The Founding of the Calvyn Protestant Church
Dr Morkel’s training as a Minister at Stofberg was followed by a time when he had to experience the frustration of not being appointed or called to a Congregation. His first appointment was to the South-African Foundation (Suid-Afrikaanse Gestig) Dutch Reformed Mission Church – a historical Church in Cape Town, which was in later years declared a National Monument.
On 2 January 1945 he became part-time Minister in charge of the Rondebosch Congregation of the DR Mission Church. On 22 December 1945 he was ordained and appointed full-time Minister of the said Congregation after he lead them to heights not known before by his enthusiasm for his calling and his dedication and organising ability.
On 7 October 1946 he was elected to the position of Chairman of the Presbytery of Wynberg of the DR Mission Church.
In 1948 the then National Party won the election in South-Africa while propagating the notorious and evil Apartheid policy of compulsory separation. This pernicious policy had as its prime aim the subjection of the “Non-White” races into a permanent position of inferiority. “Blacks” could not own ground/property in the same area as “Whites” and could not attend their schools and universities.
They could not be appointed in certain types of employment – an utterly destructive policy to keep all “Non-White” people in perpetual subservience. This policy originated with a man who had abandoned the pulpit to expound this hated and evil policy and therefore it was no wonder that the DRC – the strongest Church in South-Africa, soon adopted this policy in their Church as well.
“Non-Whites” could not belong to “White” Congregations, even if they worked for “Whites”, the “Blacks” were not allowed to attend funerals or weddings of their employers – of course they also could not belong or be members of the Church to which their employers belonged. “Blacks” could no longer live in the same areas as “Whites”.
It was the policy of the Nationalist Government, which resulted in a spiral of violence and terror, a sequence of murders by the authorities as well as by freedom fighters, a sequence of detentions without trial.
Religious leaders being detained and tortured for speaking out against the unjust system – the fight had begun on all fronts against a system of oppression.
Rev Dr ID Morkel was not prepared to accept that he and his people were inferior and could therefore be assigned separate Churches. He also spoke out against the policy of Apartheid in the political life of people. He became the voice crying out in the wilderness for justice and equal treatment of all the people of South-Africa. His main battle however, was in the DRC.
A meeting of members of the DRC was held at Crawford, Cape Town on 25 September 1948 where the results of the policy of Apartheid on the third group of people created by the Nationalist Government, the so-called “Coloured People” was discussed. Dr Morkel was elected Chairman of the Presbytery of Wynberg (a suburb in Cape Town) on 7 October 1948 and under his leadership the Circuit declared that it could not find any grounds for the policy of Apartheid in the Holy Bible. On the contrary they found that Apartheid was evil, sinful, harmful and out of harmony with human laws. A system that must be rejected in all its forms.
The manifesto announced that a new Church would be established by breaking away from the then Dutch Reformed Mission Church in South-Africa due to the Apartheid policy, which also found its way into the Church of Christ.
The next Sunday 8 October 1950, Rev Morkel preached his exit sermon to a large open air Congregation from the back of a lorry, as he was denied the use of his Church.
On the following SUNDAY, 15 OCTOBER 1950 the CALVIN PROTESTANT CHURCH OF SOUTH-AFRICA was officially FOUNDED UNDER THE GREAT LEADERSHIP OF THE LATE REV DR ID MORKEL IN THE GLEEMOORE TOWN HALL, ATHLONE, CAPE TOWN, SOUTH-AFRICA. THIS MUST BE SEEN AS A PROTEST ACTION AGAINST THE EVIL POLICY OF APARTHEID WHICH DID NOT REGARD “NON-WHITES” AS BEING BORN EQUAL TO OTHER PEOPLE WHO WERE ALL CREATED BY GOD ALMIGHTY IN HIS IMAGE, BOUNTIFUL LOVE AND MERCY. The first congregation was established in Athlone.
Soon after the founding, other Congregations were established and today the CPC has 35 Congregations spread over the Western Cape, Southern – and Eastern Cape, Northern Cape (Namaqualand) as well as in our neighbouring State, Namibia.
We now have in excess of 12,000 members being served by 30 Ministers in a full-time and part-time capacity.
In conclusion it remains to be said that one of the saddest moments in our Church’s history is that our true leaders did not witness the demise of Apartheid for which they fought so vigorously as they have been called to higher service.
We hereby salute and pay tribute to our founder Rev Dr ID Morkel, co-founder Rev WA September and the Founders Commission of the Calvin Protestant Church of South-Africa as well as every leader in our Country who contributed to the demise of Apartheid and stood steadfast in our struggle for justice and freedom.
We pray that such an evil system will never ever again take root in our beloved Country and that the Church in South-Africa will remain to be the CONSCIENCE of State and citizen, forever vigilant against all evil forces so that we can live and work together in our Country in peace and harmony.