Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (NHK)
|Dutch Reformed Church in Africa|
|Associations||World Reformed Fellowship, World Communion of Reformed Churches|
|Branched from||Dutch Reformed Church|
The Dutch Reformed Church in Africa (Dutch: Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika, abbreviated NHK) is a Reformed Christian denomination based in South Africa. It also has congregations in Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Along with the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa (NGK) and the Reformed Churches in South Africa, the NHK is one of the three Dutch Reformed sister churches of South Africa.
The Dutch Reformed Church was introduced to South Africa by the Dutch East India Company's settlement at Cape Town in 1652. The first formal congregation was established in 1665 under the jurisdiction of the classis (presbytery) of Amsterdam. Despite the permanent British takeover of the Cape Colony in 1806, the church remained semi-established with congregations supported from government funds.
In 1824 an autonomous synod was established at the Cape, removing the church from control from the Netherlands. This autonomous synod would become the NGK. The unwillingness of Dutch ministers to serve in a British-controlled colony meant that Scottish Presbyterian ministers with British sympathies were introduced to the church.
In the Great Trek of the 1830s and 1840s, Boers left the Cape Colony and established republics in the interior of South Africa. The NGK, with its connections to the colonial government, did not minister to them. The South African Republic (ZAR) was established in 1852, and in 1853 Dirk van der Hoff arrived from the Netherlands as the first minister of the newly established NHK, which became the state church of the ZAR in 1860.
In 1858, meanwhile, some members known as "Doppers" broke away from the NHK over the question of hymn-singing and formed the Reformed Churches in South Africa. The NGK also subsequently established congregations within the Transvaal. In 1885, the NGK and the NHK were united into a single church, but some NHK members and congregations rejected the union; it is from these members that the current NHK descends.
The Dutch Reformed Church adheres to the 5 Solas:
- Sola Scriptura - Scripture Alone
- Sola Gratia - Grace Alone
- Sola Fide - Faith Alone
- Solus Christus - Christ Alone
- Soli Deo Gloria - the Glory of God Alone
It has 130,000 members and about 300 congregations. It has 38 regional Synods that meet annually and a General Assembly that meets every third year. The language used in the church is Afrikaans.
It has a presbytery in Namibia and congregations in Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
- Prozesky, Martin; de Gruchy, John Wesley, eds. (1995). Living Faiths in South Africa. Cape Town: David Philip. pp. 30–31. ISBN 9780864862532.
- Official website of the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika (Official website)
- HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies is an influential and frequently cited accredited peer reviewed, Open Access journal, published since 1942, that promotes multi-church and inter-faith research in the international theology arena.