Skip to main content

About the Logo

In Africa there are rain forests with a wide variety of trees and there are deserts with nearly no trees at all. One of the most unusual trees on the continent is the Baobab, the tree shown in the logo. Growing in the desert, it is one of the largest living trees in the world, surpassed only by the Sequoia and the Eucalyptus. It can live up to as much as 2000 years, which means that it can date back to the time of our Lord. It can grow to a height of 75 feet and its barrel like trunk can reach up to 40 feet in diameter.

The outline and shape of the tree is so unique that old legends relate that either the Lord or the devil pulled it up and replanted it upside down. It is still sometimes referred to as “the upside down tree”.

The flower of the Baobab is unique; it is a beautifully colored, sweet smelling, banana-shaped fan of long stems. The fruit of the Baobab is large and gourd-like. It contains a sweet, woody, white pulp that is favored by monkeys – causing the Africans to call it “monkey bread”. The fruit is used to make medicines that fortify the blood, enhance the immune system and aid in the destruction of internal and external viruses. The white pulp in the seed pods, when mixed with water makes a very refreshing drink and is also used to treat malaria. The seeds are roasted and eaten like peanuts and they can be made into a sort of paste like peanut butter. The sap of the tree is used to make natural rubber, fertilizer and soap. The leaves can be eaten like spinach or made into soup. Dried, they can be used as a condiment.

The tree provides well for the birds, animals, insects and man. Besides providing a special landmark, it is also a resting place in the shade for man and beast (all of whom must be wary of all others). Strong fiber made from the thick bark is used to make rope, clothing and other woven fabric such as fist nets. The trunks contain much life-sustaining water and can be hollowed out to provide a reservoir for even more water. The hollowed out trunks can be used also for shelter and have even been used for burial. The light, sponge-like wood, which is used for musical instruments and canoes, causes the tree to also be called the cork tree. The pulp can be eaten as soup.

The products of this wonderful tree provide for food, shelter, clothing, shade and direction. Unlike any other tree, the Baobab, in aging, does not increase in size. Like humans; it decreases in size with age.

Isn’t it ironic that this very ugly tree produces so many useful, delightful, refreshing and life filling products? In like fashion, the Lord provides for the needs of His people in many wonderful ways. If He can fashion in one tree such an array of benefits, can you imagine what He has created for us in Heaven? As this very special tree has provided so well for many who have been physically lost, God has also provided for the spiritually lost.

Like this wonderful creation of the Lord, the South African Christian Mission provides for the people, also. The mission reaches, teaches, encourages and develops the South African people to recognize the Lord, accept Him, become His, grow in His grace and knowledge, and share His wonderful blessings with others. Just as the tree reproduces after its kind, one of the principal aims of the mission is to equip the Africans to faithfully teach and preach the word to their kinsmen.

If you are interested in the mission, we encourage you to contact us through this website. We will be happy to adopt you, your class or small group, or church as part of the SACM family.

Beliefs

For the most part, churches in our brotherhood use either the name Christian Church or Church of Christ. There are a variety of tertiary names also in use. As one can expect, churches using Christian Church are often confused with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); Churches of Christ are often confused with the non-instrumental churches of Christ which officially separated from the Disciples in 1906. In the recent past, some churches in our movement have participated in dialogue with the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana). While the two bodies have similarities, there are a number of doctrinal differences.

We desire the unity of Christ’s disciples (as Jesus prayed), but we do not seek unity for unity’s sake. We hold to the position that the New Testament, and the New Testament alone, needs to be our rallying point for union. We identified ourselves with the following:

  • We speak where the Bible speaks, We are silent where the Bible is silent.
  • In essentials unity; In opinions liberty; In all things love.
  • We are not the only Christians; We are Christians only.
  • No creed but Christ; No book but the Bible.


We believe:

The Bible is divinely inspired as the Word of God.

God is revealed in the Bible as the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

The Bible is all-sufficient and infallible as the revelation of God’s character, will, the gospel of grace by which, and as the rule for our faith and practice.

Jesus is:

Christ – The only Son of the Living God.

God in the flesh – wholly God and perfect as a human.

The possessor of all authority in Heaven and on earth.

A Prophet, Priest and King.

The Way, The Truth and The Life – the only means to eternal life in Heaven.

Lord, Savior, example, teacher, and redeemer from our sin.

Humanity is separated from God through sin and we are dependent upon His grace, mercy and pardon.

Necessary are faith in God through Jesus Christ and repentance from disobedience to His will.

We adhere to Baptism by immersion for the remission of sin.

We observe the Lord’s supper each Sunday.

Salvation as described in the gospel is full and free under the terms as described.

In the existance of Heaven as the eternal dwelling place of those in Jesus Christ and the existence of Hell as the location of the eternal punishment.

The privilege of God’s people to share, comfort, defend, exhort, correct, console and serve in the name of Jesus Christ.

Background

In the late 1950’s, Al and Jean Zimmerman were recruited by Al Hamilton and answered God’s call to go and
preach the gospel in Cape Town, South Africa. Although this sounds simple enough, it was a bold new step for the family to leave a successful located ministry in Coldwater, Michigan, pull up stakes and depart for an unknown foreign country in Africa. Their son, Steve was 12 at the time and remembers well the mental panic of leaving school, friends and security in Coldwater.

During the next 30 years, Al & Jean served the African people in whatever way they could in order to spread God’s Word among those who so desperately needed Him. There were many heartaches, disappointments and frustrations along the way. But there were also untold numbers of Africans who accepted Jesus as their Savior and strove to live for Christ. Al & Jean have since retired and now reside in the Seattle, Washington area in the United States and continue to promote the work in South Africa.

Replacements were needed in the mission work and Peter and Fran Laughren (Fran is the daughter of the Hamiltons) came to the area under Outreach International. Later, God called Steve (the son of Al and Jean) and his wife, Pat, into His service. For nearly 20 years, Steve had been working in commerce, enjoying the benefits of an executive lifestyle, but also teaching and preaching among the Africans who knew him since he was a teenager. But the Lord had different plans and led them into full time service.

The South African Christian Mission is dedicated to serve the African people, mainly the Xhosa-speaking tribe. In 1962, the Cape Bible Seminary was formed particularly to teach, train and equip those who committed themselves to studying God’s word. Seven men began the very first classes in the living room of the Zimmerman home. Now, only four are left but they are still serving Christ and preaching the gospel. Since that time, the school has changed methods slightly but is still committed to training men and women to become Christian leaders in their churches. The enrollment in 1995 was 150+ and has been growing every year since. The seminary is unique as it travels to the students in a modern variation of the circuit rider concept.

Besides the activities of the school, they are called to preach and teach in isolated churches and individual Christians within 1200 kms of Cape Town (about 800 miles). Pat teaches classes to the women regarding their role in the church and she also conducts children’s classes, which are always well attended. Steve’s duties include: teaching, preaching and serving to meet whatever the needs of the people are. During the 1988 floods, they took a vanload of food, blankets and old clothes, all donated by the churches in America to the Christians in dire need all along the banks of the Orange River. To this day, whenever they go into this region, the services and classes are always packed with people who want to see the church that cares for them.

The objective is to turn over the Lord’s work to the Africans themselves within the next 25 years and so work themselves out of a job! Through the turmoil, tensions and violence of the past years they have continued the work, and are preparing to turn the work over into the hands of the dedicated Christian men and women so that they, in turn, can continue to effectively preach Jesus Christ, and Him crucified, to the lost.