How and when did City Edge Church get started?

Saturday January 5, 2007 was the day Tony & Rhonda Hodge first heard God’s call to start what was soon to become City Edge Church.

They had been discussing the previous night about the possibility of starting a new church within a 15km radius of Melbourne’s CBD, having felt for a month or two that God was moving them in this new direction. After looking at a local Melbourne map that night there were no areas that they felt any real connection with – having been born and bred in Melbourne they knew the surrounding areas quite well.

The following day they needed to collect some resource material from a Christian bookshop in Blackburn which was about 30mins from where we were living at the time.

As they were traveling back along Blackburn Road they decided to travel toward the City along Burwood Highway. As soon as they had made the turn, they felt God say: “what about this place”? They both felt an immediate confirmation that this was to be the place.

Driving toward the City, the feelings only strengthened as they discussed what God had just said and the area which they were driving through. Going a little further down Burwood Highway, they passed Deakin University on the right and started to talk and dream about the possibility of starting a church that could meet at the University.

During this time they were still part of the pastoral team at Life to the Nations Church in Endeavour Hills, (now Melbourne Lights in Hallam), and this meant that both of them wanted to pass this word by the team for their input. The team sensed that this was of God, but felt they needed further confirmation and suggested that they start a homegroup in the area and see what God would do. So, in May of 2007 they began a homegroup in Blackburn North with a great group of people from the area.

In August of that year, having wanted to prepare themselves as best they could for church planting and to get final confirmation before setting out, they completed the 4 week full time church planting course in Adelaide that was led by Leon & Pat Van Daele from the NCMI Team.

Coming back from this course only further strengthened their understanding of what would be required and gave them the final confirmation needed to establish the new church.

With the blessing of the pastoral team they then announced it to their homegroup in Blackburn North and asked if they felt God calling them to be a part of pioneering this new church. They were very glad and a little relieved that every person in the group was good to go.

Just over one year had passed and City Edge Church began at Deakin University on Sunday March 9, 2008 – the call and the dream had become a reality to the Glory of God.


In February 2015 City Edge moved to the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) Base in Surrey Hills. This allowed the church to settle into a local community and to find a base of operation as they seek to work with the other churches in Melbourne and look to extend the reach of God’s kingdom.

On Sunday May 27, 2018 Tony & Rhonda Hodge officially handed the pastoral care and oversight of City Edge Church to their good friends and deacons within the church, Ian & Mel Gould. At this time Ian was ordained as an Elder/Pastor through our partnership with New Covenant Ministries International.

Tony to Ian Handover

For further background on this change, read Tony’s Open Letter to City Edge Church, May 13, 2018 and Tony & Rhonda’s farewell message.