Meet the Team header

Eastgate is all about people, and here on staff we think we have a great team of diverse, gifted, passionate and fun people who keep the cogs of our church turning around. However, the people you see below only scratches the surface of the wonderful people who are involved in leading and making this church all that it is. Come meet us all some time!

Allan and Lynette

Allan & Lynette

Senior Pastors

Pastor Allan has led this church for more than 30 years as senior pastor!  He is a man who believes God for great things.

Allan and Lynette moved from out west to east Auckland and have never looked back since, and neither has the church! Three sons and daughter-in-laws later, they are kept busy with a growing number of grandchildren, DIY plans, and heaps of fun.  When not talking to people or preparing messages, you’ll find Allan doing one of his other two passions – golf or fishing. He is never short of a good story.

Christine Saywell

Pastor Christine Saywell

Assistant Pastor (Congregation Care and Development)

Christine is Assistant Pastor at Eastgate with responsibility for Congregation Care and Development. She is passionate about the church being connected and effective in the local community. She believes that each person will find true purpose and fulfilment when in a practical and real relationship with God.

Having lived and served in several places around the north island the Saywell family have been settled in East Auckland since the beginning of 2012. Christine and her husband Vaughan have two amazing almost teenage girls; Britney-Jane and Nicole. They love going on new adventures, drinking good coffee, and hanging out with good friends. Together, Vaughan and Christine have been involved in church ministry for over 20 years.

Peter McCartney

Peter McCartney

Business Manager

Every Church needs someone like Peter! As well as oversighting the property, management and administration needs and staff of Eastgate. While doing this with excellence Peter also has an incredible passion to the evidence of God’s presence in both the organization and the people of Eastgate.

Peter and his wife Marguerite have three adult children; David, Heather and Sarah all married and still living in Auckland, along with several grandchildren. After 30+ years of employment with Westpac Banking Corporation working in a number of roles throughout the country specialising in International Trade and Foreign Exchange, Peter stepped down from the industry to accept an offer to oversight the Management and Administration needs of the church. Family is a high priority for Peter who spends as much time with them as possible including weekends away and holidays together. Peter is a keen golfer and enjoys fishing.


Sandee Everett

Pastor Sandra Everett

Children and Families Pastor

Sandra is responsible for the programmes and activities that involve children and families. She loves partnering with families to support, inspire and equip them to be the spiritual nurturers of their children at home, walking along the road, in the car or wherever teachable moments arise.

Sandra lives with her husband Murray and two children Emma and Grace.  After spending 2 years self-employed, Sandra has been the Children’s Pastor at Eastgate since Jan 2011. Prior to that she has been involved in tourism, hospitality, administration, account management and sales. She has served regularly in children’s ministry for 20 years.  She loves spending time on the water with her family who all enjoy boating, fishing, and water sports. Sandee is also a keen crafter and enjoys scrapbooking and card making.

Sam Taylor

Sam Taylor

Assistant Pastor

Sam is Assistant Pastor at Eastgate with responsibility for Young Adults and facilitating key events and Sunday services. Sam loves gathering people together to dream big, get creative and see ideas become reality, drawing people closer to God through the creativity that our Creator has birthed in people.

Sam became part of Eastgate at 18 months old and has called Eastgate “home” ever since.  He grew up serving in the church, being mischievous and bothering people from the drums.  Sam met his wife Stef while serving on the worship team, and they now have 2 cheeky but handsome boys: Malachi and Cooper. Sam has been on staff since 2012, after spending two years at Hillsong College in Sydney, Australia.  Sam loves spending time with his family and friends, is a passionate fisherman, coffee drinker and lover of Jesus, and yes, has been known to combine all these elements for an epic adventure!

Caleb Finlayson

Caleb Finlayson

Youth Pastor

Caleb Finlayson is the Youth Pastor at Eastgate and also works in Pakuranga College as a Youth Worker and Mentor under the organization Young Life. Caleb has a real heart to see the young people of today grow in their identity in Christ discover their place in the world, and see them develop in their leadership skills.

Caleb has grown up through the intermediate and highschool ministries here at Eastgate and is part of the Churches DNA. He studied at Carey Baptist College doing a Bachelor of Applied Theology, along with a Diploma in Pastoral Ministry, specialising in Youth. He married the beautiful Rachel Finlayson in 2015 and funnily enough she also works at Eastgate. Caleb is a true outdoors-man and will take any opportunity to go tramping, kayaking or anything that involves being outside. He is passionate about working with youth because he believes that many of life’s crucial decisions are made at this age, and seeing youth make the decision to follow Christ is a true reward.

Melody Mackereth

Melody Mackereth

Assistant Youth Pastor (Intermediate Youth)

Melody heads up Eastgate’s ‘Charged Youth’, our community for those in school years 7-9. Melody loves the energy and enthusiasm the intermediates have, and finds purpose in helping them figure out who they want to become.

Melody grew up in the suburbs of Auckland, coming to Eastgate with her family when was 11 year old. She has been employed by the church since 2011, after completing a Bachelor of Graphic Design at AUT University. Melody recently married Andrew, and both love to go on road trips together, entertain friends, play sports and enjoy the outdoors. Melody also plays the guitar, and has recently acquired a banjo and drum kit – which she intends to put more time into learning.

Jess Schwerzel

Jessica Schwerzel

Children’s Church Team Leader

Jess is responsible for the Godzone and Kings Kids team of leaders at Children’s Church. She also oversees the curriculum and Sunday programme. She has a passion for working with Children, and growing a team of leaders who love to see Children having fun together, experiencing God’s presence and choosing to respond to Him personally.

Jess is a full time student studying Primary Teaching at Laidlaw College. She has grown up attending Eastgate, and has been regularly serving in the Children’s Ministry team since 2010. Outside of this, Jess is one of our Alive Youth leaders, she also enjoys serving as a leader or Area Head at Totara Springs Kids Camps. Jess loves to be organised, and enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to the beach, drinking coffee, and watching or playing netball.

Rachel Finlayson

Rachel Finlayson

Events Coordinator and Admin Assistant

Rachel is our administration extraordinaire! Her favourite part of the role is planning community events and using her skill of administration to plan and organise effectively. Rachel has a rare passion and gift for planning and administration; nothing gets her going like spreadsheets and post-it notes!

Rachel lives locally in Farm Cove with her husband Caleb. They tied the knot in May 2015. Rachel has been attending Eastgate for over ten years since she moved here with her family in 2006. Rachel was a Vet Nurse for 3 years after completing a Diploma in Veterinary Nursing but discovered a passion for event planning and admin after planning the annual Eastgate Youth Camps for a couple of years. She has since been working at Eastgate since October 2015. Rachel also enjoys scrapbooking and socialising with friends.

Arnold Karsten

Arnold Karsten

Arnold is passionate about spending time with people who ask questions about the Christian faith. He leads Alpha and other classes for anyone new to knowing Jesus. You will also find Arnold encouraging men to become strong and confident.

Arnold is married to Rene and have 3 children. Originally from South Africa, Arnold moved to Aotearoa in the late 90’s. He has been employed at Eastgate since 2010 and has added quality in many areas of ministry and technical expertise. He loves good coffee, talking with new and old friends and coaching soccer.


5 Ben Lomond Cres, Pakuranga 2010 • 09 576 1500