This work seeks to describe and analyze the origins, growth, development, and main features of what can be termed the Methodist Church in the Transvaal Area. Faith in God was the only thing that kept some Christians and Methodists in particular going during those difficult times. Despite a high price to be paid in the struggle, some church groups found it imperative to fight for human liberation as a sign of being obedient to God. This thesis specifically aims at tracing the role played by the Methodist Church in the broader society in the Eastern Transvaal and Swaziland area presently known as the Highveld and Swaziland District looking specifically at the period between 1948 to 1976. The interest is to discover out the Methodist Church's reaction to the introduction and implementation of the apartheid systems. In 1948 the National Party came to power in South Africa bringing with it the formulated policy of apartheid. Any church felt challenged and denied an opportunity to put into action gospel imperatives. During this period the Methodist Church was caught between practicing Gospel imperatives to remain true to herself and being obedient to those in authority to allow herself to be divided along racial lines. For the Methodist Church to claim to be "one and undivided" called for risking to loose properties and being a church without white membership. Interesting enough it was again in the Transvaal in Soweto on the 16th June 1976 when the black students riots marked the turning point in the struggle against apartheid. The social witness of the Methodist Church in the Transvaal during the prescribed period was met with mixed feelings depending as to which side of the fence one found yourself.
Dissertation (MA (Theology))--University of Pretoria, 2006.