The History of Ridgecrest Family Church Building Programme

Praying about the possibility of planting a church

In 2002 Norman and Gabi Schaeffer, ministering at Florida Baptist Church saw the mushrooming housing developments appearing along Hendrik Potgieter Rd. heading westwards. They recalled as follows: There was a nudging in our spirits that such an influx of people needed a Church, and we started praying about the possibility of
planting a church in this area. We trusted God to provide the right place in His time. He did! We came across this piece of ground overlooking the valley in front of Snuggles Nursery School, which was for sale at the asking price of R500 000.

Started planning to make the vision a reality

Steve Mann, the BNA Coordinator and Angelo Scheepers, the BU General Secretary also became excited at the prospect and so they started planning to make the vision a reality. One Sunday in 2003 a small group of Florida folk who lived nearby started meeting in a hall in Snuggles which was offered rent free. Kurt and Janna-Kay Holiday and Charlie and Angie Lechner and their families soon swelled our ranks.

A faith venture

The property purchase was very much on our hearts because this was a faith venture. One day, by divine appointment a team from the USA landed on Florida Baptist’s doorstep to do evangelism. The leader, Dr. Dick Thomassian of TIME Ministries and one of his board members asked Norman what his vision was and where he needed help. Norman shared the vision of Ridgecrest and took them to the site. As we walked around the boundary of that property we prayed and at the end of the prayer time presented us with a ‘tithe’ of the price of the property. God had provided the first R50 000. A couple of weeks later friends of ours, Carl Martin from North Carolina in the US, phoned out of the blue. Carl’s aunt had died and he had wound up the estate. Now he needed a Christian place or ministry to send the tithe of the estate to. Joyfully we told him of Ridgecrest and what we would use the money for. A few weeks later R278 000 arrived toward the purchase of the property. The property was purchased on 15 September 2003. ​

Faithful members was slowly increasing and the Church was formally constituted

Meanwhile the group of faithful members was slowly increasing and the Church was formally constituted. Norman, Steve, Charlie, Kurt and others faithfully ministered God’s Word every week. A midweek Bible Study was started and we also had Baptismal services to celebrate. Then in 2005 Norman and Gabi were called to minister in Botswana. It was time to have a full time Pastor for Ridgecrest. Lucas and Zillah Potgieter heard God’s call and responded. Their ministry began on 6 July 2005. Within six months our Lord called almost the entire leadership away to other parts of the country and the world leaving only Kurt Holiday and Lelly Freeman on the leadership team. A new era had dawned for Ridgecrest Family Church.

Miraculous events was recorded for which only God can be praised

 God works in amazing ways His wonders to perform. He provides His Church with hand chosen people to do His planned works of service. One such person is Bryan Berndt who came to Ridgecrest with vast experience in building operations, and who
became our building operations supervisor / manager. Without his huge enthusiasm, hard working drive and constant encouragement, this building would not have been ready for dedication today.

Bryan records the following miraculous events for which only God can be praised: At the beginning of March 2007, the Church received an account of R86 195 for rates and taxes from Jhb. City Council. We had R76 000 in the building fund. The Church was asked to pay or pray. Prayer prevailed and R86 154 was written off. The Lord’s intervention in writing off the amount in answer to prayer was the seal of His
will for us to go ahead with the Church building, and was the beginning of miracles.

Site Development Plan

Prior to the submission of the Site Development Plan (SDP) the rezoning issue had to be clarified. Municipal records reflected a negative situation, and various efforts failed to find documentation that the site had been rezoned for church use. Tracing a lady, Anscha Kleynhans who had been involved in Town Planning years earlier proved positive and within days Bryan was able to collect the original zoning certificate from her. What a joy. The SDP preparation could begin! 2008 was a year of consolidation and preparation. Mr Nel of Kempton Park did the
drawings. The SDP was approved and plans were finalised on 15 December 2008.

God had provided and we believed He would complete the work

The actual project started on 31 January 2009 with the Turning of the Sod Ceremony. The Civil Engineer required soil tests as the texture of the soil necessitated this. These tests would have involved more costs. After investigation it emerged that tests had been done years previously and the results were in the possession of Dave Jones. (Snuggles Crèche). Soil samples were also done on our plot – one hole was sunk where we intended to build. The Engineer accepted these soil reports and it was thus possible to throw the raft foundation on 28.05.2009. The finding of the soil test results and the fact that unbeknown to us tests had been done on our land was a real money and time saver. Up to this stage miracle upon miracle was evident. Bear in mind that the Raft Foundation cost R307 540 which was paid and R24 000 then remained in the Building Fund. In an amazing way we had reached an important milestone! God had provided and we believed He would complete the work. (I am aware that some doubted!)

The first bricks were laid on Wednesday 02.06.2010

From July to December 2009 discussions were held with prospective building contractors. After evaluation, Geoff Bateman Projects were given the necessary goahead to build phase 1 & 2. The first bricks were laid on Wednesday 02.06.2010. The brickwork progressed quickly and through a donation the classrooms and small hall were built. Through involvement of another Christian brother, the roofing was done (after suitable trusses were delivered). Here the year 2010 ended.

A most amazing miracle took place

The building work progressed steadily with finances meeting progress payments regularly with the involvement of the Cyril Black Trust and membership loan of R50 000 and certain adjustments to our loan from BNA.
Untiring work by the Congregation members to raise funds through jumble sales, scarves and pancakes ( & brown money) added to the coffers.
Donations from unknown and known sources, members and non members – some
small other large did not cease to amaze and cause great rejoicing.
A “Red letter Day” – 16 March 2012 when our application for electricity was approved and shortly thereafter connected. A most amazing miracle took place.

The Building stands as proof of God’s unfailing goodness and faithfulness. It challenges to us to impact the community at every level for Him.
This was not the result of human effort alone. God intervened and worked what we could not do. He must get the glory – not man.

Psalms 115:1 ‘Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of
your love and faithfulness.’