APN374320

R350.00R18,000.00

Dutch Reformed Church in Nieu-Bethesda. In 1875, a commission appointed by the Graaff-Reinet Dutch Reformed Church, purchased portion of the farm, Uitkyk, from A.S. & J.P. Pienaar for ₤4000. Plots were sold off to interested parties and the Dutch Reformed congregation was established in 1878. The first minister, Ds. H.F. Schoon, was appointed in 1882. Services were initially held in the house of Mr B.J. Pienaar. During the term of office of Ds. A.A. Weich (1890-1908), a new church was built. The corner stone was laid by Mrs Weich and the edifice consecrated on 11 Feb 1905. Stones for building the church, some almost 2,5m long, were obtained from the town commonage. The church cost ₤5600 to build and, at the date of consecration, R7330 was still owing. To raise funds, the Church Council decided to subdivide 46 morgen of its irrigable ground into erven of around 1.5 morgen each and to sell these by public auction. Only on 1 July 1929, was the debt finally settled. Nieu-Bethesda is some 60 km from Graaff-Reinet, Nieu-Bethesda in the Sneeuberge area is in essence completely isolated, with only two roads in and out of the village. Established in 1875 and named by the preacher Andrew Murray, Nieu-Bethesda was eclipsed by larger towns during the 1930s and ‘40s and became quite impoverished. It lies in a narrow valley, has no street lights and is only about one to three kilometers wide with less than a thousand people living in the Town.

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