New minister has ‘big plans’ for church

Cape Town Union Congregational Churchs new minister Reverend Dave Turner and his wife, Henriete.

The Cape Town Union Congregational Church in Kloof Street will induct a new minister this month and he has big plans for the church.

Reverend Dave Turner said he is not a traditional minister.

Not having a Christian background, Reverend Turner said he didn’t even know that there was an Old Testament when he got his first Bible.

“We were forced to go to the army during apartheid and while I was there, I was given a little green Bible and because I had nothing to do in my free time, I read this Bible,” he said.

He said when he came back to Cape Town and worked in the military police, he went around trying to find a church. He said he was called into Christianity but he felt like he wasn’t right for the God that he didn’t know and he did all he could to learn more about Him.

He’s been pastor in a number of different churches before this appointment.

“I plan to work closely with the South African Children’s Home to help the kids in need. We’re connecting with the kids and I want to make sure that the kids have a space where they feel safe besides the home,” he said.

He said it takes a day to prepare his sermons and he spends the rest of the week visiting people and checking on how they are doing.

He joked that he’s introduced a red and yellow card rule for the elderly in the church. “I’m giving the elderly these cards, so if I say something they don’t understand, they will raise their yellow cards and when my sermons are too long, they’ll take out their red cards,” he said.

He said his job is not to tell people what to do but to help them on their journeys to reach faith.

“Christianity is a journey, you can’t just fix the outside while the inside is still rotten. God works from the inside out not the other way,” he said.

He said he wants to start a group where young people can discuss issues of life where they won’t all have to agree.

He said the members can expect practical Christianity, inclusivity, social justice, hope that is not only found in finances and to follow God’s word to build communities.