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Sandstone Dutch Reformed Church – Oudtshoorn

During the period between 1858 to 1861 a total of 3832 immigrants were recruited in England, Scotland and Ireland for the Cape Colony to alleviate the shortage of skilled workers. John Thomas Cooper from Nottingham England were a stonemason and he set foot in Cape Town in 1859.
In 1860 the building committee of the accepted the design plans of George Wallis for the new sandstone church in a neo-Gothic style. John Thomas Cooper were appointed as foreman of the stonemasons. In 1863 the work was abandoned due to an argument between the Building Committee and the Architect. In 1865 the work at the church was resumed under the supervision of John Thomas Cooper, but in 1865 the work come to a halt again due to short finance as the district of Oudtshoorn was in a grip of severe drought.

In September 1876 John Cooper made a proposal to the Building Committee to let five stonemasons and a sawyer come from England to help seed up the building process. The Church were inaugurated on 7 June 1979.

Ds George Murray and Family

Reverend GW Stegmann was the first minister in the newly build church until 1892. Stegmann was succeeded by George Murray, son of the well-known Dutch Reformed minister, Andrew Murray.

The Dutch Reformed pastorie was built in 1881 and was designed by Otter Hager. Ds George Murray, with his wife and 15 children, worked as minister from 1892 until 1911, when they moved to the new built church in De Hoop.

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