OUR VALUES

We offer fellowship and ministry to all ages and have a particular emphasis on children and youth. We seek to help people in all the different phases and stages of life.

Our relationship with Jesus places us in a community in which each of us is meant to serve as a part of the whole. God’s Spirit in us and through us empowers and equips us to know Jesus, follow Jesus and partner Him in continuing His work. We expect to be gifted by the Holy Spirit for ministry and mission in Jesus’ name. A key part of our witness is to promote family. We offer fellowship and ministry to all ages and have a particular emphasis on children and youth.

We believe every part of creation exists to glorify God, and that people, in particular, are created to live in a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and to express a lifestyle which honours God. Each of us cannot do this outside of God’s grace. By God’s grace ( a free, unearned and undeserved gift of God in His love) we are sought by Him and called into a personal relationship with Him through a faith response to Jesus. His grace enables us to respond and assures us of acceptance. By grace we continue to learn and grow each day. We seek daily to choose to live, speak and act as those who follow in the way of Jesus.

We realize that even our best efforts to love God and serve Him can be skewed by our immaturity, lack of understanding and sometimes even selfish choices. We know we must depend on God for forgiveness and hope to be genuine in forgiving others. We mean to be a welcoming community, but also a community that encourages and enables genuine discipleship of Jesus.

The Bible is our basis for knowing and growing into the fullness of the mind that was in Christ. We believe that beyond meeting together for worship each Sunday we will best belong, serve, learn and grow by being in a Small Group. The fellowship there gives rise to ministry and mission in Jesus’ name. Through the Holy Spirit we are made members of the body of Christ through new birth. We believe every one of us is called to serve Jesus and minister in His name.

MEET THE TEAM

The team responsible for the management of our church.

REV. DAVE HOWARD
REV. DAVE HOWARD
Senior Minister
REV. AUDREY VAN WYK
REV. AUDREY VAN WYK
Mission & Outreach
CHRISTOPHER SHEASBY
CHRISTOPHER SHEASBY
Pastoral Care Pastor
SEAN CORNELL
SEAN CORNELL
Worship Director, Video, Sound & Tech
JULIE ROOTE
JULIE ROOTE
Youth & Family Ministry Coordinator
BENJAMIN FRIEDEMANN
BENJAMIN FRIEDEMANN
Youth & YA Pastor
BELINDA KETSE
BELINDA KETSE
Junior Youth & Children’s Pastor
LOLO HEYDENRYCH
LOLO HEYDENRYCH
Administration, Events & Table 23
ANNE KENYON
ANNE KENYON
Receptionist, Church Bookings & Admin
AMBERLEIGH DU PLESSIS
AMBERLEIGH DU PLESSIS
Graphic Designer
NOMONDE WABANIE
NOMONDE WABANIE
Social Worker
SHIRLEY CLARK
SHIRLEY CLARK
Finance, Book Keeper & Archive
GRAEME GILMOUR
GRAEME GILMOUR
Preacher – Preaching & Teaching
JARRYD ROOTE
JARRYD ROOTE
Video, Sound & Tech Intern
KYLE MYBURG
KYLE MYBURG
Video, Sound & Tech Intern
KATHY BALSHAW
KATHY BALSHAW
Church Elder
LEISHA BROOKS
LEISHA BROOKS
Church Elder
DEON ENGELKE
DEON ENGELKE
Church Elder
JESSICA  MOUSLEY
JESSICA MOUSLEY
Church Elder
BRENDON SAMUELS
BRENDON SAMUELS
Church Elder
GEORGE VAN VUUREN
GEORGE VAN VUUREN
Security
NICHOLAS NOQOBO
NICHOLAS NOQOBO
Caretaker
JULIE NOQOBO
JULIE NOQOBO
Housekeeping
SYLVIA SONGWIQI
SYLVIA SONGWIQI
Housekeeping
LOYISO MAFELE
LOYISO MAFELE
Housekeeping
ANELISA MAFELE
ANELISA MAFELE
Housekeeping
JEFF CHIMWARIRA
JEFF CHIMWARIRA
Table 23 Barista
HILDA LAMECK
HILDA LAMECK
Table 23 Barista
TANDIE SINDAPHI
TANDIE SINDAPHI
Table 23 Food Preparation

OUR PURPOSE

At Walmer Methodist Church our purpose is to grow, train and equip all our members to be Christ-centred and Holy Spirit empowered to reach out. To put it another way we would say “As Disciples. Make Disciples.” There are five key areas to our lives:

Worship – To love God and know Him in an intimate disciple lifestyle individually and as a community.


Belong – To share, care and minister as a disciple in the community as a family and as a member of a small group.


Grow – To learn more about God, His promises and directions in Scripture and to express more and more a Christ-like life as His disciple.


Discover – To discover and use our gifts as disciples in being, belonging and ministry which proclaims and realises God’s purposes.


Reach – To share our faith, experience and resources with others so that they, too, may come to know God’s love and be given opportunity to become disciples of Jesus.

CHURCH HISTORY

Walmer really grew beyond expectations.

The earliest record of what is today the Walmer Methodist Church began with meetings in the home of Mr and Mrs John Holmes in the last few years of the 1800’s. By 1900 services were conducted in the “Tin Tabernacle” at 161 Main Road. In 1935 the Women’s Auxiliary was formed and the first Trust Committee meeting was held on 1 February 1938. The first Harvest Festival was held on Sunday 7 March 1938. Evening services in place of the usual afternoon gatherings were made possible when the installation of electricity was approved by the Trust Committee of 19 December 1944.

Two adjoining plots on the corner of Main Road and 7th Avenue were purchased early in 1945. This came from a move initiated by Rev E F Piper, who oversaw both Pier Street and Walmer Societies, to motivate the use of a part of a bequest left by the late Sir Edgar Walton to be used for the purchase of land in Walmer. Late in 1948, with the decision to transfer the Methodist work from Pier Street to Walmer, moves were made to prepare plans for a new Church. On 5 March 1950 the foundation stones for this building were laid, one by Mr William H Pearce, the first person to be married in the Tin Tabernacle in 1900 to Laura Holmes, and the other by Mr Herbert Hurd.

At the opening service in September of the same year, the, then, Chairman of the Grahamstown District, Rev E W Grant officiated. Rev John Richards, fondly known as “Father John” oversaw the running of the church for the first two years. In 1951, Rev Milton Martin, assistant to Rev E W Garrett, the President of Conference, was appointed the first minister with full pastoral charge of Walmer. Thereafter a string of probationer ministers followed: David Jones (1952-1954), John Woolf (1955-1956), Malcolm Dickerson (1957), Peter Woolston (1958) and Ian Mutton (1959).

In 1960 Ken Carstens (1960-1961) was the first ordained minister and at this time the first manse was acquired at 62 Water Road. When Ken left for the USA, Herbert Lovemore (1962-1967) took over. Charles Moore (1968-1970) followed and Stanley Millar (1971-1973). In 1973 the present Church was completed.

The foundation stone was laid on 11 June 1972 by Rev Dr C E Wilkinson, then, Chairman of District. Substantial funds for this building were raised by the Women’s Auxiliary and through the Tea Booth at Crusader’s Cricket Ground. Thereafter came Mike Mackintosh (1974-1978) and John Lewis (1979-1984). In 1977 the manse at 73 Main Road was built.

In the 20 year stint of Rev Derrick Jolliffe (1985 -2004), Walmer really grew beyond expectations. In 1992, the second five year plan culminated in the opening, on 1 December 1996, of the improved complex. This included the “Fellowship Centre” which joined the 1950’s Main Hall and the 1973 Church. A deliberate move to create more adequate parking, an upgrade of audio-visual facilities and changes in the sanctuary resulted in a modern multi-purpose complex. Derrick excelled at delegating. Key to his ministry was an unshakeable conviction for ordinary people doing extraordinary things for a Church with a fantastic future.

From 2005 to the present, the senior minister has been Jonathan Hobson. In 2008 Tim Marshall joined the staff as associate minister and Youth Director. In this time the John Woolf chapel has been extended (opened by Rev Derrick Jolliffe on 22 April 2007). Apart from the added seating, specific facilities were created for parents of young children to attend Church.

In 2008 a process of discerning began to initiate the Next Step to place the Society in a position to minister more effectively as a community and beyond the Church community in a God-honouring way. In 2009 upgrades to the Sanctuary and complex audio-visual facilities began.

71 Main Road, long loaned to Walmer for use by the Society by a member who had purchased it in Derrick’s time, was bought by the Church in 2010. In September 2010 the youth department moved into the manse in renovated offices and renovations were done at 71 Main Road to establish a larger meeting hall, offices and a Caretaker’s flat. In August 2014 all the staff finally moved into the 73 Main Road manse – now a re-designed and renovated new administrative block. In the Church complex alterations and additions were made towards a complex for use of many and diverse activities.

OUR METHODIST FAMILY

A big family, with a big heart. Aiming to always spread God’s love and grace.

As part of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Walmer Society (as it would be known by others of our family), Walmer Methodist to us, is part of the PE West Circuit in the Grahamstown District of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa – the Connexion (see www.methodist.org.za) – oversees all Methodist work in Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland. An annual Conference meets in one of the 12 Districts, usually in September, with our Presiding Bishop as head and a General Secretary tasked with enabling debate and decision around discipline, doctrine and function for mission. Each District is overseen by a Bishop and meets at an annual Synod, usually in May.

The Grahamstown District is comprised of 34 Circuits. This is comprised of Societies in Port Elizabeth at Gqebera (John Masiza), Lorraine, Newton Park, Westering and Walmer, in Jeffrey’s Bay and Humansdorp and includes involvement in the united (Anglican, Methodist, Presbyterian and Congregational members) at Thornhill (Holy Trinity) and St. Francis Bay.

What this means, practically is that the local community has the support of a much larger family. Our ethos in terms of who we are, what we believe and how we function is not determined solely by the local part of the community. The ordained ministers are appointed to the Circuit and, in our Circuit, focus largely only on the Society/Congregation they are in. Usually these ministers are itinerant, which means they are at the disposal of the Church to be appointed as seems best for the work and witness of the whole body. The local congregation are part of the consultation to determine who is stationed and to serve them and the work of God there.

Methodist ethos

For all Methodist Christians the Bible is “the sufficient rule (measure/guide) for faith and practice.”

Inclusivity and exclusivity are held in tension in 5 all statements:

– All people need to be saved.
– All people can be saved.
– All people can know they are saved.
– All people can be saved to the uttermost.
– All people can witness they are saved.

Our expression of the Christian faith has a particular feel with acknowledgement to Peter Storey in “Our Methodist Roots” published by Methodist Publishing House, Cape Town.

It is a Blend of Passion and Intellect. Enthusiastic and Fervent, we nevertheless would not negate study and reason.

It is a Marriage of Love and Discipline. All begins in God’s love and continues in our response. But love is embodied in growing obedience. We are a discipleship movement.

There is a Blend of Faith and Works. Salvation is by faith through grace, and that by God’s love and power – but so that we should love Him and serve one another, especially those most in need. This, as a way of living out our love for God by choosing to love all others. We cannot imagine God’s rule only in one or some spheres of our lives – so there is always both personal and social holiness. Out of a profound personal encounter and the resulting relationship must flow a lifestyle that seeks to influence any and every part of our lives with the wisdom, truth, love and grace of God.

METHODISM OF SOUTH AFRICA

Methodism was introduced to South Africa by British soldiers stationed at the Cape, and the first missionary was appointed in response to an appeal from their leader, Sergeant John Kendrick. The Rev J McKenny arrived in 1814 but was refused permission to preach and went on to Ceylon. He was followed in 1816 by the Rev Barnabas Shaw who defied the Governor and began to preach without permission. Before long he left Cape Town and settled among a group of Namaqua people at Lily Fountain in the Kamiesberg, about five hundred kilometres to the north. This became the springboard for further advance into modern Namibia, a venture which cost the lives of the Rev William Threlfall and his Nama companions, the Rev Jacob Links and Evangelist Johannes Jager who were murdered by their San guide.

Mission stations were eventually planted at Warmbaths and as far north as Gobabis and Windhoek, but were abandoned in the 1860s mainly because the Missionary Society was in financial difficulties. The work nearer Cape Town was more enduring. In 1834 Shaw bought land in Somerset West on which he settled a number of emancipated slaves, many of whose descendants still occupy their cottages. A substantial church was built in 1861 and was in constant use until 2010 when part of the structure collapsed. Societies were also established at Stellenbosch, Robertson and throughout the Cape Peninsula. A second line of advance was opened in 1820 when William Shaw (unrelated to Barnabas) arrived in the Eastern Cape with the British Settlers. Although he was officially chaplain to the Sephton Party, he regarded the whole settlement as his parish and established a thriving colonial church. Commemoration Church in Grahamstown, which commemorates the silver jubilee of the settlement, bears testimony to its status and optimism.

Shaw did not limit his attention to the colonists. In November 1823 he established Wesleyville among the Gqunukhwebe and by 1830 he had planted six more stations between the Fish and Umzimvubu Rivers and laid the foundation of the strong Methodist witness in the former Transkei. It was not plain sailing, for several of the missions were destroyed more than once in successive frontier wars, but the missionaries persevered and their perseverance was rewarded. In 1834, William Boyce published his Xhosa grammar in which he explained the so-called euphonic concord which was critical to the understanding of the language. Many of the missionaries translated portions of the scriptures and in September 1859 JW Appleyard completed the mammoth task of translating and printing the entire Bible. Unfortunately his work did not find favour with some missionaries of other societies who felt that his Xhosa was not sufficiently idiomatic. Appleyard co-operated in the preparation of a revised translation but the Methodist people insisted on using his version until 1925 when another Methodist, Theo Curnick, oversaw a further revision which satisfied all. From an early stage the missionaries made use of African preachers and in 1865 the Grahamstown District Meeting accepted five African candidates for the ministry. The most outstanding of these was Charles Pamla who found his calling as an evangelist when he interpreted for the American bishop, William Taylor, who conducted a fruitful evangelistic mission in 1866. Pamla served for over forty years as an evangelist, a circuit superintendent and a member of Conference and is rightly regarded as the father of the African ministry.

While William Shaw was setting up his chain of stations, missionaries from the Cape crossed the Orange River to evangelise the regions beyond. In 1823 Samuel Broadbent and Thomas Hodgson settled with the Barolong at Maquassi where Mrs Broadbent gave birth to a son, the first white child to be born beyond the Vaal River. Unfortunately, the station was destroyed in 1824 and finally abandoned the following year. After wearisome wanderings, the Barolong and their missionaries eventually settled at Thaba ‘Nchu in 1833. A number of other stations were established further east, but these had to be given up when the republican Orange Free State conquered the territory from the Basotho. Later in the century, African and European causes were established in many of the small towns in the Free State, but the most significant work was on the Diamond Fields at Kimberley where the presence of labourers from all over Southern Africa provided a unique opportunity for evangelism.

The mission to Natal was launched in 1842 when James Archbell arrived in Durban with a British force which had been sent to counter the Voortrekkers who had set up the Republic of Natalia. The arrival of British settlers from the late forties led to the development of vigorous European circuits in Durban, Pietermaritzburg, Verulam and other country areas. In the African work the most significant contribution was made by the Rev James Allison who resigned from the mission only three years after he arrived in Natal. Allison was an outstanding missionary who had begun his ministry in the Orange Free State and was sent by his colleagues to establish a mission in Swaziland. He arrived there in the midst of a tussle between the young king, Mswati, and his elder brother and was forced to withdraw before long with his African helpers and a number of Swazi converts. They settled at Indaleni, south of Pietermaritzburg, where he began industrial training and was winning converts from the surrounding tribes. Unfortunately, he fell out with Archbell and Shaw and resigned in 1850. He bought a farm on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg which he renamed Edendale, and sold plots to the people who had followed him from Indaleni. Some ten years later these landowners opted to rejoin the Wesleyans who thus acquired their most thriving station and a number of outstanding members who had been shaped by Allison’s ministry. In 1867 a number of them bought land at Driefontein, north-west of Ladysmith, and began a ministry of lay evangelism which opened the way for expansion into northern Natal. A few years later Allison’s protégés were the prime movers in the formation of Nzondelelo, an African Home Mission Society, which continues to support evangelists across Kwazulu-Natal to the present day. Several of them were received into the ministry during the visit of the Rev John Kilner in 1880.

A unique feature of the work in Natal was the mission to Indians who were imported as indentured labourers from 1861. The Rev Ralph Stott, who had worked in Sri Lanka and was fluent in Tamil, reached Durban in 1862 and spent his last seventeen years in a strenuous ministry that bore little fruit at the time but laid the foundations of a small but faithful Christian community. The mission was carried forward by his son, Simon Horner Stott, and a succession of Indian evangelists and ministers, notably the Choonoos, father and sons, in Durban and Verulam and the Rev John Thomas in Pietermarizburg. The Indian work, which is celebrating its one hundred and fiftieth anniversary, no longer exists as a separate entity but Christians of Indian descent play their part in a number of non-racial circuits. Natal was the springboard from which Methodism entered the Transvaal. Ministers were appointed to Potchefstroom and Pretoria after a tour of inspection by the Rev George Blencowe of Ladysmith in 1871, and a full-scale mission district was constituted in 1880 under the chairmanship of the Rev Owen Watkins of Pietermaritzburg. His first step was to reoccupy Swaziland to which the Rev. Daniel Msimang returned some thirty five years after he had gone into exile with Allison.

In 1885 a minister was sent to Montshiwa’s people at Mahikeng where Watkins had found a church of 1000 with 35 local preachers. This was the work of Montshiwa’s brother, Molema, who was the first member of the chiefly family to be converted at Thaba ‘Nchu, and had become a local preacher before Montshiwa’s clan returned to its ancestral lands. Molema shepherded the Christian community from 1850 until his death in 1882 with occasional visits from Wesleyan missionaries and sometimes in the face of persecution by his brother and the tribe. Montshiwa had supported the British in their conflict with the Boers and, out of respect for this, the Royal Engineers erected a fine church which seats 700 and remains in use to this day! From Mahikeng Methodism spread north into Botswana. To the north of Pretoria, Watkins penetrated into modern Zimbabwe which soon became an independent district, and south of the Limpopo missions were developed in the Waterberg, Soutpansberg and Sekhukuniland. In many places the missionaries discovered that the Gospel had preceded them through the work of men such as Samuel Mathabathe and Hans Aapje who had been converted in the Cape or Natal and returned to share the good news with their people. Blencowe had discovered a similar unpaid evangelist at Potchefstroom in the person of David Magatha. Likewise the Methodist witness was planted in Mozambique by Robert Mashaba, a native of that country who had been converted in Port Elizabeth and become a class leader in Kimberley. He was convicted on a spurious political charge and imprisoned for eight years off the west coast of Africa. After his release he was ordained and ministered in the Transvaal. A missionary was sent to Maputo in 1904 and the Rev H L Bishop laboured there for nearly twenty years and helped to translate the scriptures into Shironga. The discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand led to the establishment of work among the Europeans and Africans who flocked to the rough mining village of Johannesburg and its surrounds. After the disruption caused by the South African War, the Missionary Society sent the Rev Amos Burnett to chair the district. Under his leadership between 1902 and 1925 Methodism was consolidated in all parts of the district and among all population groups. This was made possible by considerable contributions in money and men from the parent church in Great Britain. It was only when this aid seemed likely to be reduced that the Transvaal linked up with Methodism in the southern provinces, in January 1931. The Church faced a major crisis as apartheid was implemented. Africans were not allowed to own land in the old Transvaal Republic and the missionaries had bought several farms to be used as mission settlements. These were now declared to be “black spots” and had to be sold. However, the capital helped to erect a large number of churches and manses in Soweto and other areas affected by forced removals.

In 1880 the Rev John Kilner, a secretary of the Missionary Society, spent close on a year in South Africa in what a contemporary described as “a deputational hurricane”. This led to the formation of the Transvaal District, the acceptance of seventy five candidates for the African ministry and the decision to form a South African Conference. This came into being in 1883 as an Affiliated Conference and attained full independence in 1927. The grant from the British Church was reduced progressively and early in the Twentieth Century the South African Conference was the only church, other than the Dutch Reformed Church, to receive no financial aid from overseas. This placed severe constraints upon its missionary work, especially in times of commercial depression, but disaster was averted by the faithful giving of African members who supported their own ministers, and the generosity of better-off European donors. In spite of financial and manpower difficulties, the number of full members grew rapidly from 21993 in 1883 and 101393 in 1917 to 120658 at the time of union with the Transvaal. By far the largest increase was of African members who numbered 18582 in 1883, 83766 in 1917 and 98223 in 1930. The work of African ministers was a major factor in this growth. By 1930 they numbered 149, of whom only 5 were in retirement.

Much of the expansion was in established missions but new fields were entered. Thomas Gebuza, initially a self-appointed evangelist, pioneered the work in northern Kwazulu; and the Rev Joseph Wood entered South West Africa (Namibia) in 1914 as a chaplain with the South African forces and superintended the work there until 1929. Methodism was prevented from entering Lesotho by an agreement with the Paris Evangelical Missionary Society, but this became increasingly unworkable as members returned to their homes there and people living near the border were evangelized from neighbouring circuits in the Free State and Transkei. The agreement was revoked and the Rev Moses Maribe was sent to Mafeteng where he was succeeded in 1929 by the Rev John Mokitimi whose son, Seth, was to become the first African President of Conference. Between 1923 and 1928 two missionaries were stationed at Bukoba on the western shore of Lake Victoria, but the cost of this mission was greater than the available resources and the work was handed over to the German society which had operated there before the war. “You have nothing to do but to save souls”, said Wesley, but education was essential if converts were to be established in the faith. From the beginning missionaries taught them to read and before long African teachers were being trained and children were being taught reading, writing and arithmetic. From the middle of the 19th Century African education was subsidized by the Cape Government and to a much lesser extent in Natal. This was expanded after union in 1910 and in 1930 there were 1032 Methodist day schools with more than 84 000 pupils.

The Church provided the buildings and ministers served as managers, but salaries were paid by government. In many cases the teachers were not committed Christians and the influence of the Church was minimal. The Church had far greater influence in the training institutions which developed from the middle of the 19th Century. The premier Methodist foundation was Healdtown, which was selected by Governor Sir George Grey in 1855 as the site of an industrial training school but soon became a teacher training centre and, in the twentieth century, a high school where Nelson Mandela completed his schooling. Similar institutions were established at Clarkebury (where Mandela had his primary education), and on other stations in the Transkei, Natal and the Orange Free State. The Transvaal was served by the Kilnerton Institution which was established in 1886 and was the alma mater of the Dr Stanley Mogoba, the first Presiding Bishop of the MCSA. Its initial reaction to the notorious Land Act of 1913 was rather muted, probably because Tengo Jabavu, the senior and most influential African member of Conference, adopted an ambivalent attitude, but the church was very vocal about the unfair distribution of land and the failure of the Union Government to consult the African population. There was no ambiguity in its negative response to the Colour Bar Act of 1925 and the segregation legislation which General Hertzog introduced in 1926 and managed to enact ten years later. Conference followed the lead of the Rev Zaccheus Mahabane who served on two occasions as President of the African National Congress and Professor Don Jabavu (the son of Tengo), who presided at the All African Convention in 1936. African affairs fell into the background during the Second World War, but Conference was consistent in its opposition to the policy of Apartheid between 1948 and 1994. Perhaps its boldest action was to elect the Rev Seth Mokitimi as President of the 1964 Conference in spite of the possibility that the Church would be declared to be black and deprived of its properties in white areas. Methodism has yet to discover its proper role in the political life of the new democracy.