Meet Mervyn,’s First South African Subscriber

We are thrilled to see people from all across the globe subscribing to and using the resources available to grow their churches. Dr Mervyn Eloff was one of the first to sign up, and our first subscriber from South Africa. He shares with us why he chose to join

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I have been a Christian for 31 years and for the past 7 years have had the great privilege of being the Rector (Senior Pastor) of the church where I first heard and believed the gospel – St James Church in Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa. The founding minister at St James was Bishop Frank Retief, a gifted evangelist and Bible teacher whose evangelistic zeal, personal godliness and ministry heart were a major factor in my decision to enter the ministry.

After completing my theological studies in Cape Town, I worked in a church in London for 3 years where I was privileged to meet people like John Chapman, Phillip and Peter Jensen, and John Woodhouse. This brought me into contact with the thinking of Australian evangelicals and some of the ministry resources that were being developed in Sydney. On my return to South Africa I met Broughton Knox and spent a number of years on the faculty of George Whitefield College before moving to St James.

Can you describe your church to us?

St James is an evangelical Anglican church planted 45 years ago in what was then a growing suburban area. Today it is a large church with about 1800 adults and 400 children/teens. It is ethnically and culturally diverse, reflecting the diversity of Cape Town itself. Our aim is to introduce people of all ages to Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord and to help them to grow to maturity in Christ.

What first caught your eye about

Over the years we have used material from Matthias Media as part of our regular teaching and training ministry. I came across the promotion for on the Matthias Media website and asked to be included on the mailing list. I was blown away when the site was launched and I saw what Matthias Media wanted to do for gospel growth world-wide. I personally think that it is a brilliant and exceptionally generous initiative.

What prompted you to sign up for Do you have plans for using the materials available?

The launch of coincided with the launch of a 5 year plan for St James. We have three particular goals that we want to accomplish in the next 5 years:

  1. To re-establish St James as a gospel influence in our immediate neighbourhood, particularly among the many young families who live in the area.
  2. To maintain and strengthen our ministry to our many commuters.
  3. To strengthen our role as a training and resource centre in our city.

As I looked at the resources I realised that given Matthias Media’s generosity we could now, for an affordable rate, actually make excellent material available to our congregation, materials that were ideal for our mission. As we launch the mission in the New Year we will, for example, be using a number of the “Six Steps” tools to do training in evangelism, basic bible reading, loving your church, as well as the better known materials such as Two Ways To Live and Just For Starters.

How do you hope will help your church?

We really do pray that through these resources folk who are part of our congregation and who share our vision will be equipped and inspired to grow in their own walk with the Lord, but also to take responsibility to encourage others to grow. In a church the size of St James, we really are dependent on every part of the body working hard for the good of others. Having great resources to make available to people will be a massive help to us in this partnership.

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