Lutheran Church in Strand Street

Cape Town, South Africa

Lutheran Church in Strand Street

The Lutheran Church in Strand Street in Cape Town is the oldest church building in South Africa, dating back to 1792. It was declared a National Monument in 1949.

In 1740 a few hundred residents of the bigger Cape area were Lutherans. Lutheran Pastors from Danish and Swedish whose ships were passing through the Bay in the Cape were allowed to preach, administered Holy Communion, baptized babies and confirmed members. This was done on land after they have docked. Baron Gustaaf Willem van Imhoff drew up a memorandum to the Here XVII ("Lords seventeen")(Here XVII was the controlling body of the Dutch East India Company) in 1741, asking that Lutherans in the Cape, be allowed to have their own congregations. It was unsuccessful. In 1741 the Politieke Raad (The local government body) determined that there were 509 Lutherans. 64 Lutherans requested in 1742 to have their own congregation. This was followed by requested of other Lutherans in 1743, 1751, 1753, 1778 and 1779. Request came from the bigger area including Swellendam. Approval were given on 18 October 1779. The first congregation had 442 people, 415 men and 27 women.

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