In the late 50’s Al & Jean Zimmerman accepted the Lord’s call to South Africa. They arrived in Cape Town in December 1959 with their two young boys, Steve and John Mark. A daughter, Sara, was born in Africa in 1960.
By 1962 Al Zimmerman had started the Cape Bible Seminary in the living room of their home with just seven men. It gained credibility among the African churches and the ministry blossomed. By 1986 the African churches looked to the Cape Bible Seminary for reliable, non- divisive and quality New Testament teaching.
In 1986, after almost 30 years, Al & Jean retired to the United States where they currently live. Steve, who was 12 when he arrived in South Africa travelled back to the United States to speak to the churches who supported the South African Christian Mission. They heard Steve’s desire to continue the work and decided to support the mission. Steve still serves in South Africa continuing over 40 years of excellence in ministry!
Cape Town is a multi-cultural city of over 2 million composed of people who speak English, Afrikaans and various tribal languages, with Xhosa being the second largest tribal group in South Africa.Challenges
The South African Christian Mission (SACM) is dedicated to serving all the African people, with a special emphasis on the Xhosa speaking people. It began with 7 men in 1962. All of them became ministers and two of them are still alive. Today the SACM is training hundreds. The SACM helps to teach, train, and equip all Christians who want to study and take positions of leadership within the local churches whether it is a teacher, elder, deacon or the one who makes coffee.
The churches, able to recognize the qualities of good leadership, choose and ordain their own preachers/ministers without the prompting of the SACM. Many of those who take the Cape Bible Seminary courses are active leaders in their churches.
A Unique Ministry
Most ministries have a central teaching location and students must leave their jobs or family in order to be trained. The SACM is committed to taking the courses to those who desire training. An emphasis is placed on training the local people to become equipped Christians who will minister to their own language groups. We believe this is the most effective means of evangelism.
Each year the requests for the practical, high quality New Testament teachings increase. Steve’s integrity and teaching style have become very popular. This is true not only among the Churches of Christ/ Christian Churches but also among other congregations who are asking very important questions about what a New Testament church and its people ought to be.
With this tremendous opportunity to teach comes a great challenge. Steve must travel regularly, even up to 800 miles from Cape Town to reach those wishing to be taught.
As the mission moves forward we need your special help so that their most pro- ductive years can continued unhindered.