By Meggan McCarthy
Reverend Ockie van Niekerk launched his book, Poems, Prayers and Promises, at the Red Door Cafe, Edenvale, on 26th October. He is a retired Methodist Minister presently preaching and ministering in various Methodist and Presbyterian Churches in Ekurhuleni.
The book’s title is inspired by the lyrics of an album by the Author’s favourite country singer, John Denver. It is a collection of stories told by three generations of South Africans. The narrative starts with recollections of war by Oupa Viljoen, a veteran of the Anglo Boer War (1899-1902). The narrative continues with stories from van Niekerk’s father, focusing on his experiences as a magistrate from 1957-1990. Finally, van Niekerk includes his memories of pastoral ministry in various Southern African churches from 1986 until now.
In the foreword he stated, ‘Apart from my own recollections, I cannot promise that all the stories are historically correct – the earlier stories are most definitely hearsay. Then again, I love stories as well as telling stories, and I often tell my listeners that we must never allow too many facts to get in the way of a good story.’
The book is self published and can be bought at the following places:
– Living Changing arrangement – shop next to Red Door Restaurant – corner 5th Ave and 2nd street, Edenvale.
– At Bedfordview Methodist Church through Jenny Selby: +27 (0) 83 628 5356.
– At Primrose Methodist Church through Linda Stevenson +27 (0) 83 233 5220.