In the Township of Carlotonville, South Africa; Letter from Alfred Tupelunde (Pastor of the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church) in South Africa addressed to Pastor Jim at DPPC.

Pastor So African PC-1




October 20, 2013


It was a rainy, chilly and windy day on the much-awaited dedication of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church’s new tented-church home in Khutsong Township of Carlotonville, South Africa. However, the inclement weather was actually a “perfect day” for the dedication! This budding congregation had been meeting every Sunday for worshiping the Lord in an open, barren field--rain or shine, hot or literally freezing temperatures. What a blessing it was that this Sunday their gathering could take place in much-appreciated comfort.

Persons gathered from the neighborhood and from other Presbyterian Churches for the celebration. The service opened with prayer by the Rev. Hugh Grant, the pastor of Emmanuel’s sponsoring church, St. Matthew’s Presbyterian Church and Moderator of Lekoa Presbytery of South Africa’s P.C.  Bob Seerley (Desert Palms representative) was asked to read Pastor Jim’s message sent from Desert Palms to those in attendance. Presentation of the church tent was presented then to Alfred Tupelunde, the Church Development Evangelist who ministers to this new congregation and works with Carletonville P.C. A chalice and plate were presented to Pastor Alfred and his congregation by Norma Seerley and Beverly Lancaster (Desert Palms’ representatives), along with a cross necklace for Alfred, made from nails that represent “Presbyterians working together to build for Christ.”

Two teenagers read Scriptures, the Rev. Grant preached and several songs were sung by St. Matthew’s choir. The celebration continued with joyful participation in singing many songs. The celebration service closed with prayer. Following that afternoon was a lovely tea, served at St. Matthew’s.

It has been a privilege and moving experience to be a part of four Presbyterian Churches across the globe to cooperatively come together to “Make a Difference” for South African brothers and sisters in Christ: —  (1)  St. Matthew’s Presbyterian Church in Carletonville (60 miles west of Johannesburg); (2) St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church in Vereeniging (30 miles south of Johannesburg); 3) Desert Palms Presbyterian Church (Sun City West), and the developing; (4) Emmanuel Church Presbyterian Church congregation in Khutsong. Examples of a few efforts each participant put forth in bringing the church home to reality include: St. Matthews: guidance for and support toward Pastor Alfred’s seminary training, providing equipment for church services, meeting local and legal specifications for establishment and erection of a church in the location; St. Luke’s Presbyterian Church Pastor Pat Baxter (formerly DPPC Associate Pastor) and congregational members’ help in proper tent selection, delivery of the tent from the factory, contributions toward items needed for church services and mentoring of Pastor Alfred; Desert Palms Presbyterian Church financial support and follow-up for purchase and delivery, participation in dedication of tent; Emmanuel Presbyterian Church congregational involvement in physical labor of tent erection, care of tent on site. Truly, it has been a joint venture of Presbyterians!

Children So Africa PC   So African PC Choir 

Below is a copy of a message addressed to Pastor Jim, written by Alfred Tupelunde (Pastor of the Emmanuel Presbyterian Church), in South Africa, thanking Desert Palms Presbyterian Church for the gift of a tent for their worship services.

Dear Rev. James W. Crelin, Senior Pastor of Desert Palms Church, Sun City West, Arizona.

On behalf of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, I hereby convey the greetings to all fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters of Desert Palms Presbyterian Church in Sun City West, Arizona. In this moment, I take the opportunity of giving thanks to all your members for being part of Emmanuel Presbyterian Church through prayer and also for giving the tent to this new born baby. This tent itself speaks a lot to the people of this new developed area.  When we started worshiping God in this area last year on March 23, we started with one family and two children. Then we moved out from the small house to the empty ground, which attracted more and more, up to 35 children and six families. It became not conducive for other people to join because of the weather, but now the tent speaks louder, that we are the church, who love Christ and preach the Gospel.

Our greatest privilege is this, of having a partnership with Desert Palms Presbyterian Church. We also say thanks for the gift of a communion set. With this set of communion we say thanks that the work of the Lord will be furthered accordingly.

The visiting of Norma and Bob Seerley and Beverly Lancaster was like showers of blessing. I received from them a very special gift of a cross, which is a very powerful weapon in my ministry. It is more than enough for me. It is a public testimony (Colossians 2:14-15). It has become my identity, which will make me what the book of Revelation 3:13 says. Give thanks for all things and say thanks to your lovely church. God Bless you all so that the Gospel may be preached until Jesus Christ comes.  Please do not stop praying for us as we do for you.

Yours faithfully,




Last Published: December 12, 2013 3:38 PM
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