About Us

WHO WE ARE

The Assemblies Of God Group forms part of the Assemblies of God, South Africa.

Our Group consists of life-giving churches that are self-governing by nature, while being accountable to (and in relationship with) its National Leadership Team. This team provides thought leadership, ministry oversight, apostolic leadership and spiritual covering. As Group churches, we are committed to unity in diversity, and we are committed to supporting one another in our efforts to spread the gospel in South Africa and Africa.
Our churches are vibrant and contemporary in nature, with a heart for authentic worship and practical bible-based teaching. We are absolutely passionate about the beauty, power and potential of the local church and the transformative effect it should have upon the surrounding culture. And we do believe that the local church is God’s plan A for the establishment of God’s kingdom here and now, in our world. Our greatest desire is to see the local church be effective in helping people from all walks of life come to know God, find freedom, discover their purpose, and make a difference in their world.

OUR LEADERSHIP

Byron Chicken

Group National Leader &
KwaZulu Natal Regional Leader

Jason Render

National Leader &
Eastern Cape Regional Leader

Sean Phillipps

National Leader &
Western Cape Regional Leader

Trevor Coleman

National Leader &
Northern Region Regional Leader

Donovan Coetzee

Previous Group National Leader

Anthony Liebenberg

National Advisory Team

Dr. Elijah Mahlangu

National Advisory Team

Geoff Bond

National Advisory Team

Graham Evans

National Advisory Team

Pedro Erasmus

National Advisory Team

WHAT WE BELIEVE

OUR HISTORY

The beginnings of the Assemblies of God (AOG) date back to 1908 when Charles Chawner from Canada and Henry Turney from the USA, both Pentecostal in experience, arrived in South Africa to work among the African population. Other early American missionaries who were associated with Turney was the Elliott family and a young man from Scotland, Alexander MacDonald. Chawner itinerated extensively through Zululand.  William Elliott writes that three weeks after their arrival in Johannesburg – January 1910 – Chief Klein Seth Ramaube  invited them to the farm Doornkop twelve miles north of Middelburg to establish a Pentecostal mission among his people.  Before the end of that first year the number of people converted to Christ, baptised and filled with the Holy Spirit had increased dramatically. Turney established a Pentecostal congregation in Pretoria and then joined the Elliotts at Doorkop.  After the American Assemblies of God came into being in 1914, Turney applied for recognition as an AOG missionary. This was granted, and in 1917 he registered the Assemblies of God at Home Affairs in Pretoria, thus giving the movement an official beginning.

Following these early beginnings and on to 1930 numbers of missionaries from England, Europe and North America came, concentrating their efforts in the Transvaal, Natal, Mozambique and Basutoland as they were then known. They did not come to establish a denomination, and neither did they come to work together, but because of legal necessity and dealings with Government, these missionaries began to co-operate under the name ‘Assemblies of God’. This made the AOG in South Africa an ‘experiment in Pentecostal ecumenism’. In about 1938 this arrangement was formalised.

The agreement was that each missionary body could remain answerable to its own sending body overseas and hold its own property while at the same time be part of the AOG. This established the principle that the AOG is a church consisting of groups, which at that stage were all missionary groups working among Africans, apart from F.W. Mullan who came into the AOG in 1936 with three white congregations.

One of the missionary bodies to join the AOG in 1938 was Emmanuel Mission, the work of H.C. Phillips at Nelspruit. With him came James Mullan and Nicholas Bhengu, two pioneers who greatly influenced the development and growth of the AOG.

The principle of groups having been accepted, James Mullan and Nicholas Bhengu decided to start their own groups. They moved to Port Elizabeth in 1944 and 1945 respectively, pioneering where the AOG had no congregations. Their efforts were extraordinarily successful and within two decades outgrew all the other groups in the AOG, spreading across South Africa and into neighbouring States. As has frequently been the case in the history of missions, clashes of interest and policy arose with the growth of the work leading to splits and unpleasant strife. Two serious splits occurred in 1964 and 1981 respectively, leading to the formation of new movements. However, towards the end of the 1980s a process of reconciliation was initiated and was formalised in November 2002. The AOG again functions as a single denomination on the basis of the 1938 agreement.

Over one hundred years has passed since the founding fathers of the AOG first arrived here. In spite of its difficulties, the movement has continued to thrive. Nobody really knows, but it is estimated that there are now more than two thousand churches in our fellowship spread far and wide throughout South Africa and neighbouring States.

An Executive of the Assemblies of God in the 1950’s

Back Row, from left: L. Potgieter, J. Skinner, A. Kast, L. Mjaji, F. Burke. Front Row, from left: J. Nuku, J.E. Mullan, A. Gumede, A. Chawner, N. Bhengu, H.C. Philips, W.F Mullan