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NG Kerk Philippolis - Dutch Reformed Church

Ds Colin Fraser
1863 - 1907
44 years

Ds SJ Perold
1907 – 1916
9 years

Dr Tobie Muller
1916 – 1918
2 years (past away)

Ds PSZ Coetzee
1920 – 1925
5 years

Ds CJ van Niekerk
1926 –1947
21 years (past away)

Ds DJ Redelinghuys
1948 – 1961
13 years

Ds Jannie van Heerden
1962 – 1966
4 years

Ds DNJ du Toit
1967 – 1968
18 months (past away)

Dr Ben du Toit
1969 – 1972
3 years

Ds Phil Olivier
1973 – 1976
3 years

Ds Tienie Strydom
1977 – 1981
4 years

Ds Awie van Staden
1981 – 1983
2 years

Ds Philip Botha
1984 – 1988
4 years

Ds Gideon Engelbrecht
1988 – 1992
4 years (past away)

Ds Ken Lemkuhl
1993 – 1994
2 years

Ds Bertie Haasbroek
1995 - 2003

Ds Ferdinand Ball

Dr Carin van Scalkwyk
22.10.1862 The Ring of Transgariep meets in Cape Town and here with this meeting the founding of the town of Philippolis is approved.  
09.03.1863 The first church council meeting of the Dutch Reformed Church Philippolis is led by Rev. AA Louw from Fauresmith farm. During this meeting, Ds Colin Fraser becomes nominated as first teacher for Philippolis.
08.05.1869 Up until today the church ceremonies are held in the old existing Griqua church. The church council decides after reflection to set up an efficient church building on the exact place where the old Griqua church stood. Ds Fraser laid the cornerstone for the new church building where the old Griqua church was situated. R Wocke was the builder for the new church building. The pulpit, which is still in use up today, was manufactured by Mr. ET Schmidt and was made of olive wood. Two elders collected the wood in the mountains near Fauresmith. The organ and the church clock were installed by Mr Mynhartd. Miss Roerich from Fauresmith gave the decorative canvas as a gift to the church.  
24.02.1871 The new church building, which cost approximately £6000 to build, was officially handed over for usage. The coloured windows were installed later in 1877; in this year ds Fraser visited Scotland and had bought the glass as a gift for the community. The church council however decided to reimburse ds Fraser for all the costs. Over the time period certain changes were made to the church building. For example: many windows couldn't open due to the heat of the summer months. The church council decided in that particular case to get the windows fixed so that at least 8 more windows could be opened. In 1879 ds Fraser also ordered carpets to be put into the path ways in the church.
27.09.1895 The church building becomes too small and gets enlarged with the construction of the two side wings. The additional building works were conceived without any debt on the construction work outstanding. The builder in charge was Mr Hawkins. With the extension the church offers seats for 1,000 people, while previously there were only seats available for 600 people. The church tower was extended with approximately 20 feet to fit the new add-ons. During the Anglo-Boer War English soldiers occupied the church. The church tower, because of its height was used as an outlook tower. During this occupation period the church organ was damaged that it wasn't repairable.
25.01.1907 The new church organ replacing the old damaged one gets celebrated officially. The new organ a Brinley and Forster from Sheffield cost £950. PK de Villiers from Worcester helped choosing the new organ.  
14.07.1961 The Philippolis NG Kerk Council decides to give the church construction an upgrade. HN le Roux, architect from Bloemfontein proposal with a cost implication of R8,000 gets approved. The upgrading foresees: new floors, seat bank, gutters and clamps, cleaning and painting of all outdoor walls, painting of roof, applying essential air-conditioning holes as wall gaps, all plasterwork of the exterior walls where needed.  
18.07.1969 The church building is declared as national Memorandum by proclamation in the Government Gazette. Government Gazette No. 2047. Proclamation of Memorandum: "Under the authority I, Cornelius Petrus Mulder, Acting Minister of National Education (Cultural Affairs) grant by Article 10 (1) of the National Law Memorials 1969 (Act 28 of 1969) the Dutch Reformed Church in Philippolis, and the site on which it is located as a memorial."

Characteristics of the NG Kerk

The pillars in front of the church building are memorials to Ds Colin Fraser, Dr Tobie Muller, Ds CJ Van Niekerk, Ds DNJ du Toit and Ds Gideon Engelbrecht, teachers that had passed away during their work period in Philippolis. With exception of Ds Engelbrecht, all teachers found their rest in the Philippolis Cemeteries. Patterns in the plaster of the church building. A unique Characteristic of Philippolis architecture is the so called "Wurmstreeprustiek pattern" (worm-circle pattern). This pattern is not always so clearly visible in the daylight; but in the evening, when the spotlights are on one can see the patterns very nicely. Lead-Glass-Windows ... With yellow wood frames. All held in Gothic style.

Patterns in the plaster of the church building.

A unique Characteristic of Philippolis architecture Is the such called "Wurmstreeprustiek pattern" (worm-circle pattern). This pattern is not always so clearly visible in the daylight; but in the evening, when the spotlights are on one can see the patterns very nicely.


... with yello wood frames. All held in Gothic style.

Philippolis Bible

In the Entrance hall there is a big printed African bible with an unique Philippolis motive printed on it. Inside the Bible is an inscription explaining the symbolism and motive. Artist: Rina Coetzee.

Table in the Hallway

 ... with a painted Philippolis street scene with the church being central. Artist Hanlie Kotze painted the street scene. The pastorie is also in the scene with a red roof, and not green; as the green wouldn't have accomplished the colour themes very well.

Brinley and Vorster Organ

... with its more than 1000 pipes.

Church Clock (mechanical)

... since installation in 1887 the clock is still there; yet not anymore functional as the costs for repairing are huge.


... made of olive wood.

Original Church Benches

... up in the gallery. The benches are made from Oregon wood and sealed with a special homemade varnish. As in those days back Oregon wood didn't count as quality wood.


... with a complete photo gallery of teachers that had been on duty in Philippolis.