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A brief history of Blessed Hope

Just over 50 years ago a group of believers came together in Steenberg and decided to begin a fellowship which was soon called ‘The Steenberg Gospel Mission’ They met under the leadership of Br. Robbie Richards. Their first meeting place was the Rent Office in Gumtree Road. They later moved to a storage room in the square near Squaw and Crystal Roads. The fellowship would be in that room for about 3 years. When the assembly grew, they moved to the municipal hall in Cradock Road. In 1963 the majority of the Steenberg Gospel Mission with Pastor Richards decided to join the Full Gospel Church of God. The other members of the Mission joined other churches that are well established in Retreat today. Br. Richards became the first Pastor and some of the pioneer members who were present at the constituting of the Full Gospel Church in Steenberg are still very active members in the Church.

The church bought an erf from the City Council for R247.00 on 21 October 1964.The members started with the building of the church. They completed one part of the building and started having prayer meetings.

Theodore Duncan Bowers who was a student at Chaldo Bible College School became involved in the assembly and at the completion of his training became the pastor of this assembly. Although Pastor Bowers came from a Non Pentecostal back- ground, he was Pentecostal and on fire. He started his ministry at Steenberg Full Gospel Church of God in 1969. While pastoring this church he met his future wife Esme. This couple had a tremendous impact on the community of Steenberg/Retreat. In the 18 years they were in Steenberg, they turned the place on its head.

It was during this time that the Pastor and his members started a ‘Church Planting Programme’. Several churches were planted in Macasser, Mitchell’s Plain and other areas of the Cape Flats. Some of these churches have grown and are very large. Pastor and Sister Esme Bowers accepted a call to Calvary Sanctuary in Wittebome after 18 fruitful years of ministry at Blessed Hope. They left Blessed Hope in 1987. With their going, a great chapter in the history of this church closed. It is alleged by some that with the farewell service of the couple Bowers, rivers of tears were shed and it ran very strong down Cradock Road.

Pastor and Sister Peter Holmes accepted the call to serve as the pastoral couple at Blessed Hope Chapel. Pastor and Sister Holmes served at Blessed Hope Chapel for two years.

Pastor Jacobus and Sister Margaret Erasmus accept the call as pastoral couple to Blessed Hope Chapel in 1989. This couple spend a total of 11 years of fruitful service at Blessed Hope Chapel. During their ministry, Sister Rassie started the soup kitchen. This became fertile ground for the Good News and soon many people came to salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ.

This warm – hearted couple touched the lives of many people in the community. Pastor Erasmus was involved in many areas in the community including the schools. Pastor and Sister Erasmus left Cape Town in the beginning of 2001 to accept the call at Macedonia Full Gospel Church of God in Port Elizabeth.

In September 2001 Pastor and Regina Harris left the beautiful Eastern Cape for the magnificent Western Cape to accept the call as Pastoral Couple at Blessed Hope Chapel. Pastors Mark and Regina Harris are still the current Pastoral Leaders at Blessed Hope.

During the last forty years more than a dozen men and women from Blessed Hope Chapel were called into the fulltime ministry. Some of them are in the Full Gospel Church of God while others are ministers in other denominations and some have planted churches.

Blessed Hope continues to be a church that is community orientated as well supporting the ministry beyond the boundaries of Cape Town.

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