Immanuel Church of the Nazarene
The Immanuel Church of the Nazarene, located just to the north of port city of Gqeberha on the RSA Eastern Cape District, in the suburb of Salt Lake marked its 50th anniversary this year. Over these five decades, the church has been guided by 12 pastors, commencing with Rev. Ronald Julie in 1973, and, presently, Rev. David van der Ventel who has shepherded the congregation since 2015. Recognising this milestone, the church board deemed it appropriate to celebrate the jubilee during the weekend of November 24th to 26th. All former pastors were invited to partake in the festivities, extending invitations to the spouses or eldest offspring of those who have passed on, honouring their significant contributions.
The weekend commenced with a, “When I Remember…” theme, where esteemed guests—pastors who had shepherded the church and pastors’ children—shared their heartfelt experiences at Immanuel Church. Saturday dawned with a vibrant parade featuring congregants, a brigade band and dancers parading through the streets of Salt Lake, proclaiming jubilant praises and testifying to God’s goodness and faithfulness. Returning to the church grounds, the day unfolded with entertainment tailored for children and youth, offering delights like potjiekos (traditional, slow-cooked South African stew), braai, candy floss and popcorn. Meanwhile, the elderly in the community were honoured with a three-course sit-down meal, accompanied by food hampers, a heartfelt gesture to pamper and appreciate them.
Sunday morning heralded the celebratory service. Rev. Randall Julie, the District Superintendent of the Eastern Cape District and the eldest son of the late Rev. Ronald Julie (the inaugural pastor), delivered an impactful sermon which was a timely message of God’s faithfulness. The church stands as a pillar and beacon of hope in the Northern Salt Lake community, and it is believed that God’s work is ongoing with greater things yet to come.