About Us

Liberty Life Church is part of New Life Churches International. 

Our church is led by Pastors Grant and Abby Bateson.  A dynamic and on fire couple who want to see all people set free, released into their potential and be passionate about their relationship with God.

Not only that but the people in our church are friendly, welcoming and supportive – a great family to be part of.

There is an amazing team who are passionate about kids and about creating an environment where they are loved, valued and encouraged to be all they can be. Kids Church is continually growing and challenging the kids to grow in their relationship with God. Youth are growing in numbers and having fun while keeping God the centre.  Plus so much more …

Why not come and check us out this Sunday!


Our vision is: Encounter God, Strong Relationships, Kingdom Come.

Vision Statement:

We would be a church that embraces freedom and abundant life in Jesus Christ, and out of that we would impact and influence a generation for Him

Our Culture:

Is that we would be:

  • A family who are committed to growing in our relationship with Jesus as we live according to His word, and are empowered by His Spirit.
  • A family who desire to share the Good News and love of God by reflecting Jesus, and out of that influencing our community, nation and world for Him.
  • A family who love God and love others.
  • A family who are committed to growing in freedom and wholeness in our lives and relationships.
  • A family of the generations who are kingdom and family focused, life giving and spirit filled.
  • A family who encourage one another and who spur each other on.

Our Values:

- Worship        - Presence        - Word        - Generations        - Community        - Serving

- People        - Mission        - Fun        - Authenticity        - Love        - Honour



Senior Pastors

 Grant & Abby Bateson

Ps Grant & Abby Bateson

Ps Grant & Abby Bateson

Grant and Abby have been Leading Liberty Life church since October 2012. They have been married since 2004 and have 3 children. They love the outdoors and having fun. Grant grew up in Liberty Life Church and together have been involved in the church since 2002 in Missions, Hospitality, Bethel House, mens and womens ministries and have led a life group for 7 years.

They are passionate about seeing every person be all that God has created them to be, in Christ and to make the most of life. They have a love for people, being involved in the community and growing the kingdom of God.



Tom & Jenny McDowall

Tom-and-JennyTom & Jenny are amazing leaders and a real strength at Liberty. They have  3 married children with more grandchildren coming all the time. They have moved a number of times due to work in their early married years living in; Wellington, Twizel, Cromwell, and Te Karaka before settling here in The Bay.

They have been involved in Liberty Life Church for over 13 years and together run Business Life and Jenny leads the Wednesday ladies group and Sonbeams on Sundays.. Their interests include family, business, hospitality and motorsports.

Paul & Janine Barr

Paul & Janine Barr 2017Paul & Janine have been part of the Liberty Life family for 27 years. Paul is a school counselor who enjoys coaching and interacting with young people. He values helping develop a culture where people bring out the best in themselves and others. Janine is an occupational health nurse and qualified naturopath. She has a desire to see people walking in full health and wholeness – body soul and spirit.

They have a passion for people experiencing the presence of God through faith in the Word of God, wholehearted praise and worship and having God ‘s heart for people

John & Rachael Whelan

John & Rach Elders 17John & Rachael have been active members of Liberty Life Church for over 10 years. They run a prophetic life group and are both leaders in our youth programme Generation Life. Rachael also works on staff here at church in Finances and is our Pastoral Care Facilitator.  They have a heart for young people and a passion to see lives transformed.  They have 2 children and their interests include surfing, snowboarding & natural health.



Grant Bateson – Senior Pastor

Abby Bateson – Senior Pastor

Rachael Whelan – Finances and pastoral care.

Rebecca Ferguson – Adminstration

Naomi Anderson – Finances & Cleaner

Lisa Patterson – Finances

Chrissy Cochrane – Administration for Kids Church



Grant Bateson, Tom McDowall, Jonathan Segedin, Aaron Patterson, Isaac Cochrane

All the trustees are successful and savvy business men in their own right and have proven themselves faithful. These men oversee the business side of the Church functions and help to keep the church accountable in all its actions.

Statement of Faith

As part of the New Life Churches we believe in a wonderful, powerful God who loves us and wants us to walk as His Sons and Daughters daily for our lives.

Follow this link to read our New Life Churches International Statement of Faith


A Brief Church History

1993 Liberty Life Church 20yr celebration image

Liberty Life Church was planted in Whakatane in 1973 and started it’s life as Whakatane Christian Fellowship.

It was held in a few different locations around the town until an old quarry site was purchased on Wairaka Rd and in 1993 after a year of building, the Liberty Centre was opened.

During this time Liberty planted several other Christian Fellowships: Taneatua, Edgecumbe, Ohope, Matata, New Plymouth, Rotorua and Opotiki.

Liberty Life has had the rich investment from the following Pastors:

  • Don & Eileen Onekawa (1973 – 1982)
  • Bruce & Maude McDonald (1982 – 1993)
  • Carl & Doreen Jukes (1993 – 1996)
  • Rob & Beryl Wheeler (1996 – 1997) interim
  • In 1997 Ian & Christina McDonald were commissioned as Pastors and led together through to August 2011 when Christina sadly passed away. Ian carried on leading courageously for another year
  • Grant and Abby Bateson began leading in 2012 and are the current leaders.
If you would like to read more about the church history click here.