My dear Children,

For my 21st pastoral I am sending you the inauguration address,  delivered in the City Hall on Sunday,  14 May 1922.

Study it well.  This is the model on which we must build,  placing our beloved Church on equal footing with the best in modern Society.


Ladies and Gentleman,   Christian Friends,  we have met to celebrate a very auspicious occasion as far as the Coloured people of Africa are concerned.  At the outset it is expected of me as leader of this movement to give a brief resumé of the rise of the Volkskerk van Afrika.

In doing so,  I want at once to say this is no antagonistic movement,  but purely and simply a Church,  built on the faith of Jesus Christ the Son of God and His Holy Apostles.


A number of men and women met,  and after much thought and Prayer,  decided to band themselves together for the benefit of deepening their spiritual life.  Drawn from the various sections of the Christian community,  these people ultimately resolved to form themselves into a church,  controlled by themselves,  for themselves,  so that they may serve God with a free conscience,  with liberty in this City Hall is just to inaugurate this movement and to give it the seal and blessing which the loyal sons and daughters of Africa expect from the City Fathers.

There are no politics in the movement;  there is no desire to cut adrift form constitutional government;  but on the other hand,  there is a deep longing to perpetuate the good feeling that existed between the Dutch ,  English and Coloured in the early days of the Cape.

The social,  gambling,  drink and dagga evils are taking such a firm hold on the youth of our city;  and,  claiming to know the conditions under which these live,  move and have their being able to combat these evils and help our leaders to cleanse our city,  which will help to make for that “ righteousness which exalted a nation”

To assure the public that ours is no hole – and – corner affair – for in starting this religious movement,  we have nothing to be ashamed of – we come to present ourselves in an open and frank way for general acknowledgement as a society to help on very definite lines,  and to work side by side with the older and established Christian institutions for the betterment of our motherland.

Our Church government,  constitution and discipline are in accordance with New Testament teaching,  and other established Christian bodies.

We are not infallible;  we will make mistakes,  but it will be mistakes similar to those made by those great institutions,  which today,  all the world over,  stand as landmarks of integrity and truth;  as they in their earnestness and sincerity try to benefit human society.  In other words,  we,  like other new institutions will improve as we proceed:  “Rome was not built in a day.”

As free sons and daughters of Africa,  having no political connections with the world outside our beloved Empire,  we claim a moral and religious right to work out our own salvation,  as a definite race alongside our English and Dutch benefactors,  and through well -ordered Church government,  we hope to maintain and declare that New Testament  peace ,  so faithful given us by our forefathers.

With God on our side,  backed by a righteous conviction,  and being assured of the generous support of a fair minded public we dedicate to His glory the Volkskerk van Afrika.

Joseph J. H Forbes