A Short History
Initially the group was called the “Northern Suburbs Christian Fellowship”
The first constitution was adopted by the twenty-five Foundation Members on the 25th January 1973, the formal “birthday” of the church. The founding agreement is framed in the Church Office and some of the twenty-five are still members.
In February 1976 a series of neighbourhood outreach meetings were conducted by Rev Andre Erasmus from Cape Town, under the title “The Other Man in Space”. In January 1977 Rev and Mrs Charles Pocock arrived in Harare to pastor the church for a year, on secondment from their church in Hove, England. That year was a period of notable growth as Charles and Enid were free to devote their full time to ministering in the area. In July 1978 Rev & Mrs Graham Jones commenced a period of ministry that lasted till May 1982. Again this was a period of steady and consolidated growth.
For many years the Cunningham’s home was used for Sunday School, worship services, church meetings, youth groups and other supplementary activities. In parallel the Sunday School and morning services expanded into the Scout Hall and this has been used for 15 years for Northside activities. The move to the Vainona Primary School Hall solved the accommodation problems for a while but in 1982 it became clear that even this was not adequate as the logistical problems of storage for books, Sunday School equipment, cups, etc. were becoming too burdensome. We needed our own home base. The building project was launched on two fronts. One was to obtain a suitable site, and the other to raise the funds for a building. It would take too long to detail how each was brought to a successful conclusion. But each was spectacularly successful and we are very grateful to God for the way He has provided these essential facilities for us.
In 1982 it became clear that we needed our own home base.
In 1986 the church ran a Lay Witness mission and at this time Ian and Adie Wilsher were invited to join the staff to help with the pastoral work.
The original constitution included an agreement to apply for membership of the Baptist Union of Central Africa (now the Baptist Union of Zimbabwe). The members considered there to be worthwhile advantages in being linked to an established denomination in preference to being an unattached “non-denomination”. The Baptist Union is a consultative, not a controlling organisation and the church therefore retains full responsibility for its internal government, finances and properties. Membership of the Union provides an opportunity for consultation and co-operation with other churches in Southern Africa that are doctrinally compatible.
Northside does not use the word “Baptist” in its name because it seeks to provide a spiritual home for any persons who have no other effective church connections.
Northside does not use the word “Baptist” in its name because it operates without respect to denomination in its service to the community in the Borrowdale area and seeks to provide a spiritual home for any persons who have no other effective church connections. It has always practised “open membership” and baptism is not a pre-condition for membership.
The growth of the church has made it necessary to update the original constitution. Discussions took place over a number of years and the new constitution was adopted by the church membership on 18th June, 1986.
The increasing size of the church has made it necessary to revise certain of the procedural provisions of the Constitution and the By-laws.
The Mission statement has remained unchanged and is based on the 2 Great Commandments and the Great Commission. The values have also remained unchanged. In this way, despite the change in numbers and demographics over the years, the essential character of the Church has remained unchanged.
In January of 2013 we celebrated the 40 years anniversary of the church.