St. Stephens in Cape Town is the only Dutch Reformed church named after a saint; and its congregation used to be known as the only Coloured congregation that formed part of the Nederduitse Gereformede Kerk (the mother church), with full admission to its synod, while all other Coloured parishes of the N.G. Kerk belong to the daughter or mission church. The rectangular edifice was erected during the First British Occupation and is the oldest theatre building in South Africa, having been erected for that purpose by the Governor, Sir George Yonge, on what is now Riebeek Square,
The history of the Church in Namaqualand is intimately linked with the mining of copper. The miners came and the Church followed. Since the first miners, after Simon van der Stel, were Welshmen, Phillips and King, it is not surprising to find that the Anglican Church was the first to be established in Springbok. The Dutch Reformed Church followed in 1860 when the Namaqualand Congregation separated from the Clanwilliam congregation and built their first church at Bowersdorp in Kamieskroon.
The Cape Town Congregational Church started as a Church for the members of the 93rd Regiment of the Sutherland Highlanders. With the arrival of James Read in 1800 a Calvinistic Society was formed with members pledging to help each other in Christian Life. With the arrival then of Rev. George Thom in 1813 members of the Fellowship on 6 May 1813 gave each other the hand of Christian fellowship, which constituted themselves into a church and the Rev Thom, conducted the first Free Church service ever held on South African soil. Out of 90 communicants, 63 were members of the 93rd Regiment of the Sutherland Highlanders. The following year this regiment was transferred to India leaving the membership of the church with 27 members.
For most genealogists, trying to find out when a certain church or cemetery opened is important for tracing your relatives. I am trying to find dates of these places to make it easier for you to find those missing records. If you can add or help with any additional information kindly contact Heather.
The Quaker movement arose in Great Britain out of the religious ferment of the mid- 17th century and soon spread to North America. Probably the first members to visit South Africa were whalers from Nantucket, who often called at Table Bay around 1800. Immigrants followed later and settled in various parts of the country. As their numbers grew they gathered for worship and counsel, first in isolated groups, then on a wider basis, until eventually national gatherings became possible. In 1946 the Friends in Southern Africa were given recognition as an autonomous body within the world fellowship.