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Worship the King. Grow the Kingdom

Trinity’s beginnings and history

The story begins shortly after World War II when men and woman who had served in the SA Army, Navy or Air Force were granted bonds at the rate of 4%pa. And so they began to move and settle into Roosevelt park and surrounds which were being developed by the Johannesburg city council.

1952

Home group started in the Jacob’s home in Linden and Cottage services were held in homes led by local preachers. The woman took the lead forming the Roosevelt Park Methodist Women’s Auxilary and began holding cake and jumble sales on Mendelsohn Road.

Sunday school began in a small fairy type cottage in Pine Park and also in Ferndale.


1953

Roosevelt Park Methodist Sunday School started at Franklin D Roosevelt Primary school.


1954

Fortnightly services held at Roosevelt High School at 11am and 17h30 (Served from Parktown North Methodist Church).


1957

Rev Newton Fink was seconded to the growing work in Roosevelt Park and surrounds. Services now held at Firlands Salvation Army Home in Linden.
Roosevelt Park Methodist Church was formally constituted with 420 families.

The land on which the church would be built was purchased for 1500 Pounds.


1959

Hall built and services moved here, while Sunday school continued at Franklin D Roosevelt Primary.


1963

Society now had 700 families.

Manse built.


1965

Name changed to Trinity Methodist Church and Foundation stone for the church laid.


1966

Church and Administration block opened.

YPF (Youth) hall built.


1972

Parking lot property purchased.


1982

Foyer added to the church in celebration of 25 years and first Holiday Club held.


1987

Fred Bath Educare Centre opened.


1998

Chapel opened.


2004

Church refurbished and infant chapel added.


What makes us unique as a Methodist Church?

Methodists stand within the protestant tradition of the worldwide Christian church.

Preaching the Gospel is central to Methodism. It offers salvation and calls people to respond personally to God’s love. The strength of Methodist teaching is that it also challenges us to grow toward Christian maturity and to show that our faith is real by living holy lives. We are called to renew the world in righteousness, justice and peace according to the vision of the Kingdom of God. Methodists place emphasis both on knowing their faith and living it out in real ways.

We believe in Inclusivity:

“If your heart is as my heart, then give me your hand, for we are family.”

II Kings 10:15

We believe Every member is a minister:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”

I Peter 2:9

We believe Every member is a missionary:

“In the Providence of God, Methodism was raised up to spread Scriptural Holiness throughout the land by the proclamation of the Evangelical Faith.”

The Methodist Book of Order para 1:7

We hold to The Four “All’s”

Although the Methodist Church does not have a simple doctrinal statement to wave at people, the essence of Methodist teaching has often been expressed in the “4 All’s”. These are slogans rather than detailed theological pronouncements, but as long as one appreciates this limitation, they are quite useful.

“All need to be saved”
Original sin

“All can be saved”
Salvation by Faith

“All can be saved fully”
Sanctification

“All can know that they are saved”
Assurance

We experience The Methodist Spirit (Extracted from “Our Methodist Roots” by Peter Storey)

It is one thing to hold to certain convictions, it is another thing to express them in a way which will galvanise a nation. John Wesley was the most powerful Christian evangelist since the Apostle Paul, because like Saul of Tarsus, he was a man in whom the essential elements of vital faith found a special harmony – a balance which made the Methodist ethos quite the most sensible kind of Christianity anyone had seen.

There was the blend of Passion and Intellect

Seldom has the world seen such a single-minded Passion. The Aldersgate experience had in Wesley’s words, “taken a heart of stone and warmed it into a flame” and if he were intolerant of anything, it was the lukewarm and the insipid. In the 53 years between his conversion and his death, Wesley preached some 52,000 sermons which means that this incredible man preached 2-3 times a day for 53 years – that takes a magnificent obsession.

But this warmed heart had brains as well. This Oxford Don made the point time and again that the Christian faith was common sense. His authority was Scripture. Experience was not the test of truth – revealed truth was the test of experience. “I have declared again and again that I make the Word of God the rule of all my actions and that I no more follow my secret impulse instead thereof than I follow Mohomet or Confucius.” He abhorred shallow enthusiasms and called upon his simple local preachers to study 5 hours each day. Here is a blend of Passion and Intellect – what Paul in Romans 12 calls “the worship of mind and heart”.

There was the marriage of Love and Discipline

The Love of God is the wellspring of the Methodist message and this love flowed freely in the heart of John and the hymns of Charles. John notes in his journal that as he preached “my heart was filled with love, my eyes with tears and my mouth with arguments”. But in the midst of such deep sentiment there was no sentimentality. This love like the love of Jesus had a steel core of discipline. Wesley didn’t only make converts, he made disciples.

Sufficient to quote just one example of that discipline: In a letter to a local preacher he writes:

“My dear brother,
Is it true that you have baptized several children since the Conference? If it is I cannot but interpret it as a clear renunciation of connexion with us. And if this be the case it will not be proper for you to preach any longer in our Society. But the land is wide. You have room enough to turn to the right hand or the left. I am your affectionate brother, John Wesley”

There was the blend of Faith and Works

Even as he discovered salvation by faith alone, Wesley instinctively saw the potential danger in this doctrine. For the rest of his life non-evangelicals called him an enthusiast and evangelicals called him a papist. He was neither: He was a Methodist. Quite simply he could not countenance a faith which showed no practical expression. Saved by faith and repentance we may be, but such faith and repentance must express themselves outwardly in “ceasing to do evil and learning to do good”. Any form of quietism was anathema to this man who saw quite plainly that in the Gospels alone there were enough ethical commands to keep him busy for the rest of his life.

There was the fusion between Personal and Social Religion

For Methodists who know their Wesleyanism the debate between so called pietists and activists is a sterile non-event. For Methodists there is no “personal” Gospel, no “social” Gospel: there is only the whole Gospel expressed both personally and socially. In John Wesley this balance preceded Aldersgate: the Holy Club which he led at Oxford as early as 1730, was established “that members might cultivate their spiritual and intellectual life and devise means of increasing their service to their fellowmen”. Thus neither his deep piety nor his sharp social concern originated in 1738. They were already seen as essential expressions of Christian duty.

What did happen at Aldersgate is that duty became liberated into a joyous response; both these elements of the one faith were set alight by a personal encounter with the love and power of God. From then on while Wesley’s major role was that of preaching men and women into the Kingdom, he simultaneously fought to bring English society more into conformity with the Kingdom. He promoted every crusade for justice and protested every infringement of it.

He attacked slavery and proclaimed liberty to be “the right of every human creature as soon as he breathes the vital air”; he protested the legal system and called judges “tyrants”; he denounced war as the foulest curse he knew – “a horrid reproach to the Christian Name”.

He was the apostle of the poor and denounced the abuse of money and privilege. The liquor traffic, political corruption, religious persecution of Catholics in Ireland – all received his attention. He was forbidden to preach in prisons for a long period because of his criticism of the conditions he found. He used the press, the pamphlet, the pulpit and the private letter. He believed that if God could make men Christian, God could also make England Christian and if most of the world’s most significant advances in justice and human rights were won in that country, they were in no small part due to the evangelical revival. The first co-operatives, the beginnings of social work, the liberation of slaves, the emancipation of labour, popular education, the Trades Union movement; all of these and more were established by the spiritual descendants of Wesley.

But note one most important fact: All of this social and political involvement was never at the expense of preaching personal commitment. Wesley knew that the roots of politics lie beyond politics, in theology. He campaigned that the people should have bread, but he preached so that they should never live by bread alone. His social commitment was based not in humanitarianism but rather in that great love with which God had so loved the world.

Now: Take this blend of Passion and Intellect, Love and Discipline, Faith and Works, Personal and Social Religion, mix into it a special quality of Joy which came from knowing that “the best of all God is with us” – on our side in the battle of life; put it to the music of “O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise” or any other of the more than 6000 hymns written by Charles Wesley – and you begin to catch the “Methodist spirit”.

Methodist rule of life (in John Wesley’s words)

Do No Harm

“Doing no harm, avoiding evil of every kind, especially that which is more generally practised”.

Besides the open and publicly acknowledged sins of life, all doubtful and dissipating pleasures, selfish indulgence, personal ostentation, love of money and covetousness, all gains made to the injury of others by trading upon their ignorance, weakness or necessity, all dishonest evasion of lawful dues or neglect of civic duties, all abuse of public office or influence for private ends, and all foolish, careless or malicious talk come under this condemnation.

Do Good

Doing good by being merciful after one’s own power, doing good of every possible sort to the bodies of people as well as to their souls and, as far as possible, to all. Within this obligation is embraced personal testimony for Christ, sacrificial giving to the work of God, missionary effort, the manifold forms of social and philanthropic service, and the pressing necessity for promoting lasting peace and goodwill among all people. Every Methodist should be an evangelist and in spirit a missionary. The familiar line, ‘O let me commend my Saviour to you’, expresses the true genius of Methodism.

Attend upon all the ordinances of God

These include public worship of God, observance of the Lord’s Supper, maintenance of Christian community, private prayer, reading the Scriptures, and habits of self-discipline. The practice of family worship is earnestly commended. The New Testament contemplates families as Christian as well as individuals.

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