In 1828, under the influence of a Samoan chief who had visited Tonga, Christianity of a WM persuasion was introduced. After a visit to request a missionary and in the wake of the Tongan 'revival', in 1835 Peter Turner arrived with Tongan missionaries and found 2,000 converts. Meanwhile work had also begun under the London Missionary Society and the early years were marred by misunderstanding and rivalry, despite attempts at comity. The Methodists withdrew until 1857, when the newly autonomous Australian Conference, encouraged by the veteran John Thomas, decided to resume the mission despite continuing difficulties. The Samoan Methodist Church remained small, but became autonomous in 1964. In 1997 it reported a membership of 31,979 and a community of 35,625.
See also Brown, George