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Empangeni Baptist Church


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

A Church

  • that impacts the community with God's love.
  • that meets the needs of the whole family.
  • that has an accepting environment.
  • where every member ministry is a reality.
  • where the preaching of God's Word is relevant and practical.
  • that is truly missionary minded.
  • where all activities are intentional.
  • committed to developing meaningful and relevant worship.
  • committed to developing dynamic and relevant youth ministries.
  • which is a culturally diverse family of believers.
  • which sees Christians coming to maturity in Christ.
  • which sees Christians enthusiastic for evangelism.
  • which sees broadening and deepening fellowship within the Church.


Resulting from this step, training seminars were introduced and led by Bruce, which focused specifically on Christian life and service. It is the aim that all in the Church will go through the Classes of 101 to 401, thereby making each a better servant of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Church and in our different work places.

 

Dorcas Aid used our facilities during the year, when they moved into the area to assist with the Cholera problem of KZN. As can be imagined, the Church got involved with prayer support, grocery donations, packing food buckets, and distribution of the same. Tracts were also in the buckets so that God's gospel reached homes where it was normally not heard.

 

The Casino was a real threat in Richards Bay and the churches had united to oppose this move. A legal battle was begun between the Richards Bay Ministers Fraternal and various parities who had an interest in the Casino. Sadly the case was thrown out of court after a long long and many expenses. Unfortunately, in the process, the City council approved a temporary site in the Industrial area in Empangeni which appears to now have become a permanent site.


The Mtunzini Fellowship approached us to assist in filling their pulpit when Jim and Jill Buske moved away. We gladly assisted and many of our men preached there while they looked to God for a Pastor. This position was filled in January 2004, when Gerrie and Paddy Swart of our Church moved to Mtunzini.


Pastor Elijah Mkwanazi's "Gospel Car" was very busy during the year, visiting Swaziland, Gauteng, Botswana and the Northern Province. Yes, this friend of our Church is a real inspiration to us at his age! It is incredible to see a man well into his nineties still driving and seeking to exalt the name of His Saviour.


Ponto da Ora, under the leadership of Pastor Ernesto Miambo, was given partial support by our Church during 2001. A group of our Church's men went on a visit to this work and to ZMO preaching points during 2003, and were amazed at the hand of God in the rural areas. They returned excited and resolved to get involved in a building programme during 2004/5 in the Jozini area if the Lord so willed it.


The Youth during these years were not forgotten. Far from it, they were taken under the wing of caring leaders which can be seen by the steady increase in numbers over these years. The 2001 Report says "To say that God is working at Impact (High School) is an understatement - He is moving in truly wonderful ways. He has injected enthusiasm and a passion for Jesus into our leaders and our numbers are growing weekly. We praise Him for this." And the same can be said for The Lord's Army (Pre-school to Grade 2) and JYPS (Grade 3 to 7).


Aids, the silent killer, was all around us in the community. A group of Christians (two from our congregation), led by the Lord, decided to walk in faith and do something for the resulting orphans.

AIDS has had a dramatic affect on life in the rural areas and this has created a huge orphan problem. These communities have little or no idea about a God that loves them and sent his Son to die for them. But before we can tell them the gospel, we must first show them His love so that they will be ready to listen and understand.

 

MusaweNkosi Ministries was formed in October 2001. MusaweNkosi means God's grace in Zulu. We are a group of Christians who want to show God's love to orphans and the community in a practical way To date we have 200 orphans on our books but this is being added to weekly.

We work in two ways, firstly by assisting those grandparents or relatives who are able to look after the children to receive the foster care grants that they are entitled to. To enable them to go to school we pay school fees and buy stationery that the children need. We are also feeding those who are most needy.


Secondly our aim is to build cluster foster homes. This will be for those children who have no relatives to care for them or whose relatives are abusive. We also feel that God designed the family for a reason and we want these children to have Christian guidance and grow up with a family pattern. Elaine Charlton


The Sunday School saw a need and reacted and the following is an extract from the Sunday School Report for the 2003 AGM: "Our project to raise money to buy a bicycle has been reached, and it was great for the children to experience what has been done to provide a need to MusaweNkosi."


2003 was the year of technology for the Church, as we saw the introduction of the laptop and projector for the praise and worship, and messages on Sundays. These facilities are proving invaluable for all types of occasions at the Church, so it was away with the old (overhead projectors) and in with the new (lap top computers and such). There is a true saying which says "It is always safe to assume, not that the old way is wrong, but that there may be a better way."

 

This has proved to be true in this case and these items have been used by God to glorify His name.

Dreams were once again to be realised as 2004 started, with two great events taking place in March and April. Firstly, our first “School of the Bible� was held on the Church premises. We were able to accommodate all the men who attended at the Church, with two ladies being hosted at a Bed & Breakfast. The School was a great success and we are confident the Lord will use the knowledge gained to His glory in the rural areas. This ministry is on-going with training taking place four times annually. The School runs similarly to that headed up by Rev Ron Wesson. All accommodation, meals, recreation and support are provided by our Church.

 

Secondly, the Church approved the removal of the two front rooms off the stage which had become obsolete, thereby extending the Church and making the stage usable. The impossible happened and within two weeks of commencing, the work was completed in time for the 35th Celebration.


We were young, just married and arrived in Empangeni in 1977. Cecil and I knew very few people here and coming from a Baptist background found it very difficult to settle down in any of the local churches. We journeyed some 160 km every weekend just to fellowship in our home church. God knew us and our needs, so He brought across our path our dear friend, Dan Hodgson, who was Cecil's boss at the time. One day he lovingly told us, "God brought you to Empangeni because He wants to use you here and he invited us to Empangeni Baptist Church. This was the time of the Apartheid Government and so we were the only people of colour in a predominantly'White' church, We thank and praise God for the love of brothers and sisters in the Lord who made us feel very welcome. Although we were very involved in the Indian Baptist church we tended to hold back for fear of 'what the people would say'. This was a very barren time in our lives and we prayed that God would use us in some way God intervened, and Henni Lamprecht, who was then Sunday School superintendent, approached me (Rita) and asked if I could help with Sunday School as Sunday School secretary. I was overjoyed, for now God was using my gift and talent for His Glory. I praise God! So began our involvement in the Baptist work here in Empangeni. We were blessed with two beautiful children who were fortunate to grow up under the ministry of Empangeni Baptist church. We praise God for His servant, Erwin Paynter who taught the Word and was instrumental in leading our children to the Lord and then through the waters of Baptism. Even though our children have left home now, we stand assured that the head knowledge of the Risen Saviour will never leave them because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Empangeni Baptist will always hold a special place in our hearts. Over the years we have seen the back walls broken down to accommodate more worshippers and then most recently we've seen the front walls broken down again to accommodate more worshippers. We have grown spiritually over the years under the ministry of God's faithful servants and we thank God for every one of you. We wish Empangeni Baptist many, many more years to the Glory of God. Cecil & Rita Pillay.



 

Random pictures from our photo gallery

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