ISAAC DAVID MORKEL was born in Beaufort West, South-Africa on 1 DECEMBER 1910. He was the eldest of a family of six sons and four daughters born to Samuel Willem Morkel and Dolphina Francina Augus.
On 1 JANUARY 1911 he was baptised by Rev RD Kretzen of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church while the other children in the family were baptised by Rev AH Barnard, father of Prof Chris Barnard the famous heart surgeon.
After completing his Standard Six (Grade 8) academic year, he had to abandon school to assist in his father’s butchery. At the age of eighteen he managed one of his father’s butcheries and later established his own business.
On 1 APRIL 1936 he married SARAH ISAACS, teacher at the NEW MAIN STREET PRIMARY SCHOOL in Kimberley. The marriage was blessed with two sons, Lionel and Augustine, and a daughter, Sylvia.
During his childhood Isaac D Morkel already experienced a desire to become a Minister of Religion. At the age of eight he had already given his heart to the Lord. At age 16 he was already involved in preaching the Gospel and the desire to enter the Ministry grew stronger. The demands of the family business did not allow him to enter into training as a Minister.
Isaac Morkel was Sunday-school teacher from 1928 – 1931 and from then until 1936 he was organist and Sunday-school Superintendent of the local Dutch Reformed Mission Church. He regularly assisted Rev Barnard, the local Minister, at prayer meetings, services in Church and open air as well as at two railway worker camps where he had great success in doing the work of evangelisation.
In 1938 a new phase entered into his life after he attended the services conducted by Rev Lionel Fletcher of the Congregational Church in England. The desire to become a Minister was stirred afresh and intensified despite various problems standing in his way of becoming a Minister. One of which being the fact that there were no training facilities for the so-called Coloured people who were not allowed to be trained at the seminaries for White students by the then Dutch Reformed Church in South-Africa. (Hereinafter referred to as the DRC).
He still had to acquire a Senior Certificate before he could be admitted to the Stofberg Seminary for Blacks. By means of correspondence courses he passed Standard 8 (Grade 10) in Six months and passed Matric (Grade 12) in 1940, together with his entrance examination, which he completed within 9 months.
On 10 January 1940 he was informed that his application for admission to the Stofberg Seminary in the Free State had been successful. He started his training together with Rev WA September of Worcester in the Cape Province, who would in later years become his adherent and second in command as friend, colleague and co-founder of the Calvyn Protestant Church of South-Africa until Dr Morkel’s death in 1983.
A movement was already at that time starting to establish a separate Seminary for Coloured students at Wellington in the Cape Province, yet both these two men of God completed their studies at Stofberg in the Free State at the end of 1943. The paths of these two pioneers separated at this juncture, but were destined to come together again as the events unfolded that would lead to the founding of the Calvin Protestant Church of South-Africa in 1950.