HISTORY OF STILL BAY UNITED CHURCH (serving Still Bay, Riversdale and Heidelberg)
In 1980 a Methodist Church was started in Riversdale. Mr Attie Visser played an important role in the formation of this Church. Services were held in the Seventh Day Adventist Church and later at Droom Old Age Home.
The late Kathy Bayman was instrumental in starting a home group in Still Bay.
On 21st July, 1991 it was agreed to commence services in Still Bay on alternate Sundays in the Still Bay Bowling Club. Flip and Marie Kapp attended this meeting.
Rev Brian Gibson of the Mosselbay Methodist Church served Communion and chaired the Church meetings.
Early in 2000 John Wilson and David Lohr felt led by God to implement weekly services in Still Bay and a monthly service in Riversdale. In 2004 due to ill health, John Wilson handed over the Chairmanship to John Pote.
Rev. Martinette Barnard, Superintendent of the Outeniqua Circuit encouraged and assisted the Still Bay Church as part of the Methodist Connexion. Preachers who led Services in our Church were Rev. Ted Harrod, Rev. Wesley Gavin and Rev. Brian Gibson and many others. During this time we enjoyed the support of the George Methodist Church under the Ministry of Rev Willie Liebenberg.
In December 2004 Rev. Terry Booysen, a probationer Minister in the Methodist Church, became our appointed Minister for 2 years with the improvise that the Methodist Church in Kwanukathula Township in Riversdale would also be part of her appointment.
At a Church meeting held on 23rd May 2005, in view of the interdenominational congregation, the Church unanimously voted to become a United Church. A Constitution was signed and approved. Auditors were appointed and the Church became a United Church under the Church Unifying Council (CUC)
In 2005 after Fund Raising Events and generous donations a Building Fund was started with an amount of R140,000.00. By kind favour and generosity a walled plot was purchased where we hope to build our own United Church in the future.
Rev. Rupert Calcott, a retired Methodist Minister with his wife Luna were called to minister in Still Bay in February 2007 to 2009 when he retired. During his ministry a Dedication service was held on 8th July 2007 when the Church was formally constituted as an Independent United Church being Still Bay United Church, serving Still Bay, Riversdale and Heidelberg. This was done with the blessing of the Methodist Bishop in Cape Town at the time.
In October 2009 the Rev Bev Hill a retired Methodist Minister with his wife Norma accepted the invitation to minister in Still Bay. They retired in July 2014 and on the 25th March 2015 Bev went to be with the Lord.
Several Bible Study Groups were started during their ministry. A “Children’s Church” was started in 2011 under the leadership of Colleen Ferreira. Bev and Norma gallantly presented unforgettable Seder Dinners during Passover. Memorable Nativity Plays written, produced and directed by Norma with an open invitation extended to all were the perfect ending to another successful year.
Rev Keith Bailey with his wife Connie commenced ministry in Still Bay in August 2014. Keith held special Easter Services and evening classes during Pentecost week which were very inspiring. He retired in August 2015, but is still an active member of our congregation and still takes services on a regular basis.
When Keith retired, Martin Heyns (an ordained Dutch Reformed minster and one of our members) took over the spiritual leadership of our congregation until October 2016.
In October 2016, the church council has invited Rev Ronnie Cawood from Fishhoek Methodist Church to minister to us from January 2018. He is to retire from the Methodist Church at the end of November 2017.
During 2017 we were blessed with three permanent members taking the services: Rev Keith Bailey (retired minister), John Pote and Norma Hill (both local preachers).
In January 2018, Rev Ronnie Cawood and his wife Christina, have started their ministry at our church.