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South Africa

 

Presbyterian World Mission partners with four denominations in South Africa: The Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Africa, and the Presbyterian Church of Africa.

PC(USA) mission co-worker Douglas Tilton is based in Cape Town, South Africa. Doug serves as Regional Liaison for Southern Africa, helping to maintain and build the PC(USA)’s relationship with partner churches in South Africa, to resource mission networks and partnerships, and to assist with administrative tasks.

For more on Doug’s ministry, please visit his profile page here.

Presbyterian World Mission works in partnership with the Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa, the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Africa, and the Presbyterian Church of Africa.

The Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa was formed in 1999 as a result of the merger of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in South Africa and the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa. The church has roughly 400 congregations in South Africa, and it is striving to model greater racial and economic justice in its own structures. The church has embraced five mission priorities: evangelism; developing missional congregations; health, well-being and justice; reconciliation and unity; and stewardship.

In 1994, the Dutch Reformed Church in Africa and the Dutch Reformed Mission Church, united to form the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa. These branches of the Dutch Reformed family had been separated from the historically white Dutch Reformed Church since 1881. In the mid-1980s, as part of its quest for justice, unity and reconciliation, the Dutch Mission Reformed Church articulated the Confession of Belhar, recently adopted by the PC(USA). The PC(USA) continues to support the Uniting Reformed Church as it explores full unity with other branches of the church.

The Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Africa grew out of the evangelistic efforts of Swiss and Basotho missionaries among the Shangaan people of northern South Africa beginning in 1875. Currently, the EPCSA has 44 parishes and roughly 40,000 members, mostly in the northern provinces of the country. The church has strong connections with the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa and the Presbyterian Church of Mozambique, with which they share common roots. The PC(USA) has worked alongside the Evangelical Presbyterian Church on the Footprints Training Project, which equips congregations with accurate information on HIV and AIDS, enables churches to raise awareness and fight stigma in their communities, and helps congregations to respond with love and compassion to people living with HIV.

Rev. Mpambani Jeremiah Mzimba founded the Presbyterian Church of Africa in the Eastern Cape in 1898 after breaking with the Free Church of Scotland. The Presbyterian Church of Africa has 78 parishes around South Africa, and the church has been active in promoting understanding of HIV and countering stigma. 

For more information on these partner churches, please contact Presbyterian World Mission regional liaison Doug Tilton.

PC(USA) mission co-worker Douglas Tilton is based in Cape Town, South Africa and serves as Regional Liaison for Southern Africa.

For more on Doug’s ministry, please visit his profile page here.

Write to Doug Tilton at douglas.tilton@pcusa.org.

Join the South Africa and Lesotho Mission Network, one of more than 40 networks that connect Presbyterians who share a common mission interest. Most participants are involved in mission partnerships through congregations, presbyteries or synods. Network members come together to coordinate efforts, share best practices and develop strategies. Contact the network’s interim convener, Bob Schminkey, or regional liaison Doug Tilton at douglas.tilton@pcusa.org for more details.

Support Doug Tilton’s ministry by making a gift to ECO account E200416.

Make your mission global! Consider developing a partnership with a partner church congregation of that shares the interests of your congregation. Experience transformation as you learn from each other and pray for each other.  The World Mission resource, Called to Mission: Finding Our Place in God’s Mission, contains ideas and tools to help you discern how God might be calling you to partnership in mission. Contact Ellen Sherby at ellen.sherby@pcusa.org for more information about mission partnerships or Doug Tilton for more information about South Africa and the PC(USA)’s partner churches.

Make a gift of any size to one of our partners’ General Support ECO accounts:

    • E052042 – Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa
    • E052039 – Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Africa