Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Story of the Baptist Theological College (Part 4)

Dr J N Jonsson wrote of Rex Mathie: “Mr Mathie’s coming brought a new dimension in preaching to the College. He is a man with charisma and rare preaching ability; he was God’s gift to the College. As a theologian, and versatile in Biblical Studies in particular, he has been accepted with respect and affection by students and staff alike. He was able to continue the work started by his predecessors. Himself a son of the College, and a pastor and great supporter of the training programme of the College, he has proved to be the right choice for our time.” He was to lead the College for the next 18 years.
During these years the College continued to expand. During the first 25 years of the College’s life 121 internal students were accepted and 25 were accepted into the external programme. During the second twenty five years 410 students were accepted, and 320 students were accepted into the external studies programme.
It would be difficult to mention all the various lecturers, full time and part time, that have participated in the life of the College, but the following can be mentioned in passing.
Victor Brandt joined the College staff after 11 years of pastoral experience and became responsible for the Department of Pastoral Studies. Despite a long a difficult battle with increasingly ill health, Victor Brandt continued to serve from 1973 to 1992. He died in 1993. A tribute read at the following BU Assembly included the following: “He was a gracious and understanding teacher who endeared himself to his students by his deep perceptions of their personal needs, quite apart from the academic requirements. He was also loved as a counselor and many of the students will remember private sessions in his study or in his home when deep personal concerns were shared … Victor Brandt was man of unique courage. He bore with exemplary fortitude the heavy load of suffering which was his lot for seventeen years … the sheer example of his life probably made a more indelible impression on his students than any other aspect of his classroom teaching.
Rev Herbert Beerens had come to South Africa from Belgium where he had obtained a Licentiate in Chemistry from Ghent University. After his conversion to Christ in South Africa, he studied theology at Moody Bible Institute and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He joined the College staff in 1977 and lectured in Greek and missions.
The Rev W P Steeger was seconded by the Southern Baptist Convention to teach Old Testament in 1979.
The full time teaching staff in 1990 comprised: Dr R G Mathie (Systematics); Dr T S Akers (Missions); the Rev V J Brandt (Practical Theology); Dr J E Ditty (Old Testament); Dr D L Morcom (Church History); Dr J S Wiid (New Testament); and part time Miss I Samson (Hebrew), Dr T B McGee (Christian Education).
Written by: Kevin Roy

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