By Ian Breward
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Additional resources for A History of the Churches in Australasia (Oxford History of the Christian Church)
The reasons for religious choice often lay in family rivalries, and jockeying for titles which were a vital part of the Samoan and Tongan status system. Under Dyson and George Brown, Samoan Methodism consolidated, and became a separate District in 1863. Dyson and Brown acted decisively to return the Samoans to authentic Methodism once it became clear that union of the two missions was unacceptable to their Samoan colleagues. Ministry was reorganized by Dyson into leoleo (overseers), aoao (teachers), failauga (local preachers), and taitai (class leaders).
A catechism was finished in 1801. By October 1812, Pomare left the cult of Oro and requested baptism, but despite careful teaching was not granted his wish until 16 May iSip. 50 50 J. Garrett, To Live among the Stars (Suva, 1982) 13—31. 26 A History of the Churches in Australasia The missionaries were still deeply concerned about his fondness for alcohol, his bisexuality, and his involvement in war, but they recognized that his behaviour had changed. In November 1815, he regained Tahiti, thanks to muskets sold by Sydney traders, but he treated his enemies with Christian clemency.
They left a profound imprint on religious life, shaped political change, introduced rudimentary education, and interchanged cultural and foodproducing techniques.