Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Story of the Baptist Theological College (Part 3)

At the beginning of 1971 the College was housed in beautiful new premises at 29 Queens Street, and the Rev J N Jonsson was the principal of the College. Indeed, Jonsson was deeply involved in the acquisition and occupation of the new premises. Skills learned under his missionary father and his apprenticeship as an electrician all made him the man for the moment. Dr Jonsson was also a moving force in the College taking over responsibility for the functioning of the External Course.
The chief reason for the physical move of the College was that the property on 20 Wellington Road had been expropriated by the Johannesburg City Council. After much negotiation with the City Council, a suitable compensation price was agreed upon and a serious search launched for a new home for the College. A 3.1 acre property with a very attractive dressed stone house on four levels built in the typical Herbert Baker style on a magnificent site was found, namely, 29 Queens Road, Parktown. An offer of R90,000 was made and accepted (the original asking price was R180,000). The building accommodated lecture rooms, a chapel, academic and administrative offices, a library and student’s common room, the Principal’s flat, and a kitchen. Apparently stone masons were imported from Scotland to quarry the stone and to erect the building.
At the end of 1972 Dr Jonsson resigned on health grounds. His position was taken by the Rev J S Wiid who was formally appointed as Principal in October 1973. While lecturing and communicating the skills he had acquired in exegeting the Greek New Testament to others was his passion, Jack Wiid was not really at home with all the burdensome detail of administration and he resigned in 1975. His contribution to the development of the College was much appreciated, especially as a brilliant linguist and New Testament scholar.
The fifth principal to be appointed to the College in 1975 was the Rev Rex Mathie. Rex Mathie had served five years in the SA mining industry, where he obtained the Government Assayers Certificate of Competency and became a Member of the SA Institute of Assayers and Analysts. After graduating from the BTC of SA in 1963 he accepted a call from the First Baptist Church, East London. He continued his theological studies with UNISA. Rex was much in demand as a speaker and conducted many missions in South Africa, the United States of America and other lands.
Written by: Kevin Roy

No comments:

Post a Comment