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St Martini Lutheran Church

TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 03 FEBRUARY

UPDATE: 03/02/2017

3 February 1963, Last service in the St Martini Lutheran Church.

FROM KIMBERLEY CALLS & RECALLS BY STEVE LUNDERSTEDT

DID YOU KNOW

The German Lutheran Church of St Martini is the oldest existing church building in Kimberley and was erected in 1875 in Thompson Street, having been brought to the diamond fields from Port Elizabeth by ox wagon. The last service in this building was on 3 February 1963. The first minister was the Reverend Carl Meyer. Thereafter it was donated to the Mine Museum in 1964. It contains all its original fittings, and is available for weddings. The workbench and tools used by August Müller in the church’s construction are at the rear of the church.

PT-St_Martini_Lutheran_Church-1963

St Martini Lutheran Church

In the early diamond rush days of the 1860s and 1870s many of the thousands of adventurers that poured in were from Germany. Lutheran missionaries in the diamond fields region took pity on the German immigrants and served them with both Word and Sacrament, the Berlin missionaries taking care of the congregation in Kimberley until 1962.

Reverend Meyer first held services in a tent, his primary aim being to serve the many African workers who had also poured into the region in search of diamonds and subsequent wealth. Under his leadership the Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische St.Martini-Gemeinde was founded in 1874. From January 1875 services were held in the Kimberley Court Room, and on Reformation Day (31 October) that same year, the new corrugated iron church of St Martini was dedicated.

A parsonage was completed in 1879, and Reverend Meyer and his young wife Hanna, married at Amalienstein in the Cape by his father Carl senior in 1878, moved to Kimberley. Reverend Meyer continued his ministry through the horrific times of the Anglo-Boer War (about which he wrote a book on the Siege of Kimberley).

PT-St_Martini_Lutheran_Church-1963-INSIDE

St Martini Lutheran Church (inside)

In his diary, Reverend Meyer wrote that Christmas Day was taken up with services in the compound and in Brother Windisch’s church in Beaconsfield.

“In the evening we celebrated the beautiful Christmas liturgy in our German Church. There were the biblical prophecies recited by the children, the reading of the Christmas story and the hymns of Zacharias and Maria in front of the altar (done by three boys and two girls). As I had never had time for a nap this afternoon I got so exhausted by the 12 services that I could not sleep at all that night.”

Meyer’s Location (or officially known as No 3 Location), was basically in the area where the reservoir and Hoffe Park are now situated

3 February 1963, Last service in the St Martini Lutheran Church.

DID YOU KNOW
The German Lutheran Church of St Martini – the oldest existing church in Kimberley – was erected in 1875 in Thompson Street, having been brought to the diamond fields by ox wagon from Port Elizabeth. The first service was on 31 October 1875 and the last on 3 February 1963. The first minister was the Reverend Carl Meyer. Thereafter it was donated to the Mine Museum in 1964. It contains all its original fittings, and is available for weddings. The workbench and tools used by August Müller in the church’s construction are at the rear of the church.

Before the church was erected, the first services were held in a tent by Pastor Carl Meyer who came to Kimberley on horseback from the mission farm Pniel on the Vaal River (established 1845). His primary aim was to serve the multitude of black mine workers descending on Kimberley, hoping to find work and a livelihood.

Pastor Meyer was a versatile pastor and greatly appreciated by everybody who met him. Under his leadership the Deutsche Evangelisch-Lutherische St. Martini-Gemeinde was founded in 1874. From January 1875 services were held in the Kimberley Court Room.

In 1875, on Reformation Day (31 October), the new corrugated iron church of St. Martini was dedicated. Materials imported from overseas had been transported from Port Elizabeth by wagon. A parsonage was completed in 1879, and Pastor Meyer and his young wife Hanna, married at Amalienstein in the Cape by his father Carl senior in 1878, moved to Kimberley. Pastor Meyer continued his ministry through the horrific times of the Anglo-Boer War (about which he wrote a book). He and his family finally returned to Germany in 1902.

NEWS REPORTS COVERING EVENTS FROM 3 FEBRUARY

Friday 3 February 2017

Police in Warrenton are investigating a case of culpable homicide against a father following a motor vehicle accident where his four-year-old daughter was killed.
The young child died on Friday night in an accident that occurred between Warrenton and Kimberley Police spokesman, Captain Sergio Kock, yesterday confirmed that police were investigating a case of culpable homicide following the incident.  “A Nissan vehicle veered off the road and the driver, who was travelinging with his wife and two children, was injured. The four-year old daughter died on the scene,” Kock said.

Today in Kimberley' history is compiled from news sources and Steve Lunderstedt's Kimberley Calls and Recalls   #KimberleyHistory #KimberleyHistorical #KimberleyDidYouKnow
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