The Apostolic Church is an outgrowth of the 1904-5 Revival in Wales which is commemorated on the foundation stones of its Headquarters church at Penygroes, Dyted, and South Wales. It was in this Welsh village that the Holy Spirit inaugurated the opening phas of a great period of Apostolic expansion. The Revival thus brought about a return to a long neglected dimension in church life namely the continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit in Spiritual gifts for the enrichment of the church.
In 1907-8 there was mighty visitation of the Holy Spirit in England, Scotland and Wales. It was a time of tremendous spiritual blessing. The Pentecostal promise had come to British and the glossolalia (speaking with other tongues) was experienced by many. This led to a further revelation of the truth and a vision of a restored Apostolate and Prophethood, together with the other Ascension Ministries of Ephensians 4:11.It also led to an unveiling of Scripture truths concerning the church which is the Body of Christ. This vision concerning Christ's purpose and plan as unfolded in the New Testament epistles, involved not only his post-ascension gifts of men to the church(Eph.4:11)but also spirtual gifts consequent on the Baptism of the Holy spirit with signs following (Acts 2:4,1 Cor 12:1-11)
It was this vision of Apostolic doctrine that gripped the first leader of this Fellowship, Daniel Powell Williams, who in 1913was ordained an Apostle in the Body Christ and later became the first President of the Apostolic Church Council and remained so until his death in 1947.The Lord also called his brother ,William Jones Williams ,as a prophet in the body of Christ and in 1913 he was ordained into the full-time ministry of the church. Thus they were called together with others, to demonstrate the New Testament offices of Apostle and Prophet in the United Kingdom. Subsequently these ministries were exercised in other countries and continents of the world.
From the beginning, the Believers who congregated in Penygroes were known as the Apostolic Church. Simultaneously and spontaneously at that time in other parts of the United Kingdom, and in most cases without any contact or relationship with each other, the Holy Spirit was working in an identical manner in other groups concerning the purpose of Christ in HIs church.
In those early days, the title "The Apostolic Church" was revealed prophetically to some of the groups, whereas in others it came as an inward conviction to their leaders. It is a name that draws attention to the fact that the church's beliefs and practices follow closely those of the early Church founded and led by the New Testament Apostleship. It also serves to emphasis that the Church stands for the open and public recognition of the five -fold ministry of Ephesians 4:11 by drawing particular attention to its recognition of Apostleship today.
Among those whom God had chosen was Andrew Turnbull who, in response to prophetical ministry moved from Portobella, Edinburgh, to Glasgow, and in 1919 his church became part of The Apostolic Church. The Holy Spirit was also working in Here-ford in the life of Edgar Frank Hodges who had received the Apostolic Vision. He built a small church "The Apostolic Church" before he knew anything about the emerging movement in Wales. In 1920 contact was made with the brathren in Penygroes and together with the churches in Scotland they were united into one Fellowship. From Herefored the work spread throughout the Midlands and into the South West of England.
Similarly the Holy Spirit was operating concerning Gods purpose in Brandford, Yorkshire. There were several groups called "The Apostolic Churches of God" in the Northern of England under leadership of Herbet Victor Chanter. In 1922 an invitation was sent to the leaders in Wales, Hereford and Scotland to attend Easter Convention at Bradford. As a result the churches in Northern of England became united with growing Fellowship in Scotland, South West England and Wales, thus establishing one Apostolic Church. In that same year The Apostolic Church Missionary Movement was initiated with its headquarters in Bradford.
We have mentioned above that the ministries were exercised in other countries and continents of the world. South Africa is one of the countries in Africa where the word of God was preached. In 1938 Pastors W Cathcart and J Hewih conducted a very successful evangelism campaign in KwaZulu-Natal particularly in Durban and Pastor H.C Copp was sent from the United Kingdom to superintend the work which resulted. In spite of many problems the churches expanded and eventually in 1959 the administration passed into the hands of the Danish Missionary Board.
A missionary from Denmark, Pastor H Doeseen arrived in Durban where he started preaching and expanding the church. In Denmark he was a president of the Apostolic Church. Here in South Africa was appointed an editor of the Apostolic Church in toto. He supervised the church one year five months. In 1961 the Danish sent pastor H Toesen to supervise the church while pastor H Doesen was stil in South Africa.
This church grew rapidly through the dedication of its pioneer, pastor J Ndlovu. He became a christian in 1941 (in Northern Eastern Zululand) at Mseleni MIssion. But he was not a member of the Apostolic Church at that time. Whilst he was in Durban, he met Pastor Barens who was an apostle by calling Pastor Barens taught him many things about the word of God. It was only then where pastor J Ndlovu discovered that since 1936 he had a gift of the Holy Spirit. After that he became a member of the Apostolic Church. In 1942 pastor J Ndlovu worked in the church as a part-time pastor. Mr Stephan Ndlovu was ordained as as part-time pastor. Strictly speaking both were on probation. In n 1944 pastor J Ndlovu was fully admitted. He earned R8 a month. He became a full-time pastor. Pastor S Ndlovu had already passed away at that time. In 1949 Mr Amos Cele was ordained. He became an Evangelist. He was coming from Maphumulo. In 1950 he had a call to preach the gospel of God in his birth place. Members of the executive were Pastoer Harold Thorsen (Chairman), S Sikhakhane (Secretary) and John Ndlovu.
In 1960 pastor J Ndlovu was ordained as a prophet of the Apostolic Church. The lord also called Mr S G Sithole as a pastor of the Apostolic Church, in 1960. In 1962 Mr Cele and Mr Mkhize were ordained as pastors of the church. New churches developed in different places.
In 1961 there was a mighty visitation of the Holy Spirit at Pongola District. In 1962 Mr Amos Ntshangase was sent to see the Apostolic Church in Durban at Inanda. In 1963 pastor J Ndlovu visited Pongola to see "Pongola Church" on behalf of the Apostolic Church. In 1965 Pongola district joined the Apostolic Church.
Similarly the Holy Spirit was operating concerning Gods purpose in Swaziland. In October 1960 there was a mighty visitation of the Holy Spirit by the people of Swaziland. The churches increased very quickly. The erstwhile churches were as follow:
LOCATION OF PASTORS AND CHURCHES
INANDA DISTRICT: Pastor Saul Sikhakhane Verulam, and Red Hill Natal, Pastor Abel Mkhize KwaMashu Hostel, churches in at Inanda, KwaMashu, Ohlange, Mzinyathi, Ngonweni, Amtata, Mholokohlo and Durban North.
NDWENDWE DISTRICT: Pastor Albert Nyaba, Ndwendwe, churches at Ndwendwe, Nyuswa, Mthebeni, Tringspost and Tafamasi (three churches)
DURBAN DISTRICT: Pastor Amos Cele,ISO GALE Street Durban,Churches at Durban City,Umlazi,Lamontville,Illovo and Hillcrest.
ZULULAND DISTRICT:Pastor John Ndlovu, Verulam, Red Hill, and Pastor Alfred Mathenjwa, Gingindlovu, churches at Enembe, Mtunzini, Vuna, Mahlabathini, Ngudwini, Sankontshe, Ophindweni, and Port-Danford.
SOUTH COAST DISTRICT: Pastor David Mthimkhulu, Mthwalume Natal. Churches at Mthwalume, Nomhoy, Umnamfu, Becon Hill, Esibusisweni, Umkomaas, Cabane and Intsekombe.
PIETERMARITZBURG DISTRICT:Pastor David Simeon A Sithole, Imbali, New Township, via Pietermaritzburg, Natal(churches at Edendale, Mooi River, Vryheid, Rosette, Nquthu and Twedwe.
PONGOLO AND SWAZILAND DISTRICT: Pastor Alfred Ntshangase and Pastor Simelane Piet-Retief, Transvaal, churches at Dekapol(Reebokfontein) Pongolo,Mkhwakhweni, Lubulini,and Velezizweni.
From 1942 to 1965 it was the Missionaries who were supervising the work of the whole church. In all works pastor J Ndlovu worked as a senior pastor of the Apostolic Church. There was no president by that time. The superintendent was occupying the position of president. In 1971 the white Missionaries reported that they have decided to withdraw in supporting churches and pastors. After that they stopped immediately.
In 1977 pastor J Ndlovu and pastor S G Sithole were ordained as apostles, of the Apostolic Church in to. After that pastor J Ndlovu was formally appointed as president of the Apostolic Church, and pastor S G Sithole became a deputy president.
After a long walk president J Ndlovu became illor sick. Because of his health and age, it was absolute impossible for him to continue in his position. In 1982 the General Council took a decision, supporting the deputy president pastor S G Sithole to lead the church into toto. The meeting took place by end of November 1982.
President S G Sithole led the church for almost sixteen years (1983-1998).The church continued to grow but other mission stations were sold, but the church kept Inanda Mission station. The church clung to this place although it was becoming small. The Apostolic church tried to buy a school next to the mission to enlarge the place and at the same time tried to raise funds for this project.
The Holy Spirit was working in an identical manner in other groups concerning the purpose of Christ in His church. In 1982 Sisters Convection started to raise funds within the church, for this project. In 1984 the whole church started to collect or raise funds, and donations for this project. Because the Apostolic Church grew under apartheid government, the trustees were prohibited by Group Areas Act to sell this school to the Apostolic Church.
In 1989, the Apostolic Church received an order from the government instructing the church to submit the title deed for our mission, because they had decided to take the land from the church and give the church compensation. They did this and just sent the church a cheque of R115 000, 00 without having consulted the church on the price of the land.
The church then started looking for the place that was going to suite its need. The Apostolic Church heard about a mushroom farm that was once used by Tongaat group and was for sale. The church made an offer to buy the farm for R250 000,00 but this offer was not accepted and the church raised it to R300 000,00 and they agreed to talk to church.
The church eventually bought the farm for R300 000, 00 although the cost eventually became more. It was good for the church to get this place and the challenge the church is facing now is to develop the place. The church got a donation of R50 000, 00 from Denmark for the purchase of the land.
This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place......If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, If you do not oppress the alien, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, then i will let you live in this place, in the land I gave to your forefathers forever"(Jeremiah 7:3,5-7)