The congregation began in the family home of Allan & Aileen Fraser in the suburb of Parow in 1968 when they returned after studying in the USA. They returned with their financial support being provided of the North Church of Christ in Detroit, Michigan, USA, which continued for some 14 years.
The Fraser family later acquired a residence in Kenridge with a 6 car garage underneath which became the auditorium for church worship and classes for several years.
The property on which we have built our buildings was donated to the congregation for the sum of R1.00 by a local property developer in 1971. The presentation was made on top of Table Mountain to Hamish Grant, an elder of the congregation and an estate agent who negotiated the donation.
The construction of the present instruction/classroom block took place in 1974 with the help of Don Peden of Louisville, Kentucky, USA who was the then chairman of Convenient Stores of America. Don, along with brethren of congregation, provided some initial financial assistance to commence construction. Don also provided a guarantee to a Bank in Amarillo, Texas, USA for a loan of R490,000.00 to the congregation which was repaid fully. It was the first loan ever given by the bank to a foreign borrower. The facilities constructed were used as the auditorium and classrooms for 7 years.
In 1981 the current auditorium was financed and built to roof height by the members of this congregation at that time, they worked week-ends, during their spare time and holidays. Contractors were then employed to complete the building. Lionel Morrell-Stinson (the since deceased husband of Thelma Mullins) played a major role in supervising this whole project. The final stage was financed by way of a local bank loan raised on the back of personal guarantees of members and also subsequently repaid by the congregation.
The first preacher was Allan Fraser for 14 years before returning to the USA and ultimately to his sponsoring congregation in North Warren, Detroit where he is still the pulpit minister and an elder.
Dave Savides, a graduate of the Southern Africa Bible College (SABC), followed Allan and was with the congregation for 8 years after which he moved to Richards Bay where he became editor of a local newspaper.
He in turn was followed by Adriaan Blow, the son-in law of Hamish Grant, after completion of his studies at SABC. Adriaan left the congregation to further his studies in the USA and obtain his doctorate. He presently holds a professorial position at a university in the USA.
Derrick Bam, who was a lecturer in marriage and family counseling at Southern African Bible College, spent 2 years with the congregation as pulpit minister before moving to Abilene, Texas, where he took up the position as involvement minister at the University Church of Christ, which he still holds today.
Machiel Greyling was employed at the congregation as an associate minister and has since taken up position at the Weltevreden Park congregation in Gauteng. He spent some time at the Southern African Bible College, his role was associate and youth minister.
Bellville has been a self supporting congregation for many years. When Allan Fraser left we undertook 50% of Dave Savides support and the other half being undertaken by the North Warren congregation in Michigan. This assistance was phased out over 5 years and we then became totally self supporting of all costs. We have been able to, in turn, partially assist other ministers and congregations.
Dereck has been with the congregation since 1998 and after his studies at Southern Africa Bible College went on to study further.
BA. Hon. - Systematic Theology - 2000
Imago Therapist in South Africa - 2008
M.Th. - Pastoral Therapy and Theology - 2013
His qualifications and studies in the bible uniquely prepared and equipped him to serve the congregation, be an affective communicator, and expositor of the Word of God. His further studies equipped him to be able to cope with complex biblical issues and systematically answer them in an understandable way from a biblical perspective.
His Imago Therapist qualifications are best suited to assist couples in dealing with marital issues from a therapeutic method combined with an overarching biblical spiritual perspective. This therapy has been hailed as the most successful therapy in the world.
He is a member of SAAP (Southern Africa Association of Pastoral workers) and holds a specialist level 5 accreditation to this professional association.
THE DISTINCTIVE NATURE OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
The nature of the church at Bellville is not one that has its origins in the mind of it's members or even it's leaders or ministers. The distinctive nature comes from a desire found deep in the heart of the author of our faith Jesus Christ for we must take pre-eminence in all that we do and say. The reason we address the issue of distinctiveness is that of course the word “distinctive” implies that the church of Christ is a spiritual organism that sets one apart from others. Anyone with the power of observation recognises that there are multitudes of religious bodies in existence seeking attention.
The church takes its mark from the Gospel which is not only authoritative but the embarkation point for us as His disciples, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Mat 28:19-20 NIV)
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