From humble beginnings, Ps Willem and Celeste Nel embarked on an exciting journey of faith and today the church can look back and celebrate with them God’s goodness and grace. This is His story…
In 1992 Ps Willem and Celeste started the Potchefstroom Student Church with just a handful of students. They held their very first 1st years camp in 1993 and saw a greater number of students impacted with the word and added to the church.
Ps Willem and Celeste decided to join the His People family in 1997 and they officially became His People Potchefstroom in 1998. The Bible School was launched on campus that year and there was a soon a need to begin an English service, to cater for the International community on campus.
In 2000, God clearly spoke a promise from Isaiah 58 which was to become a vital framework for how His People Potch viewed their role in the city. God infused in the leaders a passion to bless the city of Potchefstroom by starting with those who really needed it.
Isaiah 58:9-12 (Message) If you get rid of unfair practices, quit blaming victims, quit gossiping about other people’s sins, If you are generous with the hungry and start giving yourselves to the down-and-out, Your lives will begin to glow in the darkness, your shadowed lives will be bathed in sunlight. I will always show you where to go. I’ll give you a full life in the emptiest of places firm muscles, strong bones. You’ll be like a well-watered garden, a gurgling spring that never runs dry. You’ll use the old rubble of past lives to build anew, rebuild the foundations from out of your past. You’ll be known as those who can fix anything, restore old ruins, rebuild and renovate, make the community livable again.
The Message was clear. Take responsibility and serve the city. Help those who are down-and-out and feed the hungry. And God promised Ps Willem and Celeste that as they were generous with the underprivileged, He would establish Praise Park right in the centre of town. As a result of this word, Thembalitsha the community development arm of the church, was born. Thembalitsha, now called The Hope Again Foundation, expanded their reach into the community through the feeding scheme, life skills and various caring programmes for young and old.
Ps Willem and Celeste received a lot of criticism for having a church with an English name in an Afrikaans city. They were told that their vision would never work in a place like Potch. A multi-cultural, multi- generational church just won’t work! In this atmosphere of negativity Ps Willem and Celeste decided that if these people did not exist in Potch, they would call them in by faith!
Today we can see the miraculous results of this word of faith, tested and proved TRUE! There are a number of businessmen who actually moved their businesses to Potchefstroom after they received a prophetic call to the city.
Where there is a climate of hope, the people will believe again. God’s message of hope was the key to where He was leading the church.
Today, His People Faith City has sites in Potchefstroom, Klerksdorp and Parys, with a dynamic children’s and teens ministry, as well as being on campus and in the community.