Formation of St Marks

In 1969 a committee was formed under the Session of St Andrew’s and services were commenced with the first service being held on the 25th of May 1969 at St Luke’s Anglican church in Hertzog Street Villieria and conducted by the Rev. Robert Orr. Regular services of worship were conducted by the Assistant Ministers of St Andrew’s and by lay preachers, until the congregation was able to call its first minister.

Early in 1975, members of St Andrew’s who were living north of Meintjieskop and east of Voortrekker Road were asked whether they would agree to their membership being transferred to St Luke’s, and in April 1975, 169 persons, including 16 Elders, were transferred to form the congregation of the preaching station of St Luke’s. The assistant minister at St Andrew’s, Willem-Jan van der Laag was the first minister of St. Luke’s.

Later in 1975 the Presbytery of North West Transvaal granted Extension Charge status.  This was a joint charge with Trinity, Lynnwood.

During 1976 the Rev. van der Laag resigned and in December of that year the Rev. Glen Schentke was appointed as minister of both St Luke’s and Trinity.

In May 1978 these charges were separated and in September 1978 St Luke’s was accorded Full Status with Glen Schentke as the minister. Glen ministered at St Luke’s until December 1981 when he accepted a call to Kimberley Presbyterian Church. Under his ministry St Luke’s experienced a slow but steady growth in numbers.

At an early stage in the life of the new congregation it was hoped that the church building, which the congregation was renting from the Anglicans could be bought, but they did not wish to sell, so in April 1979, the church purchased a vacant stand on the corner of Haarhoff Street and Codonia Avenue from the S.A Railways.

In 1983 John Winfield was appointed as stated supply until December of that year when he was appointed to a Presbyterian Church in East London.

In November 1984 the Rev. Dennis Bolton was inducted as the minister of St Luke’s.  Dennis had a fruitful ministry here and it was during his time and through his vision, hard work and dedication that the present church complex was built.  Half the property was sold and the proceeds of that sale funded most of the construction of the present complex. A Service of Dedication for the new church site was held on Sunday, 18th April 1987 and work on the new site commenced. Construction was completed towards the end of 1988.  The Rev. Lauritz Larsen, the Moderator of the Presbytery of Transvaal East, dedicated the new building on Sunday, 22nd January 1989. At that time, the congregation’s name was changed to St Mark’s as we had “borrowed” the name “St Luke’s” from the Anglicans.  In November 1989 Dennis Bolton accepted a call to St Ninian’s, Roodepoort. 

The Rev. Peter Chapman was inducted in February 1991 and continued here until December 1994, when he went to McDonald Memorial Presbyterian Church, Umbogintwini.  Peter was responsible for St Mark’s Pre-Primary School being established in 1993. The Pre-Primary School was closed at the end of 2007.

In August 1995 Rev. Mel Broughton was inducted as the minister and continued here until December 2005 when he retired from the ministry. Sadly it was during his ministry here that his wife, Joan, died in May 2001. One of the greatest strengths of his ministry at St Mark’s was the love, caring and compassion that he showed to all and especially to the ill and the bereaved.

After being in vacancy for a year Gerald Posthumus was appointed as Probationer at St Mark’s at the beginning of 2007.

As well as the work here at St Mark’s, we have for many years had oversight of the Premier Mine Preaching Station in Cullinan which celebrated it’s 100th anniversary in 2004. 2008 is the centenary year of the completion of the church building at Premier Mine. From the time of his appointment as Probationer at St Mark’s, Gerald also had the responsibility for the care of the congregation at Premier Mine until December 2008.

At the beginning of 2008, the congregation decided to call Gerald and in March of that year he was ordained and inducted as the minister here.

Revds Glynis Goyns and Gerard Langeveld who followed him were were part-time appointments.

As you arrive at the church you are greeted by the cross, which dominates the east wall. This is made of various pieces of ceramic in different shades of blue. It was designed and made by Des le Roux, Marie le Roux’s eldest son. A miniature made by Des for design purposes hangs in the vestry.

The next thing that stands out is the lettering on the wall next to the cross. These were designed by Bill le Roux and Izak Kruger (both long serving elders of our congregation) who also arranged for their manufacture.

As you come into the complex itself, you pass through wrought iron gates. These gates, incorporating the fish and cross design, (at all three of the entrances) were designed and made by Juri Lombard.

Once you enter the sanctuary you see a large wooden cross. This cross is made out of old railway sleepers. The sleepers were donated by Neville Heinemann a founder member and long-time Session clerk of St Luke’s. Steffan Stander, elder at the Premier Mine Church in Cullinan, made the cross.

The pulpit and the font were designed and made by Smitty Smith, another one of the very talented craftsmen we had in our congregation at that time.

The lectern, which was made by Baxter du Preez, a member of our congregation, was donated by the late Martha Hewer who was a founder member, in memory of her husband Bill who was a founder Elder at St Luke’s. Martha did the carving of the logo on the front of the lectern.

The Chalice, which we use at every Communion, was donated by Dennis and Shirley Bolton in memory of Dennis’ mother, Mrs Gladys Bolton (a long-time member of St Andrew’s, Pretoria), and the Communion Plates were a gift from the Premier Mine congregation.

The Jug and Bowl on the Communion table were made and donated by Winnie Dearlove who also embroidered many of the Pulpit Falls. (Winnie is the wife of John Dearlove who is a founder Elder.)

The Board at the back of the church for The Garden of Remembrance is the craftsmanship of Bill le Roux and Izak Kruger did the sign writing.

Church complex excluding the hall was built by Ronnie Teague’s son-in-law, Gary Sanderson, the plumbing was done by Alex Daniels (also a founder Elder) and the electrical work by Ronnie Teague.

Dennis Bolton, Fin Varley, Roy Struthers and ‘Smitty’ Smith did the ‘finishing off’ of the complex.

Ockert Möller built the hall, which was added later and was completed in ????

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