Dear Brethren Today marks the celebration of a special milestone for the congregation of Westdene. The period of 50 years in marriage or birthday is always celebrated with great joy and achievement. Therefore, I see this celebration of 50 years of Westdene congregation as a very special occasion as well. Many of our members and servants came to God in this congregation during this time. This church served as the place of Blessing, Comfort ,Peace and Joy. There are so much that can be added. Today, our God continues to provide for all who come here to worship and praise him. May the blessing of our heavenly Father continue to flow in the congregation of Westdene. Psalm 122 vs 7 to 9 “Peace be within your walls, Prosperity within your palaces.” For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, “Peace be within you.” Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your God.”
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Historical Highlights Continued…….. The then rector of the congregation Evangelist Brian Minnaar together with all the priests who served alongside him came together and decided that the security of the building and the repair of the boundary wall was something that no longer could be ignored. With donations from the Priests, Evangelist Minnaar and the cash reserves in the maintenance fund we were able to purchase the material to put up the palisade fencing in the front of the building. Putting up the fence was a huge team effort with some brothers from Malawi who occasionally attended pitching to dig the holes needed for the supporting upright poles. Evangelist Minnaar and Priest Breet showed off their welding skills and welded it all together with accurate precision. Tannie Aniekie Swart provided and paid for the painting of the fence. Oom Bokkie Van Der Heever repaired the boundary wall, and lastly Brother Arthur Wentzel provided and perfected the dead bolts which hold the gates close. Under the tenure of Evangelist Deon Smith, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of children who now attend the Sunday morning services. This excludes the contributions of the newlyweds who no doubt have contributed handsomely to this total. By preparing themselves thouroughly for the lessons, the Sunday school teachers have installed a hunger for knowledge in the little ones. Participation in God’s work by the youth is also steadily on the increase., with the Youth priest gaining valuable insight and trust among the youth. The youth now have monthly activities, which not only include social events, but also special topics such as evolution. Some of the ladies in the congregation meet on bi-monthly basis as part of the Woman’s Group. Besides the fellowship and the lovely eats that accompany the event, a host of spiritual topics pertaining to our faith is discussed and prepared in this forum. The ladies also share a few bible versus and experiences of faith all of which further inspires them. The rector of the congregation has a really special love for all the members in the congregation, but it has long been suspected that he has his favourites. These being the PIONEERS of the congregation, who are given special care and are served and visited without exception. In conclusion as Phillip said to Natanial, when asked what good can come out of Nazereth………. “COME SEE, COME SEE” Westdene Congregation…………….My Congregation………A congregation with punch.
Did you know ?
Westdene Spruit / dam was once a mining quarry, and after miners hit a spring, it quickly turned into a dam. Tragically on 27 March 1985, fourty three (43) school children drowned in the Westedene dam when a double decker school bus lost control and crashed into the damn. The school children were returning home from a school trip. The roof of Westdene Congregation was blown off in a rain storm on the 13th October 1987. Sister Yvonne Prinsloo who resided diagonally opposite Westdene Church phoned the rector, Priest E.D. Henery, the afternoon of 13th October 1987 and said, “Priest, I think you should come to the church quickly because it look as though the wind has loosened one of the sheets f corrugated iron on the roof. Never mind Priest, the wind has just blown the complete roof off the church building!”
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Historical Highlights For the past 50 years, under the guidance of Our heavenly father, Westdene Congregation has been growing under the administration and serving of five Chief Apostles, six District Apostles, four Apostles, six Bishops, four District Elders and nine Rectors. It is within this firm hand of God’s love that Westdene has been developing. Westdene is recognised as one of Johannesburg’s pretty little character-filled suburbs, that tend to lie fairly close to Johannesburg's city centre. Its streets are lined with cottage-styled homes with tin roofs, some of which back onto Westdene's park and dam, and the streets are tree-lined and pretty. It is within this context that the work of God and Westdene congregation started its humble beginnings as a house congregation in the fast growing suburb of Westdene. The church then bought the house and renovated accordingly to accommodate the rapidly growing congregation. Priest Dan Labuschagne served as the resident Priest and rector for many years and spoke very fondly of the hive of church activities that resided in the congregation. After a few years, the church head-office decided that a new purposed built church building was required for the still rapidly developing Westdene congregation and construction started on the new building in 1960. One of the many highlights in the congregation, was that special Divine services used to be conducted in German, by District Elders Korner and Rohner, for our German speaking members in the area. The special services were usually conducted on a Sunday afternoon
Historical Highlights The congregation was very well attended and was a hive of joy and activity for the members of the area. One of the major highlights for the members and servants was the annual congregational picnic. This spirit of congregational activity is still alive and well up to this day. Many past members fondly remember the late District Apostle Budden along with his wife and two daughters who attended Westdene congregation until his passing away on 17th April 1971. Another congregational memory, was that of Brother Arthur who used to serve as a doorkeeper in Westdene and later as Priest in Durban. Priest Arthur was handicapped with a severe stutter, how-ever, according to testimony from the congregants at the time, his stutter would completely disappear, from the time his was called to serve behind the alter until the closing word of AMEN was said. It was only then that his stutter would return. During the tenure of Evangelist Gary Sasman as Rector, along with the assistance of Priest Henery and Priest Hans Smit, Sub-deacon Lancashire served as the choirmaster and his wife as the organist and orchestra Leader. She also taught Theory of Music to many of our young learner musicians in the Bosmont District, bringing about 8 of them to various Grades by writing international music exams. In addition she taught a few young members to play the organ. Many members remember pleasant fellowships after divine services there on occasions under a tent / canvas covering on the lawn at the back of the church