Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk Pretoria, 169 Du Toit Street, Pretoria
The Church was an anchor for the congregation during all the hardships after the Anglo-Boer War (Pont, 1980:27).
 Current known heritage status
On 14 March 1980 the church was declared a National Monument (Pont, 1980:28) and is now protected as a Provincial Heritage Resource under the National Heritage Resources Act (Act 25 of 1999)
 Known interested and affected parties
Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk (Dutch Reformed Church)
Provincial Heritage Resources Agency-Gauteng (PHRA-G)
Department of Architecture, EBIT, University of Pretoria
Pretoria Institute for Architecture (PIA)
The ‘Nederduitsch Hervormde' congregation was founded on 8 and 9 September 1855 in Pretoria. It was one of the independent churches started by the ‘Voortrekkers’ (Pont, 1980:4). The first church building (1857-1882) was built on the corner of Visagie and Mark Streets (currently Paul Kruger Street). The church was very small and not much appreciated. In September 1882 it was badly damaged by a storm and shortly afterwards destroyed by a mysterious fire (Pont, 1980:15). The second church building (1885-1904) was designed by architect Tom Claridge on a piece of land connected to Church Square. While it was being built church services were held in the Tivoli Theatre in Mark Street (Pont, 1980:16). The government bought the church in 1899 for R100 000,00. In 1905 they bulldozed the church after which the whole of Church Square belonged to the Government.
The architects of the ‘Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk’, which was completed in 1905, were J.G. Kraan and J.B. Weijers, and the builder was G.J. Dorlas. The corner stone in Du Toit Street was laid on 18 July 1904 in the presence of general Louis Botha and only seven months later, on 25 February 1905, the church was ready to open. This occasion was the first time a soutane was worn in the Transvaal (Hoofstad, 1982) (Pont,1980:26). The steeple houses an 1896 clock made in Germany (Van Rensburg, 1996:10).
Prof. P.J. Muller opened with a text from Revelations 21:5: “Zie, Ik maak alle dingen nieuw” ("See! I make all things new"). He ended the ceremony with the following prayer:
“Heer, onze God! wij smeeken U in dit nieuwe bedehuis, dat Uw Uwe liefde en trauw ons schenk, dat als gij alle dingen nieuw gemaakt hebt, in het nieuw Jerusalem geen van ons ontbreken zal, die thans handen en harte omhoog heffen tot U!” (Pont,1980:26).
In 1917 the University of Pretoria started with the training of ministers for the Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk (Van Rensburg,1996:9).
A memorial stone in honour of all the Dutchmen who died in the Anglo-Boer War was erected on the eastern wall. Names such as C.V. van Gogh (Cornelis, the brother of painter Vincent van Gogh) appear on the wall. He died at age 32 near Brandfort due to fever (Hoofstad, 1982).
In 1953 decisions were made to alter the church to mitigate problems of a leaking roof and damaged sandstone. M. Runia and G.J. Bolsenbroek were appointed for the alterations. A baby room with two w.c. stalls inside were built north of the consistory. The men’s w.c. stalls were enlarged on the outside. The women’s w.c. stalls were changed into a store room. All the other outbuildings were demolished. The sandstone of the window sills was replaced as well as all the electric wiring, switches and wall sockets (Holm et al, 1988:13).
On 8 July 1953 a baptismal font and an announcement-stand was placed in front of the pulpit (Holm et al, 1988:14).
The concrete floors in the foyer were replaced with concrete tiles. The wooden floors were removed and replaced with parquet tiles. The brick sleeve was removed around the whole church and replaced with Kirkness bricks with recessed joints. A new corrugated sheet roof was constructed. All the interior walls were stripped and re-plastered. The chandelier was raised slightly, but it still has all its original glass pieces. The timber ceiling was painted light green and the wall behind the pulpit was painted in one colour (beige) with a wooden frame around it. All the chairs were fixed and varnished (Holm et al, 1988:14,18).
On 25 August 2010 a museum was opened on the gallery inside the church containing material concerned with the history of the ‘Nederduitsch Hervormde gemeente’ and the ‘Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk’. Here the public can view artifacts to gain more knowledge about the heritage of the church.
Ministers who served in the congregation were:
1904-1909: Prof. P.J. Muller
1909-1911: Ds. C.J.L. Ruysch van Dugteren
1914-1917: Prof. J.H.J.A. Greyvenstein
1917-1925: Dr. H.D. van Broekhuizen
1926-1949: Ds. S. Vermooten
1930-1934: Prof. ds. C.H. Rautenbach (assistant)
1944-1945: Prof. P.S. Dreyer (assistant)
1949-1952: Prof. E.S. Muller
1950-1963: Prof. S.P.J.J. van Rensburg
1952-1967: Ds. P.M. Smith
1963-1965: Prof. J.P. Oberholzer
1965-1966: Ds. H.N. Botha
1966-1994: Ds. F. du C. Labuschagne
1969- : Ds. E.C.B Kotze (Pont,1980:27)
1992-1997: Ds. G. van Staden
1998-2000: Ds. P. de Kock
1996-2003: Ds. M.J. Slabbert
1996-2004: Ds. A. Thomas
2003-2007: Ds. W. Mans
2008- : Ds. C. Pretorius (Pretorius, 2010)
 Description of site and/or structures and/or interior spaces
Situated at 169 Du Toit Street between Church- and Vermeulen Streets; Lot number: 3075 - Block 4.
The church was designed in a Dutch Renaissance style (Pont, 1980:26).
Characteristics are an emphasis on horizontal lines, here achieved by using sandstone between the red bricks and again at the tower overhang. Another characteristic of the Renaissance is the balance of and detail on each facade. The plan of the church is shaped like a Greek cross. The use of sandstone and red brick with timber roof construction can be seen as typically North-European in style. In the 1900s Art Noveau was very popular in Europe as can be seen in the luminaires inside and also the use of stained glass windows. G.J. Dorlas designed and made the pulpit. The fresco on the pulpit was done by sculptor Anton van Wouw (Pont, 1980:26).
Ashborn, C. 2005. Watercolour of Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk. Pretoria: Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk.
Holm, A., Holm, D. & Jordaan, G. 1988. Verslag oor Restourasie van Hervormde Kerkgebou, Du Toit Straat. Holm, Jordaan & Holm. Unpublished work. Reading Room Archive 6206. Department of Architecture, University of Pretoria.
Anon. 1982. Nederduitsch Hervormde Gemeente. Hoofstad, 30 January 1982. City Council Public Library.
Pont, A.D. 1980. Nederduitsch Hervormde Gemeente-Pretoria 1855-1980. Pretoria: Gutenberg Boekdrukkers.
Pretorius, C. 2010. Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk. Interview.
Van Rensburg, R. 1996. Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk van Afrika. Pretoria Religious Landmarks. Pretoria: City Council of Pretoria.