Lutheran Church, New Germany

Lutheran Church, New Germany Image source

 
The New Germany Lutheran Church is the oldest congregation in the ELCSA(NT). Located in the greater Durban area, this congregation is characterized by transformation in membership and leadership structure whilst attempting to develop greater community relevance.
 
In January 1969, the foundation stone of the present church building was laid. At that time, the membership stood at 321 and was growing.  A document signed on that day gave thanks to the Lord of the Church for giving them the grace to proclaim His word, and for granting this oldest Evangelical Lutheran congregation in Natal to continue its service in its new home. That day marked a new chapter in the life of the congregation, which had moved from the old church in Shepstone Road, which had been its home since 1862, due to the industrialisation of Pinetown and New Germany. Jonas Bergtheil, was the man originally responsible for bringing German settlers to the area. The emigrants left Bremen on 10 November 1847 arriving in Natal on 23 March 1848.  Soon after their arrival, Jonas Bergtheil asked Pastor Posselt, who had come to Natal as a missionary, to come to New Germany to marry four young couples and to baptise the babies born on the voyage. This he did, and the settlers asked him to stay on as their minister – to which he agreed on condition that he could carry on with his missionary work among the Zulu. On 12 May 1885, Wilhlem Posselt passed away after a period of illness. In his time of service Posselt also founded the Christianenburg mission congregation.
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Last updated : 10-May-2018

This article was produced for South African History Online on 10-May-2018