Original Research - Special Collection: Diakonia

Die diakonale reis van die Nederduitsch Hervormde Kerk

Martin J. van Rensburg
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 44, No 1 | a2814 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v44i1.2814 | © 2023 Martin J. van Rensburg | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 January 2023 | Published: 15 June 2023

About the author(s)

Martin J. van Rensburg, Department of Practical Theology, Faculty of Mission Studies, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Diaconal journey of the Dutch Reformed Church. The aim of this article is to look at the development of the deacon’s position in the Dutch Reformed Church of Africa by investigating the founding, development, and management of the deacon’s position in the church. It is not the purpose to investigate the deacon’s position from a Biblical exegetical point of view but rather to look at the historical development of structures such as the Algemene Diakensvergadering, Ondersteuningsraad whose name was later changed to RATA, the children’s homes which were later converted into the DPS homes and the old age homes which were restructured in the Ons Tuis Monument-tehuise. We shall attempt to look at the development of the deacon’s position, and also consider the developments that lead to the founding and phasing out of the deacons’ meetings, and Circuit deacons’ meeting, as well as the effect that had on the service delivery of deacons. A journey, therefore, examining the past along with the future. We shall take the lessons we have learned in the past and apply them to improve our endeavours in the future which have already commenced.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: The article is intradisciplinary, since it combines different fields within Practical Theology, like, diaconate, ecclesiological studies, and family and youth ministry. It also attends to church history. It is intradisciplinary in its attention to social sciences, more specifically social work.


service; deacon; General Deacon Assembly; Rata; Circuit Deacons Assembly; childrens home.


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