The apostolic faith mission of South Africa with special reference to its rise and development in the "Indian" community.
This study of the Indian mission of the Apostolic Faith Mission of SA (AFM) covers a period of 16 years since its inception in 1930 in Stanger, Natal. Twenty two years earlier the pentecostal message was introduced to South Africa when the AFM was established. The two White missionary overseers appointed were C.S. Flewelling, from 1930 to 1940, and J.T. du Plessis, from 1940 to 1945. In this initial period crucial missiological principles were implemented which were to play a major role in influencing the particular developments within the Indian section. The link between the pentecostal movement in South Africa and the Azusa Street revival of 1906 in Los Angeles, USA, emphasises the fact that the pentecostal message that was transplanted here was shaped by various factors in the racist American society of the 19th and early 20th century. The immigrant Indian community in South Africa, who came as labourers, were bedeviled by sociopolitical and economic factors which impinged on their evolution . The resultant; feeling of insecurity created by these debilitating factors proved to be fruitful soil for the pentecostal movement, which offered a haven to this community on it he fringes of society . The development of the AFM Indian mission was due not merely to the efforts of White missionaries, as is generally held but also to dedicated indigenous pastors.The first three full-time pastors were Samuel Manikkam, David F . Williams and Henry James. These Indian church leaders faced various hardships in the ministry and, in spite of their shortcomings and their struggles, played an integral role in the development of the AFM "Indian" church. In its development, the AFM has been characterised by a strong conformity to White societal policy of racial segregation. The effects of this policy is evident in the sectional divisions existent within the AFM, and is indicative of the organisation's close alliance with the political philosophy of the status quo. Together with its ideological bias, the church's theological conservativism has precluded it from involving itself in affirmative socio-political action in an apartheid ridden society. Further, the Indian Section has been plagued by numerous schisms, resignations and secessions, which has also contributed to the tardy growth of the AFM within this population group. In 1989 the Composite Division of the AFM had been established, comprising the former Indian, Coloured and Black Sections. The White Section, or Single Division as it has now become known, has remained aloof from this practical initiative towards the formation of one church. As of January 1993 the Indian Section (and the other sections of colour) will theoretically cease to exist. It is clear therefore that the future of the Indian mission lay in the Composite Division, with its hope for one church in one nation, and serves as a barometer of the coming struggle and reward for a society seeking to rid itself of the final vestiges of racial prejudice.