Sharon Assembly of God turns 60

Current leaders of the Sharon Assembly of God church are Pastor Jerome and Julia Hurling.

The Sharon Assembly of God, in Cafda, Retreat, will be celebrating its 60th anniversary at a gala event at Floreat Primary School, in Steenberg, on Saturday April 30.

A second celebration will take place at a thanksgiving service, at the church, in Peter Charles Street, on Sunday May 22.

Pastor Jerome Stewart Hurling, leader of the church, said: “The Sharon Assembly of God was founded by the late Pastor Richard Clarence and wife Hester Mavis Clarence with a meagre 17 members in 1961.

“From those 17 members it grew to more than 300 and another five churches were planted in Mitchell’s Plain, Valhalla Park, Hanover Park, Vrygrond and Delft. After Covid-19 we picked up again locally with 150 in attendance and still growing. So local branches range from 50 to 300 members currently and still growing,” he said.

Founder members of the Sharon Assembly of God church, are the late pastor Richard Clarence and his late wife Hester.

Pastor Richard Clarence and his wife Hester passed on 10 days apart in 2014, said Pastor Hurling.

The church’s departments will meet in the various branches during April and May.

Pastor Hurling said the celebration at the gala will include a slide show of a “reflection on the history of the church”, as well as a celebration with speeches from dignitaries and founder members, and lots of fun and music.”

The church does regular charity work – hosting a soup kitchen twice a week in Cafda and an after-school programme three times a week.

”The ministry extended to the community funerals, weddings, baby dedications and more.”

The Sharon Assembly of God church has grown from 17 members to more than 300 members.

The church also offers counselling. “We do appointments only, whenever the need arises,” said Pastor Hurling.

Eunice Wilkinson, daughter of the late Pastor Clarence, said she remembered when they were children, they used to walk to church from Heathfield to Retreat. “When we were much younger our parents used to push us in a huge pram. My father cycled to church, until the age of 80 and thereafter he walked to the church and to individuals’ homes doing home visits.

“I remember my father knew all his congregants by name and greeted them by name, like 600 of them.”