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History Of Harties Methodist Church
HISTORY OF HARTIES METHODIST CHURCH
A Methodist presence in the Brits/Hartbeespoort area was established in 1936 when preachers first travelled from Pretoria to run services in Brits. This situation changed very little for the next 70 years, with Brits still not having its own resident minister, but continuing to fall under the oversight of one of the Pretoria churches.
With the growth in the Hartbeespoort area, particularly with the development of many housing estates around the turn of the millennium, there began to emerge the belief that if a Methodist Church could be established in Hartbeespoort, there would be sufficient funds between the two churches to employ a resident minister.
In 2005 a decision was taken to venture out in faith and Rev Jannie Hofmeyr was invited to begin work from the beginning of 2006 as full time minister of the Brits church while at the same time beginning the process of establishing a congregation in Hartbeespoort. Initially the thought was to establish a United congregation together with the Anglicans and Presbyterians, but this failed to materialise.
On 4 November 2007 the first service was held in the SAVF Dienssentrum hall, which the Church has continued to use for its Sunday worship.The core of the Church at this stage consisted of Methodists who lived in the Harties area but who had been worshiping at Brits. They numbered about 25 adults. Because Rev Hofmeyr would be taking the services at both churches most Sundays, the Brits service was moved from 9.00am to 9.30am and the Harties service was set for 8.00am.
The two churches by themselves were not able to carry the full financial load of having their own minister, but with a generous donation of R200 000 and with assistance from a couple of the Methodist Churches in Pretoria, the costs were covered. This assistance has continued, although by smaller amounts each year.
It was not necessary to purchase a manse for the minister’s accommodation since, prior to any plans for the Harties congregation, Rev Hofmeyr’s sister and brother-in-law had begun to build a weekend home at the dam. The home was completed at the end of 2005 and Rev Hofmeyr’s sister and her husband kindly made the ground floor of the house available as accommodation. After a couple of years, when the finances had grown, the two Churches paid a rental for the use of the property.
About 2 years after the Harties Church began, the leaders started to look at acquiring a property for the Church. In the second half of 2010 an agricultural holding of 2,1 hectares in Melodie was purchased, after a bond had been raised.
During 2011 building plans were discussed and drawn up and the church was all set to begin building in 2012. Being an agricultural holding, permission had to be granted by neighbouring land owners for the building to proceed. Unfortunately one of the neighbours objected and a hearing at the Madibeng Municipality had to be held to decide on the validity or otherwise of the objection. This hearing finally took place in June 2014, 2 years after it had been lodged. However, by the end of 2014, the church had still not received any final response from the municipality.
Rev Hofmeyr retired at the end of 2014 and was replaced by the Rev Mike Durrant, who came across from the Rustenburg Methodist Church.
Reverend Jannie Hofmeyer