The Walvis Bay Baptist Church was constituted in 1975 under the leadership of Pastor Herbert Syré. A modest Sunday School work had already begun by a Baptist couple in their garage in 1959.
My own relationship with this church has been very special. After I was converted in Cape Town in 1978 I eventually had to return to Namibia and to my home town, Walvis Bay. I had asked my Pastor in Cape Town where I might find a place of worship since there was no CESA church  in Walvis Bay. He told me that I could always go to a Baptist church. He assured me then that Baptist Churches were usually faithfully committed to the preaching of the Word. ( Note : That was true 30 years ago !)
And so it was. Arriving back in Walvis Bay in 1980, I found the local Baptist Church and was warmly welcomed by their members and the pastoral couple, Don and Sue Watson. My heart found a real home there. It was there that I was baptized and first became a member of the church.
The love of Christ was genuinely expressed through this small church. The people, who were like a big family gathered faithfully around the Word on Sundays and during the midweek .
|The home of the Walvis Bay Baptist Church|
So, it is no wonder that I have a ‘soft spot’ for this church. It is the first church to which I belonged.
|Pastor Callie Rossouw (l) and Marinus de Bruijne (r)|
The church has had two other pastors since then and as we now speak, Pastor Callie Rossouw has been the pastor of the church for the past 11 years. He is a faithful pastor who loves to preach the Word. He loves the doctrines of Grace and seeks to see them applied in the lives of the congregation. He is married to Carol and they have three precious adopted children, Hazel, Rachel and Charlie. Under Pastor Rossouw’s ministry the church has matured. Being a port city the church has developed an international flavour.
A former teacher in the congregation, Marinus de Bruijne had sensed the call to the pastoral ministry some years ago, and is currently being trained up in the context of the local church and with the help of the Bible Institute in Kalk Bay, in Cape Town, South Africa.
Marinus is married to Ilze and their children are Janke and Jorik. Besides ‘learning on the job’ he has proven to be a great asset in the ministry of the church. Marinus has also been instrumental to bring young people together from our Reformed Baptist Churches at an annual youth camp. This is always a demanding task in a country like ours, which is so big and where our towns are so far apart and where we have relatively few people. Namibia is the second least populated country in the world!
So why should we pray for the Walvis Bay Baptist Church ?
Walvis Bay, like the rest of Namibia does not suffer a lack of churches. But, like the rest of Namibia the church is generally very man centered. Liberalism, and much of the Pentecostal/ charismatic phenomenon and the ‘new evangelicalism’ which focuses on entertainment and relevance have undermined and supplanted the old gospel message. Very few people in Walvis Bay actually live like converted men and women. The city is caught up in all the vices of a port city; many families are dysfunctional ; materialism is rife.
But it is a city like this that needs the Lord Jesus !
I believe that the Walvis Bay Baptist Church occupies a unique place in that town, since the focus of that ministry is intentionally Christ centered. The heart of the worship service is not to entertain, but to make known the glorious riches of God’s Word. There is an uncompromising call to discipleship ,even though many refuse to follow that call.
Pray for this church brothers and sisters, because it is a faithful church. The church has been often mocked and scorned for its uncompromising stance. Pray then for them what is also true of the church in Philadelphia (Rev 3:7-13): ‘ hold fast to what you have , so that no one may seize your crown ‘ ( Rev 3:11)