Find us
Empangeni Baptist Church

History - The new hall/manse PDF Print E-mail
Article Index
Growing the church
Building the church
The new hall/manse
Stretching the church
Training the church
Purpose statement
Our vision
All Pages


Both buildings were built by the members, who even worked under floodlight in the evenings after work; husbands, wives and if a child was strong enough to carry a brick, then they too were enlisted. What a labour of love and all for the glory of God.

Dan Hodgson


The youth,  80 strong, were led by John and Moira Pitout. At least ten served in the Baptist Youth WOW team: dive van Rooyen, William Smit, Sandra van Rooyen, Megan Svensson, Audrey Gray, Debbie Hodgson, lngrid Svensson, Malcolm Hodgson, Melody and Janine Reavell. A number of our youth entered theological bible college: Ron Bardley, Clive van Rooyen, Campbell College, Kevin Beaumont, Ron de Gray Birch, Karen Svensson and Gary Morrison.


1989 was my first year of WOW team. On the day before the team was coming to Empangeni our bakkie was involved in an accident We arrived at the Church where the theme for the week was “Bent Out of Shape�, a fitting banner to park our battered bakkie under.

The team musical that year was “Jesus shall reign�; and one of my best memories of Empangeni Baptist Church is the response from the church during the presentation of the musical. During the final section of the presentation, the whole congregation stood as one person. It was a real testament to God’s power and His working through the team’s ministry. It was a highlight for the team and a wonderful memory of the church.

Debbie Hodgson

Rev Paynter attended an EEIII Clinic in order to equip the church for outreach work. A pleasant memory was the purchase of the 32 seater bus, which was used by Hennie Lamprecht to collect the faithful for Sunday School. It was re-sprayed and restored by the men of the church. In May 1985 the attractive Bruce-Dunn education block was begun on lot 1996 and soon completed. A gift of R25 000 from Lummy and June Bruce-Dunn in memory of their deceased son John, and a great deal of dedicated man-hours and hard work saw this building erected debt free. This enabled the Sunday School to be effectively developed as from 1988. On 23 April 1988 Rev Terry Rae paid a presidential visit to Empangeni and Richards Bay.

The first time that I played the piano in the church we sang the hymn “Onward Christian Soldiers’s I played sooooo fast that no one could keep up with me and then the last hymn I thought I had better not play so fast so we sang “Have Thine own way Lord� and I played sooooo slow that no one could sing with me either Thankfully it never scarred me for life.
Cheryl Deetlefs

The youth in the late seventies were famous for their stunts of water on the chairs, ice down someone’s back or the pile ups on the floor, the tough guys with my dad at the bottom of the pile. Good old days!
Debbie Hodgson
Rev Paynter went to the South West African border as Chaplain 5 times to minister to our men in uniform.

Throughout Rev Paynter’s ministry, an early morning prayer group proved a source of strength to the ministry of the church. In 1988 he was elected President of the Natal Baptist Association and in that time he visited most Natal churches to preach and encourage. He concluded, “The years at Empangeni Baptist Church were some of the most blessed we ever experienced and we thank God our Father for His grace and faithfulness, as well as the enthusiasm, love and dedication of the diaconate and members, which we will never forge�.s The Paynters were called to Sunbury, and left Empangeni on 8 February 1989.


The Church has supported, over the years, the Church at Wela near Nongoma. Pastor Alpheus Mlaba received help from our men and youth as they assisted in re-building the manse and refurbishing the church. A borehole with a hand pump was installed.

A similar work at Entoweni was undertaken- the manse, a borehole, temporary lights and water tanks were provided and fitted. The pastor, James Sibiya, was supported financially for a long time and groups from Empangeni Baptist Church not only worked, but also worshipped with the folk at Entoweni.


A pioneer work at Amanzibomvu, near Mbaswane, was partially rebuilt by our men. Rev Erwin Paynter outlined the central role which outreach played in the growth of Empangeni Baptist Church. On his arrival, there was a keen attempt to begin a new work at Melmoth, Eventually it became a fully constituted Church, but possibly because of a lack of vision on the part of the Melmoth leadership, it lapsed.


No less than three attempts were made to commence a new church at Richards Bay, only to be thwarted twice by other groups, who in some sort of takeover bid hindered what had been achieved by this pioneer work. Eventually, Campbell College, just before his military service, was called as Assistant Pastor with special duties at Richards Bay. The Lord blessed this work. Empangeni Baptist Church again was actively involved in preparing for the first Pastor, Louis Marais. Later, an attempt was made to plant a new church at Eshowe where Empangeni Baptist Church ministered for months, only to experience the fatal intrusion of another group. Rev Paynter is of the opinion that “We were spread too thin with too much on the agenda to give this new work all it needed�.

In 1987/8 Gavin and Mandy Damster came to Empangeni to assist Erwin, particularly with the growing youth work.

Sunbury has a special place in the hearts of Empangeni Baptist Church members. Because of a need for a suitable venue for camps and retreats for the growing youth work, Rev Paynter asked Harold Svensson (with his brother Arnold standing by), of the Swedish Baptist  Mission, in Easter 1980, “Sir would you consider selling Sunbury Empangeni Baptist Church?â€?


Some 6 years later this mission station was offered to Empangeni Baptist for a sum of R25 000,00. It comprised 6 sturdy brick buildings and 6 wood and iron buildings (including a school of 10 classrooms) on 20 acres near Stanger. The purchase price had to be paid in 3 instalments within a year. This was a daunting responsibility for such a small church, but it was undertaken prayerfully and as an act of faith. A R5 000,00 tractor, borehole, 20 000 lt water tank, a series of plans by Dave Atkins, R30 000 gift of linen from Cape Town, a solar geyser at cost price and endless prayer, perspiration, play and fellowship followed. With Erwin and Val Paynter in the vanguard, and assisted by a band of stalwarts, church planting, training and evangelising prospered wonderfully.


When Rev Erwin and Val Paynter moved to Sunbury in February, Brian Dummett was called to be Assistant Pastor. He was inducted as Pastor on 8 August 1989. In December 1991 Brian left to further his studies at the Baptist Theological College in Johannesburg.


This left the church without a pastor, and a call committee was established. A number of calls were extended. In the meantime, the church had a successful Lay Renewal Weekend in March 1992. This paved the way for the church to unite and grow in the absence of a pastor.


Random pictures from our photo gallery

Click on image to see larger photo | Click here to see more photos

re_IMG_0552   re_389   DSC_1026   DSC_0967   DSC_0920   

You are here > Home > About Us
Home | Website development by Bright Spark | Login