More Information
ISBN: 9781783682485
Imprint: Langham Global Library
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 13
Publication Date: 30/04/2017
Pages: 250
Language: English

The Story of the Church in South Africa


From Calvinist to Catholic, from Charismatic to AmaZioni, the Rainbow Nation has one of the most colourful, variegated, and bewildering array of Christian churches in the world. Where on earth did they all come from? How did they develop? What do they believe? How are they related to one another?

In this clear and readable history of Christianity in South Africa, Kevin Roy answers these questions with comprehensive, succinct and rigorous historical analysis with sympathy and honesty. Dr Roy does not shy away from the failures and sins of the participants in this story that intertwines with the history of the peoples and tribes in South Africa. This book is a testimony of divine love and patience in the midst of human folly and frailty, of successes and faithful service to God.

Author Bios

Kevin Roy

KEVIN ROY has been teaching church history in South Africa for over twenty-five years and earned his DTh from the University of South Africa. He has also pastored and founded several churches and currently is Pastor of Muldersdrift Union Church, Gauteng, South Africa. His major passions include church history, the body of Christ, walking and music. Born and raised in Zambia, most of his schooling was in Zimbabwe. He was an evangelist with the Dorothea Mission for eight years in Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe before marrying Ina with whom he has three adult children and five grandchildren. South Africa is his home.


As a black South African with a strong AIC background, I have not only found Dr Roy’s book to be a captivating account of the events, but a very sensitive, refreshing and trustworthy account on what needs to be known concerning the history of the church in our Rainbow Nation.

Sipho J. Mfusi
Missionary to the Zulus and AmaZioni

If you want a concise, readable, well-written account, Dr Roy’s text is in a league of its own. Here you can feast on an exciting, colourful, informative, and sobering account of how Christ has built his church in southern Africa against all odds – in the face of war, persecution, heresy, division, and discouragements of every kind.

Rev Tim Cantrell, PhD
Pastor of Antioch Bible Church
President, Shepherds’ Seminary Africa

In this book Dr Roy serves us well by telling the story of the church in South Africa in a way that captures something of this complex and diverse history. It is certainly a candid and surprisingly comprehensive book on the South African church, and one I can heartily recommend.

Paul Hartwig, PhD
Lecturer in Church History and Systematic Theology,
Cape Town Baptist Seminary, South Africa

Kevin Roy has written a clear and accessible account of South Africa’s Christian history that is both well informed and judiciously balanced. Constructed around the personal stories of a number of awed but faithful Christian witnesses, it never fails to inspire.

Rev Alan Spence, PhD
Minister, United Reformed Church, Deal, UK
Former Moderator, Uniting Presbyterian Church of South Africa

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Preface
  3. List of Abbreviations

    1. 1 An Overview
      1. The Dutch Period
      2. The British Period
      3. The Modern Period
    1. 2 The Dutch Period
      1. Van Riebeeck and the Dutch Settlers
      2. The Indigenous People of the Cape
      3. Slaves and the First Minister
      4. Arrival of the French Huguenots
      5. George Schmidt and the Moravians
      6. Lutheran Beginnings
      7. Helperus Ritzema van Lier
      8. Michiel Christiaan Vos
      9. The Re-establishment of the Moravian Mission
      10. Some Closing Reflections on the Dutch Period
    1. 3 The Start of the British Period
      1. The London Missionary Society (LMS)
      2. Dr Johannes Theodorus van der Kemp
      3. Ntsikana – The Morning Star of the Xhosa Church
      4. John Philip
      5. Churches of British Origin
      6. The Journey So Far
    1. 4 “Ethiopia Shall Stretch Out Her Hands
      1. Robert Moffat
      2. David Livingstone
      3. The Great Trek
      4. Daniel Lindley
      5. The Formation of Two New Afrikaans Reformed Churches
      6. Andrew Murray
      7. Revival
      8. Charles Pamla
      9. Doctrinal Conflict in the Dutch Reformed Church
      10. Bishop Colenso
      11. Ethiopianism
      12. Lutherans
      13. Reflections on the British Period
    1. 5 A South African Pentecost
      1. The Second Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902)
      2. Prisoner-of-War Camp Revivals
      3. Zion and Pentecostal Beginnings
      4. The Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM)
      5. The Full Gospel Church of God
      6. Assemblies of God (AG)
      7. Nicholas Bhengu
      8. Further Pentecostal Movements and Churches
      9. The African Instituted (or Independent) Churches
    1. 6 The Growing Church Struggle
      1. The Ecumenical Movement
      2. The Rise of Apartheid
      3. The Development of the Christian Council of South Africa (CCSA) and the Growing Rift between Afrikaans
      4. and English Churches
      5. The Federal Mission Council (FMC) of the DRC and Its Efforts to Devise a Just Racial Policy
      6. Sharpeville and Cottesloe
      7. Albert Luthuli
      8. Z. K. Matthews
      9. Beyers Naudé
      10. A Non-Political Interlude
    1. 7 Towards a New South Africa
      1. The Struggle Intensifies
      2. The Newer Charismatic Churches
      3. The Collapse of Apartheid
      4. The New South Africa
    1. 8 The Last Twenty Years: A Brief Postscript
      1. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
      2. Looking Ahead

  4. Bibliography
  5. Index