It began in 1927…the first service was held at 19:00 on 3 July 1927 in a local hall, with 40 people at worship conducted by the minister of the Stellenbosch Presbyterian Church, the Rev H.W. Cochran. Land was given in June 1928 by Mr F.W.Strangman (of the farm Erinvale) – the plot on the corner of Bright Street and Orange Street (now Andries Pretorius). The foundation stone for the Somerset West Presbyterian Church was laid in July 1931.
In the mid 1980s, after the untimely death of Rev Rose, Rev Martin Lund was called as minister, the 19th since the congregation’s inception and the longest serving minister in its history. In the years that followed, various assistant/colleague ministers broadened the ministry here, there was further growth of the congregation to over 800 members, and “Church House” was demolished for the construction of the present church in 1993.
On 17 February 2002, following a lengthy consultative process, the Somerset West Presbyterian Church was reconstituted as the Somerset West United Church, as we became a recognized congregation of the Congregationalist denomination as well, whose members we had served in this area for 40 years. With this broader identity came a broader vision to reach out to all those far from God and draw them home.
The journey of the last 90 years could be well summed up in these words written many years ago by the Rev WG McAlester, the 10th minister of this congregation:
“Looking back over the years of our ministry, we can bear testimony to the faithfulness of God in Christ Jesus – goodness and mercy have followed us through life’s perplexing paths and we have been granted blessings far beyond our deserving and far above our expectations, and if anything of lasting good has been accomplished through our work, then all the praise and all the glory belong to Him alone.”
© 2018 by Somerset West United Church (SWUC)