October 19, 2017

Loyal Churches in South Africa

By Gene Tope

Of an estimated nineteen European congregation in the Republic of South Africa, at least six are standing firm in spite of current digressions in the church. This article is written to give you some information and encouragement regarding the cause of Christ in South Africa. Though all six churches are small and relatively new, the spirit among them is good. As long as these hope for the future of in this country shines brethren stand fast, the church of Christ brightly.

Krugersdorp

The church began meeting here four years ago. At the present time there are 18 members, all adults. The church meets in a nice municipal hall with all necessary facilities furnished. The prospects for the future growth of the church are good. The seven men in the congregation are actively engaged in teaching the gospel. Harmony prevails.

I will be leaving Krugersdorp early next year to come home for a visit. After April I can be contacted at 421 N. Mt. Vernon, Prescott, Arizona. In my absence brother Basil Cass, a member of this congregation, will carry on in my stead. Basil is experienced and capable of teaching the Word. The church here will attempt to support him fully during my absence.

Pinetown

This is the newest of the congregations, having begun just this last year. Piet Joubert, a South African, is the capable preacher. They are off to a good start with 10 members who meet together in the Boy Scout Hall. We can look forward to hearing good things from this work that is located just 10 miles outside of the larger city of Durban.

Port Elizabeth

Perhaps we should say this is the newest congregation. When Andy de Klerk returned from the States just this May, a number of members from the old Pickering St. congregation left there to form a new congregation standing for the truth.

There are now 23 members and Sunday attendance are in the high 30's. It is encouraging to note that each Lord's Day a large number of visitors are attending the services. Recently, there were 21 visitors on a Sunday evening. One man has just been baptized. He started attending as a result of an advertisement placed in the newspaper.

Wayne Sullivan arrived in August to assist with the work in Port Elizabeth. Prospects for growth seem brighter here than any other spot in the nation.

Schauderville, the colored congregation, is also taking a stand for truth. There are 10 members and attendances run in the 40's.

Brakpan

Brother Gavin du Toit, another South African evangelist, is the capable preacher here. There are 16 brethren in this small group. The work began in 1964, and at present the church is meeting from house to house. Several factors here speak well for the future.

Springs

Ray Votaw is the capable preacher here. The work began in 1959. The church meets in a nice converted shop building not too far from the center of town. Membership stands at 17 and average attendance is 20.

A number of fine young people help comprise the membership. This gives a good hope for the future of the Lord's church in Springs.

Germiston

Five to seven members meet here each week. Men from various congregations help out in the teaching program. Most of the members are women, and several are widows. The church meets in one of the member's homes but efforts are currently being made to secure a hall for Sundays. Basil Cass, whose mother and sister are members here, has worked with this group since the beginning.

What of the Future?

Division has only made itself evident within the last year. Caution is needed in assessing the future; we would not be overly optimistic or gloomy. On the deficit side, the majority of congregations have abandoned New Testament principles; particularly concerning benevolence. On the credit side, and this is important, few of these above brethren have studied the issues for themselves and fewer still have had an opportunity to hear both sides of the question discussed. When and if this occurs, we expect many more to take their stand on the side of truth. In the meantime, there are already those who have taken a firm scriptural stand and they will do all they can to see that their brethren hear and obey the truth!

The Greatest Need

It should be emphasized that the present condition in this country is largely due to the fact that the majority of preachers are liberal on these issues and are supported by erring churches in the U. S. These men have done all they can to discredit faithful preachers in the eyes of their brethren; name-calling, disfellowshipping, etc. They have refused us opportunities to discuss with them or the churches the things that divide us. They have forbidden their brethren to visit or study with us.

Therefore, the greatest need we face is for more soundmen to come over and help us. We need men who feel the need for preaching the truth abroad as well as at home. We need men who are willing to leave loved ones behind and come over here with but one purpose in mindto publish the whole counsel of God far and wide among saint and sinner!

Will you come and help us? Pray for brethren here as they fight a good fight against innumerable odds.

TRUTH MAGAZINE X: 4, pp. 9-10
January 1966

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