Nieu Bethesda, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
In 1875, a commission appointed by the Graaff-Reinet Dutch Reformed Church, purchased portion of the farm, Uitkyk, from A.S. & J.P. Pienaar for ₤4000. Plots were sold off to interested parties and the Dutch Reformed congregation was established in 1878. The first minister, Ds. H.F. Schoon, was appointed in 1882. Services were initially held in the house of Mr B.J. Pienaar. Later his old wagon house was converted into a church and then into the church hall, eventually falling into disuse. Recently renovated, this building is available for weddings, conferences, workshops, exhibitions, etc.
There is some fine wooden carving on the old church pews and the original chandeliers are quite unique. The antiquated carbide gas generator for the gas lighting is no longer operational, but once a year, early in Dec, an evening Christmas service is held with conventional gas used to light the lamps.
There had not been a permanent minister since 1961, but on most Sunday mornings a service is held by a minister from Graaff-Reinet.
The church can be viewed by arrangement.
Nieu Bethesda has no petrol, bank or credit card facilities. Fill up your tank and your wallet before you arrive!