Geografiese en Geskiedkundige Agtergrond
Kokstad V.G.K. Werksgebied
'n Baie kort geskiedenis van sendingwerk in Pondoland
Missionaries arrived in Pondoland in 1830 when Faku, the ruler of the Mpondo Kingdom from 1818 to 1867, allowed Wesleyan missionaries to establish a mission station within his kingdom. The missionaries were first given land in the west of the Mzimvubu River where they built the mission station called Old Buntingville Mission. Eventually, Reverend Edmunds, a missionary, moved east of Mzimvubu River and established a printing press at Palmerton near Lusikisiki. It published Christian literature as the most effective tool in the outreach of the church.
In April 1830, the Reverend William Shaw, Director of the Wesleyan Society in South Africa, travelled to the Mpondo Kingdom to introduce King Faku to his new missionary, the Reverend William B. Boyce from England. On 22 November 1930, the Wesleyan mission was officially recognised by Faku, and was named Buntingville, in honour of the Reverend Doctor Bunting who was the founder of the Wesleyan Society. Faku’s primary reason for accepting the missionaries was protection against the Zulus. He requested missionaries to pray for peace in Eastern Pondoland where there was a war between the Xhosas and Zulus.
The missionaries became Faku’s main channel of communication with the Cape Colony, and later Natal. King Faku never showed any serious inclination to convert to Christianity. On 11 July 1882, the Reverend Peter Hargreaves arrived at the Mfundisweni area, near Flagstaff in Eastern Pondoland, as the newly appointed pastor assigned to the Mpondo Mission. Reverend Peter Hargreaves established schools, training schools for teachers and vocational schools.
In the 1930s, Missionaries from the Dutch Reform Church, Anglican Church and the London and Glasgow Missionary Societies arrived in Pondoland. They gained the trust of the Paramount chiefs, which made it easier for them to establish churches in Pondoland.The church was often a vehicle for the progress, growth, development and enlightenment of many Black women and men of South Africa in the early 1950s and 1960s, and naturally played a key role in mission schools.
Source: SA History Online