Our History

Many years ago, the exact date is unknown, the Afrikaanse Baptiste Kerke (ABK) purchased a piece of land (Originally 6 plots, now only 2), in the area of Sunward Park, Boksburg, at a very reasonable price.  The purpose was to eventually establish a congregation in Sunward Park.  On the 27th of May 2001, ds. Wessel Venter and 16 other believers took the step of faith, with the help of the Lord, and brought Sunwardpark Baptistekerk into existence.  It is uncertain when these believers started to come together as by the time the congregation was officially constituted, they had already met together for some time.

Ds. Wessel had become known through the years as an eager church planter among the Afrikaanse Baptiste Kerke.  By this time he had already planted many churches of which most still exist today.  There is a very special bond between ds Wessel and Sunward Park Baptist Church as this was the last church he planted and he died on 13 February 2003 in the service of Sunwardpark Baptistekerk.  He passed away, just over a year after his beloved wife who was affectionately known as ‘Tannie Fia’ on 17 December 2001.

From the time of the constitution of this church ds Jannie Vosloo, at that time still a student, was a member of the congregation.  Together with ds. Wessel he took responsibility for the preaching.  He was therefore the logical choice as pastor after ds. Wessel passed away.  Ds Jannie served the congregation with eagerness and there was visible growth in numbers and spiritual depth during the time of his ministry.  After much deliberation ds. Jannie accepted the call to an ABK congregation in Parys in the Free State in January 2008.

It was during the ministry of ds. Jannie that the church building, where we still meet, was completed and the congregation moved into its own building.  Before this they met in the church hall of the NG Church in Sunward Park.

After some time the congregation called another student, ds Pieter Pienaar.  Ds. Pieter however handed in his resignation a short time later in October 2010.

After this the congregation was without a pastor for some time.  During this time ds. Lionel Prinsloo and Chris Viljoen took over the responsibility for preaching.  Chris had completed his studies at ‘Die Teologiese Seminarium van die Baptiste’ years before and he and ds. Lionel where both members of the congregation.  During this time a number of students and other pastors in the ABK preached on occasion with the intention to call someone to the ministry.  Eddie Steyn and Danie Vosloo were the elders and they took responsibility for the leadership of the church.  As a result the church continued mostly without any problems even though there was no official pastor.

On 27 June 2011, the congregational meeting called Leon Harmse, a candidate for ministry as pastor of the church.  He was inducted on 1 September 2011, by the late Dr. Martin Holdt a well-known pastor in Baptiste circles.  Ds. Leon still serves as pastor of the congregation today.

In July 2017, the church started with English services in the evenings.  Approximately 20% of those who regularly attend services are English speaking.  At the Church Members Meeting on the 19th of November 2017 the members made the unanimous decision that English services will continue and that the church will now be known as “Sunward Park Baptiste Kerk / Baptist Church”