Our History

Our History - Weltevreden Chapel

In January 1980, Ray van Pletsen, began a Bible Study in his sister’s home in Weltevreden Park.  Ray, who had grown up in Roodepoort, had studied at Dallas Theological Seminary and had returned to South Africa with a view to planting a church.  The people who attended the Bible study asked Ray to start a church in Weltevreden Park as there were no churches operating in the area at that time.  So they rented space at Panorama Primary School and held the first service on Sunday March 3, 1980.   Numbers grew steadily and in late 1982 moved premises to Fairyland Nursery School in Christian de Wet Street (now Radiokop area). Numbers continued to grow and we went to two services.  Once the church reached this size we felt that it was time to give it an official profile, and so, on March 5, 1983 Weltevreden Chapel was formally constituted.  The church had to take this formal step in order to be able to ‘do business’ with the government and our bankers.  Despite this formal step, we endeavoured to retain the informal nature of the fellowship – which continues to today.

In 1983 the church, once again, moved.  This time, however, the Lord provided a 5 acre piece of land situated on John Vorster Road, bordered by Randpark Ridge, Honeydew and Weltevreden Park.  The house was converted into a place of worship and offices.  As numbers continued to grow the congregation decided to build a larger sanctuary.  This fully paid for building was dedicated to the Lord on 27 October 1991.   

In July 1983, the church sent Doug and Anne Forsyth to Dallas Seminary to study for the pastorate. In April 1985, John French, a missionary with UFM from the USA, joined Ray in pastoring the church. Ray and his family returned to the USA in November 1986.  Doug & Anne returned to the Chapel in February 1987 as associate pastor.  John and his South African wife, Christine, left to plant a new church in Midrand.  Terry & Jackie Martin began attending the Chapel in 1992.  He was formally ordained as co-pastor together with Doug Forsyth in August 1996. Terry left in 1999 and Don Maitland was inducted as Associate Pastor in 2007. Recently, Dave Livie returned from the USA after having graduated with his Th. M. to take up a position as an Associate Pastor.

The initial aims of the Chapel were to have a dynamic balance in the four areas as recorded in Acts 2:42 : Teaching, Worship, Fellowship and Witness.   As the church grew in numbers, home churches were started to retain the intimacy of our fellowship.  We believe that it is essential for a person to be part of the large group on Sunday as well as an intimate part of a small group at some other time during the week.  We run a Sunday School during our 9:30am Sunday service as well as youth programmes on Friday evenings.  One of the outlooks of the Chapel has been to contribute to the support of missionaries in the field which we still continue to do.  We also support some within our body as well.

We are not affiliated with any denomination but fellowship with all churches of equivalent faith.   As a Bible-based church we hold two morning services 8:00 and 9:30.  Our evening service runs from 5.30 pm till 7.00 pm. We also offer training programmes for the purpose of equipping God’s people to serve Him