowship.
Another five churches were started in Western Australia: Port Hedland, Collie, Bunbury, Busselton and Fremantle. Also new churches were started in Adelaide, South Australia, Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, and Brisbane in Queensland. By this stage the Perth Church was 250 people and Pastor Mitchell returned to the United States to once again, Pastor the Prescott Church.
By 1983 the church had outgrown Walcott Street and moved into the old picture theatre at 62 Scarborough Beach Road, Scarborough.
The church was now 5 years old, and by this stage many of the young single converts were married, and as a result there were lots of children and young families. New people would come into the church and be amazed by the close-knit nature of the church.
Conferences were now a regular part of the Australian Fellowship calendar. The Pagoda Ballroom, Perth Concert Hall, His Majesty’s Theatre and the Church of Christ building on Beaufort Street were all used as locations for our Conferences. The nations of Germany, England, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and China were some of the first places where a couple sent from Australia started a new church.
Today these nations have thriving churches seeing God do powerful things!
At a later period, in Scarborough, there were so many people coming to the Sunday morning service, it had to be split into two different times to accommodate everyone. This necessitated another bigger facility.
With a view to the future, the Beechline Drive-In Theatre property, in Beechboro, Perth Western Australia, was purchased in 1987. Construction, of a contemporary purpose built auditorium with ancillary facilities, commenced on the site, which is on the corner of Marshall and Beechboro Roads, Beechboro, in 1992.
At the time this site was in the middle of nowhere. However it was predicted, that the population growth in the north-eastern corridor of suburban Perth, would be the fastest growing community in Australia. Today the church is surrounded by many brand-new suburbs, schools, shopping centres and light industrial areas, vindicating the bold move, into what was then, empty bushland on the north-eastern fringe of the city of Perth..
Since that time our church has been known as the Potters House Beechboro. We have continued on with a focus of Evangelism, Discipleship and Church Planting. The vision that God gave to our Founding Pastor.
In 2009, Pastor Wayman Mitchell with his wife Nelda, came from Prescott once again, to invest personally in the ongoing growth and development of the Australian Fellowship. He pastored the church for 6 months, and during this short time he was able to guide and instruct disciples and leaders, strengthening the Australian Fellowship before returning to Prescott.
Pastor Tom Payne then became our Pastor and for 12 years, continued the great work of building faith. He also was able to impart incredible wisdom for our pastors to lead and succeed in ministry. From that time, we have experienced another wave of fruitfulness both nationally and internationally in our churches.
At the Conference in 2021, Pastor Tom Payne returned to the United States, and an Australian, Pastor Daryl Elliott became the Pastor of the Beechboro Church and Leader of the Potters House Fellowship of Australia.
Currently there are Conference Centres in Melbourne and Sydney Australia, in Papua New Guinea, in the United Kingdom, in Fiji and in Zimbabwe. These Conference Centres also send couples to start new churches throughout the world.
We continue to host the Australian Annual Conference in March where we send couples nationally and internationally. The last two Conferences, in Perth, have seen record numbers in attendance.
To date, the Australian arm has 376 churches in 31 nations of the world AND COUNTING!
We invite you to join us in this powerful work that God is doing in and through this great church, which we call home!