Classis Southwest US of the United Reformed Churches of North America (URCNA) was delighted to receive, provisionally, the Reformed Church of the Southern Suburbs (RCSS) of Cape Town, South Africa in March 2023. Full reception into the URC has to be approved by the URC Synod in 2024.
Rev. Dr. Simon Jooste is the founding pastor of RCSS. The congregation began as a church plant in 2012 and was particularized in 2019. The congregation faithfully preaches the gospel, administers the sacraments, and oversees church discipline amid challenges unfamiliar to most American Christians.
The poverty, violence, and moral decay of South Africa are significant, and the pastoral care required in such a context is all-consuming. In the face of these never-ending difficulties, Rev. Jooste, the consistory, and the congregation of RCSS press on for the cause of the gospel, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
In celebration of entering the URC, a delegation of pastors and theologians was sent to Cape Town in August 2024. Rev. Dr. Brian Lee of Christ Reformed Church DC, Rev. Adam Kaloostian of Ventura URC, Dr. Darryl Hart (OPC elder) of Hillsdale College, and I travelled 30+ hours to serve God’s people. We arrived in the midst of a taxi strike in Cape Town. South Africa has a normal level of violence that far surpasses most American cities, but the taxi strike raised the threat even higher. The rioters shut down freeways, threw bricks through windshields, and burned cars. Five people lost their lives over the course of a week. God’s providential hand of protection was upon us and we were spared from physical harm.