A short history
It did not begin with a flash of lightning or a thunderous voice saying ‘Go’ – but the Lord was behind the growth of Goodwood Baptist Church from its inception. It is thirty-five years since a group of believers met in the area, began a bilingual Sunday school and constituted as a fellowship. Since then there have only been three pastors before, Martin Drysdale who joined Goodwood baptist in 2014.
Peter Dewberry (now in the US) served faithfully from 1972 – 1982, followed by Bernard Cartledge (1982 – 1998), followed by that Roland Eskinazi (1998-2013). We praise God for their ministries which laid a solid foundation on which to continue to build.
The church’s constitution was adopted and approved on 6 March 1977. The important distinctives in this document were its references to Elders (unusual for SA. Baptists at this time) and its allegiance to the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. After meeting for many years in a building in Anderson Street, the Lord enabled the church family to purchase the AGS church building on Milton Road. Services there commenced in October 1984 and continue to the present day.
Vision & Mission
The following objectives are stated in the Constitution:
- To glorify Christ, the Head of the Church;
- To proclaim the Word of God as recorded in the Old and New Testaments;
- To encourage and support the proclamation of the said Word of God to the ends of the earth in
accordance with Matthew 28:19; and
- To provide instruction in the Word of God and fellowship for believers, thus building them up in the
GBC adopted a theme and logo around 1 Peter 2:5 “You also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house”, emphasize the desire to foster an environment where members minister to one another and into the community, not only for growing the body in numbers, but also for the maturing of the saints.
Ensure Scripture based instruction.
Encourage fellowship and growth, especially in directing members to become part of a home fellowship group.
Encourage initiative in ministry by challenging one another to be active in service.
Our position on core values related to other areas, for example, Baptism, The Lord’s Supper and Marriage is either stated in our Constitution or can be derived from our association with SOLA 5, as well as the 1689 Confession of Faith.
We believe that corporate worship should be:
- God‐centered, celebrating the distinctive roles and work of the Trinity;
- Bible‐based, concentrating on teaching the truth of God’s Word through prayer, public reading, singing, and preaching;
- Gospel‐declaring, communicating the good news of Jesus Christ; and
- Church‐building, cultivating the common good of the Church.
We value corporate worship that is congregational, excellent, appropriate and relevant, authentic and genuine, trans‐generational, and based upon the truth of God’s word. Scripture alone takes precedence over opinion, tradition and preference. We believe that corporate worship should unite the church, not divide it. Therefore we believe that the predominant attitude of worship must be one that is preferential toward one another in love. Most members dress less formally as opposed to formal tie and jacket with even the pastor having an open neck shirt on most occasions and ladies taking reasonable care to be modest. Jeans are not uncommon and even the occasional shorts on a very hot day.
On arrival, visitors are warmly greeted and given a welcome pack and the weekly bulletin. A room with sound is available for breast feeding mothers and babies. Care and supervision is the responsibility of the mothers. An additional playroom is also available with sound facilities to hear the preaching. Here too, care and supervision is in the hands of individual parents and is accessible from the main auditorium should a routine need occur. Typically any general announcements are done at the start of the service, followed by a slot which is led by a worship leader with a discretionary reflection on one or more biblical passages, prayer and several worship songs. Worship includes intercessory, and prayers of praise and thanksgiving to God.
Dedications of infants, welcoming of new members, and interviews with visiting missionaries/preachers occur from time to time. Communion is alternated bi-weekly between morning and evening services. Ordinary bread and grape juice are used. Singing of traditional hymns and contemporary songs are supported by piano, guitars, percussion and various other instruments. Words are projected using data projectors. We strive at all times to ensure that congregational singing is not overpowered by musical instruments or upfront vocalists. Care is also taken not to project Scripture verses, but to rather encourage the use of Bibles. We encourage families to be together and children are assisted during the service rather than being removed or excluded.
The morning service is preceded by a 40 minute family bible class where topical themes are discussed, as well as a children’s Sunday School. Offerings are collected by means of direct deposit or collection boxes fixed at various entrances rather than during the service. Congregational life continues throughout the week and includes everything from home groups that meet at various locations throughout the area, to women’s Bible studies, men’s prayer breakfast, ministry outreach opportunities, and Christian fellowship, as well as an annual Family Camp.
Our Governance Structure
The sole authority for the faith and practice of GBC is the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments. Subject to the Word of God, principles of governance are stipulated in the Trust Deed and Constitution of the Goodwood Baptist Church. The officers of GBC are Elders and Deacons who have been elected to their offices in accordance with the Constitution. The leadership of the church and the ministry of the Word of God is committed to the Elders, who all have pastoral oversight. There are currently five Elders. According to their gifts, it is the duty of the Elders regularly to preach, teach, administer the ordinances, exercise discipline, lead the flock according to the Scriptures, and to ensure that pure doctrine according to the Scriptures and as set out in the Declaration of Faith is taught.
No Elder has greater status or authority than the others, but at least one receives material assistance to enable full‐time devotion to the ministry. Spiritual matters are directed by the Elders. The Elders, in seeking unity and the leading of the Holy Spirit, take their decisions by consensus. The Elders are supported by male deacons that take care of administration, treasury, maintenance and such. An employed secretary assists with office administration tasks.
Members consist of baptised believers who agree to and adopt the constitution. GBC is also a member of the Baptist Union, as well as the SOLA 5 association.