In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth, the Sun, The Moon and Stars. He created man in His image and likeness to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.
God in His wisdom and part of His grand design of the universe created a place situated in the southern suburbs of the ever-growing City of Gold, Johannesburg, a suburb known as Rosettenville. In the 1940’s the area was vibrant, filled with excited young people and middle class families.
Rev James Walker, in 1939, asked Mr & Mrs Herbert Wood, a newly wedded couple, to commence a Sunday School in Rosettenville, this they duly did sharing the premises of the Rosettenville Post Office, and so a unique arrangement evolved with the building being used for Post Office business during the week and then being used for Sunday school on a Sunday morning.
It was at this time that God laid on the heart of a Mr. Surmon (of Surmon Brickyards) that a Baptist Church be established in the Southern Suburbs. He duly bought the Post Office building from the Government, situated at 219 Prairie Street, just off the corner of Prairie and Geranium streets ( where the Centro Complex now stands) and offered it to the Central Baptist Church on condition that the building be used as a Baptist Church. The Rev. James Walker, the minister at the time at Central Baptist, enthusiastically accepted the offer, and so The Baptist Church of Rosettenville came into existence. The building at that time was very small, but in early 1946 it was extended by a further 35 meters together with a vestibule included at the entrance.
Central Baptist Church decided to appoint an assistant Pastor, to be paid out of their own funds to establish the new Church in Rosettenville. On 9th March,1941 Rev. Dr John Poorter was inducted into the Pastorate and appointed as the first full time Pastor of RBC.
The first members of the Church, 14 in all, banded themselves together and resolved to serve the Lord with Zeal and Joy. They prayed, witnessed, worshipped and evangelized until the district rang with the gospel message
The Sunday school grew
The Women’s work flourished
And many young people got saved
Rev. Poorter continued to serve RBC until 1945 when Rev. E. Rowlands was initiated into the full time ministry of the Church.
The Church has continued to be lead and pastored by a variety of dynamic and influential and Godly characters that have moulded and changed the lives of so many that have passed through the doors of this Church. Rev. Donald Macpherson served RBC from 1948 -1960. He was succeeded by Rev. Dr Reginald Codrington who served from 1960 – 1965. He was followed by Rev. T.J Wilson 1965 – 1972
Rev. Paul Jones became the Senior Pastor 1974 (He still serves as an Elder and our Pastor to the seniors and ministers at Queenshaven Old Age Home as well as Mothwa and on occasion at RBC. An inspiration to all who have come into contact with him and Ethne, his wife (who incidentally is one of the longest serving members of the church, this with broken membership because of their ministry in different churches across South Africa as well as in Rhodesia). His grandchildren are also actively involved, being 4th generation members of the Church.
It was during Pastor Paul Jones tenure that the JHB City Council indicated that it would seek to expropriate the Church property to establish public parking. So negotiations were entered into with the City Council. The negotiations caused a stir when it was announced in 1976 that the Council would acquire the property for an amount of R100,000.00 when the municipal value for the property was only R15,000.00. Forced to leave the old church, work started on the building of the new church situated at 8 Albert Street, Townsview. The move took place on the 26 June, 1977. The final service was conducted by the Rev. Rex Mathie, Principal of the Baptist Theological College and ex member of RBC and one of the great characters in its history.
The doors of the old Church were finally locked by his Mother, a founder member of the RBC, Mrs Winnie Mathie. Although the Church was now situated in Townsview, it was decided that the name remain The Baptist Church of Rosettenville (acronym- RBC)
Pastor Paul Jones was succeeded by Rev. Dr Jan Vink who served until he left to take up a lecturing post at the Baptist Theological College in 1994.
On the 5th January, 1995 Rev. Bruce Davie took over the reigns at RBC and for the first time in its history RBC had two full time Pastors, the second being Rev. John Abrahamse. The two formed a powerful combination, both having particular skills with youth work. The number of young people attending the Church increased by leaps and bounds.
In 2000 the Rev. Darryl Soal took over as Senior Pastor of RBC.
One of the first Missionaries sent out by RBC in October 1959 was Elise Ressell (then Rawlinson) who we have the privilege of having here today. She answered the call and was sent off to Lambaland in the then Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia. She returned from the mission field in 1963, when she married Rev Lynton Ressell and their service for the Lord began in earnest serving Him across South Africa, Rhodesia & on the island of St. Helena. Another of our first missionaries was a nursing sister, Miss Yvonne Otto who heard the call from God for mission work, and she went as a nursing sister to the then Hammanskraal Jubilee Mission Hospital situated in Hammanskraal north of Pretoria. She served faithfully for 4 years and also returned to marry a Baptist pastor, Rev Hugh Salzwedel.
We have been instrumental in the planting of Churches in South Hills, Mondeor, Berea, Brackendowns & Glenvista, and are currently involved in the planting of a Church in Palm Springs. We still boast a vibrant Sunday School and Youth activities and many other ministries.