Our HIStory

Our HIStory

In the Beginning…

The Church began in the Old Testament as the living assembly of God’s people who are chosen and marked as His own, through faith and trust in the God’s Son Jesus, the Lamb who takes away the sin of the whole world.

Believers, whether in the Old or New Testament, are of one and the same spiritual family. Throughout all  ages God has sustained the oneness and unity of his people, and through the outpouring of his Holy Spirit at Pentecost, he has been spreading the gospel of his Kingdom to the ends of the earth.

We at City Presbyterian Church are part of that one body that Christ vowed to build and against which “the gates of hell will never overcome”. Join us as we worship God the Father, Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit as sinners saved and sustained by grace.

Reformation Revival

In its  journey throughout the millenia, the Church, being an assembly of sinners, has not been without its trials and failures. As it continued to grow, so did the challenge to the truth for which it so humbly contents. In AD1054 there was a great seperation in the global, visible body of Christ, a schism that seperated it into east vs. west.

For 500 years, the light of the gospel seemed dim, until at the right time, God raised up men the likes of Ulrich Zwingli, John Calvin, John Knox and perhaps most prominently, Martin Luther, whose 95 theses 1518 were nailed on the door of All Saint’s Church in Wittenberg in protest of the traditions and teachings of the Western Church under the Papacy. The slow, faint  rumblings of revival that had started decades earlier, erupted into a renewed gospel and worship that spread with Pentecost-like fury throughout the world.

Peculiar Missionaries

Through the likes of John Knox, the Reformation Revival made its way to Scottish highlands and so began the roots of Presbyterianism. A few centuries later, their protests against Charles I of England led to the formulation of the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms. In 1806, a regiment of Scottish soldiers stationed in Cape Town found themselves without a minister, and went on to form the a “Calvinist Society” through which they lived out the gospel of Jesus Christ.

In 1827, they called a minister from Scotland and thus established the Presbyterian presence in Cape Town. In 1896, they planted what was then Bulawayo Presbyterian Church in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe with Thomas Henry Jones as its first minister. Within two years, it joined the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa (PCSA), and planted many churches and schools throughout Zimbabwe, continuing the mission of God on earth in building His kingdom.

A Church Renewed

The Church is a bastion of scriptural truth. When in the 1980s, the elders of City Presbyterian Church felt the PCSA was straying from biblical doctrines contained in the God’s word, they broke away and set out as an “independent”  church.  In 1992, it changed to its current name, and a year later, in 1993, became a daughter church of the Church of England in South Africa (CESA).

Through yet another revival, in 2009, the church reaffirmed its heritage – both in the form of Presbyterian church governance and its Presbyterian, reformed and covenantal doctrines, going on to form the Presbytery of Bulawayo together with its two sister churches, Entumbane Presbyterian and Natisa Presbyterian.

Today, City Presbyterian Church is led by a plurality of six elders, with John Stambolie serving as the pastor of a congregation that is about 100 members strong and located right in the heart of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.