+27 21 761 4030 info@moravianchurch.co.za

District: Overberg

Members: 1047
Outstations: Bredasdorp – 1993 – 83 members

Ex. 15:27 – Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees, and they camped there near the water.

Before 1824 the Moravian Church in South Africa already established three missions namely Genadendal (1737), Mamre (1808) in the Western Cape and Enon (1808) in the Eastern Cape. Because of the growth and consequently overcrowding of these Mission Stations the need for a fourth was realised. Many farmers near Genadendal offered to sell their farms to the church when the heard this news. The farm had to conform to certain standards which were unconditional for it to be appropriate, namely is their enough water, how fertile is the soil, where is it situated and the price.

On 24 May 1824 Johannes Petrus Sconke sold his farm, Vogelstruyskraal near Cape Agulhas to the Moravian Church in South Africa. Bishop Hallbeck assisted by Rev. Stein acted on behalf of the church. The farm conformed to all the requirements and it became the first property bought by the church for the purpose of being a Mission Station.

Rev. Bonatz and Thompson were the first missionaries called to Elim. On the then 3 000 morgens size farm they mostly farmed with ostriches and horses while fruit and vegetables were grown for subsistence. The homestead was a well-built 5 roomed building. These words, L.T. Anno 1769, are still visible on the front gable of this typical Cape-Dutch style house. There was also ‘n new building that was used as a workshop and stable, a watermill that had a fall of eleven feet, a small blacksmith and two cattle paddocks

Their first task was to plan how the Mission Station will be laid out. A special place for the church building needed to be identified. Rules had to be set up for this new community. They started building new living quarters in 1826 and a year later in 1827 the area for the new cemetery was identified. It has a road lined with oak trees on both sides leading up to it.

Only houses 10 by 20 feet with sturdy walls were allowed. Those that build to these specifications were rewarded with the wood for their roofs as well as a subsidy. They helped each other in the building and within two years 16 beautiful houses stood next to each other. It was the start of Church Street. Every citizen was given a piece of land for gardening. They first had to clean this land before they could start.

Rev. Bonatz on Ascension Day 12 May 1825 solemnly declared that from hence the Mission Station will be known as Elim. Named after the place with the twelve springs and seventy palm trees where the Israelites rested on the journey to the promised land. (Ex. 15:27, 16:1)

The church or church service evidently has been the centre of all activity from the beginning. Therefore, on the 1st of August 1824 when they arrived at Vogelstruyskraal for the very first time a service was held. 34 People attended, of whom some where residents of Genadendal that accompanied them, a few of the farmers from the area and two slaves. At first all services were held in the open until 9 March 1828 when the old house was consecrated as a church because a second house for the missionaries were completed. Hendrik Onverwacht and Christine Michels were the first marriage that took place in Elim on the 24 March 1831.

The current church building was festively consecrated on the 18th of October 1835 and the church organ on 26 January 1860. Five years later the east wing was consecrated on the 24th of September 1865. In 1885 with its fiftieth anniversary basically the whole of the Mission Station was decorated with flowers. New hanging lights and floormats were received during this festival. Two rooms were erected on the north and south side in 1924 to serve as conservatories.

Our clock received as a present from Herrnhut and that arrived in 1911 has always been a very treasured inheritance. The two faces on the north and the south gables still tells the time, the chiming of the bells still counts off the quarter hours and hours and it has not stopped working since 27 January 1914, making it most probably the oldest working clock in South Africa.

‘Zo doet het oude klokwerk van Herrnhut weder dienst te Elim, al seen nadrukkelike vermaning aan de leden van de gemeente, de tijd uit te koppen’

Elim Moravian Church has two church bells. The one currently being used to call congregants to services is the second bell. The first is situated in front of the parsonage. It was the first bell, which was a gift from a merchant to Elim when the first houses were finished and inaugurated. The second bell has a date of 1833 stamped on it. It was probably acquired for the inauguration of the church in 1835.

Instead of a weathercock on Elim Moravian Church roof there is an angel blowing a trumpet showing the direction of the wind. More importantly it reminds us of the coming of our saviour and the final judgement.

Of all the Moravian settlements Elim is the best persevered. It is like stepping back in time when you first set eyes upon the whitewashed houses with their thatched roofs. The church and surrounding building is a provincial heritage site. With every service the church bell with its clear sound still calls all to come to worship in this beautiful church building.

Our Lamb has conquered – Let us follow Him.


P.O. Box 3, Elim, 7284

Church Street 1A, Die Werf, Elim, 7284

028 482 1600

086 459 8022



Houtkloof – 1830 – not active
Sondagskloof – 1878 – 25 members
Spanjaardskloof – …. – 16 members


10:00 – Sundays & Wednesdays

18:00 – Sundays, Wednesdays, Saturdays
(autumn &winter months)

18:30 – Sundays, Wednesdays, Saturdays
(spring & summer months)


Elim Festivals Committee

Consists of members of congregation that organize and plan festivals, like the bi-annular flower festival.

Rev. G.S. Temmers

028 482 1600

028 482 1750

Elim Brass Band
The brass band plays regularly at Sunday services and at funerals. They are affiliated to BBSA and take part in their festivals. Furthermore, they regularly perform at local events.

The band consists of young and old.

Br. Raymond Morkel (Brass Band Leader)

028 482 1600

Elim Overseers Council
The OR as they are referred to sometimes are responsible for the upkeep and management of the town, outlying areas and infrastructure.

Their members are chosen from the congregation and this election takes place during a Sunday service.

Br. Pierre Apollis (Chairman)

028 482 1750

Elim Brothers Union
The brothers meet every week. Sometimes they visit elderly and sick people. They also regularly hold prayer meetings at members of the congregation’s houses.

As part of the congregation they sometimes take part in the services, especially on Cantate.

They are affiliated to MBUSA and attend their meetings and congresses.

Br. Petie Cloete (Chairman)

028 482 1600

Elim Womens Union
The women meet every week. Sometimes they visit elderly and sick people. They also regularly hold prayer meetings at members of the congregation’s houses.

As part of the congregation they sometimes take part in the services, especially on Cantate.

They are affiliated to the national Womens Union and attend their meetings and congresses.

Sr. Chrissie Viegeland (Chairlady)

028 482 1600

Elim Youth Union
The youth meet every week to talk about our Lord and savior Jesus Christ and how they can live Christ daily.

Sr. Frenay Davids

028 482 1600

Elim Sunday School
The Sunday School takes place an hour before the Sunday service every Sunday except during school holidays.

They are affiliated to the national body and attend their meetings, congresses and camps.

Sr. Charmaine Cloete (principal)

028 482 1600

Elim Church Choir
The choir practice every week and they regularly sing during services, especially liturgies.

They are affiliated to the national body and attend their meetings and take part in their music festivals.

Sr. Amy Ellis (Choir Leader)

028 482 1600

Geluksoord Club for the Elderly
This club is a meeting place for the elderly during the week.

Programs are presented to inform and to keep them busy.

The club also provides them as well as the members who cannot physically attend with a meal.

Members are transported to and from the club with the club’s own bus.

Br. Michael Smythe (Chairman)

028 482 1600

Elim Womens Choir
A group of ladies who performs regularly at services and music festivals.

Sr. C. Cloete (Coordinator)

028 482 1600

Elim Moravian Melodics
A group of men and women who performs during services and at music festivals.

Br. Martin Salies (Coordinator)

028 482 1600

Dennepittjies Crèche
A school for pre & pre-preschool children.

Sr. Pearle Pieters (principal)

028 482 1600

Elim Home
The Elim Home is a haven for severely mentally and physically disabled people.

Sr. L. Cunningham (Director)

Sr. A. Ludolph (Chairperson)

028 482 1988

Mispah-School for LSEN
It is a school for severely intellectually impaired learners.

The learners are housed in a hostel.

Mr. S. Banda (principal)

028 482 1810