Introduction

The South African Military Christian Fellowship (SAMCF) is an organization that exists to support and encourage Military Christians in their walk with Christ.

The SAMCF was started about 20 years ago by our current National Executive Director, Captain (SAN) Peter Louwrens (rtd). The SAMCF is open to all ranks of the South African National Defence Force, including civilians, their families and to those people interested in supporting Christian men and women in the military. We encourage Christians in the military to meet together for prayer, Bible study, worship and fellowship.

It is our vision that through the activities of the SAMCF, members of the SANDF are positive, motivated and inspired to serve God, their country and each other. We believe that Christians make the best soldiers, sailors, medics and airmen.

Various spiritual and ministry growth opportunities are facilitated by the SAMCF for our members to attend.

Some of these opportunities include attending:
  • Table Mountain Top Interaction (TMTI) in Cape Town
  • Military Ministries International (MMI) courses, in the United Kingdom
  • Rocky Mountain High Interaction (RMHI) in the United States of America
  • Alpha for Forces

These courses and opportunities are mostly presented by organization such as Military Ministries International (MMI), Association for Christian Conferences, Teaching and Service (ACCTS), the Association of Military Christian Fellowships (AMCF), and Alpha International.

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Objectives

Our objectives are:

  • To actively support the ministry of the SANDF Chaplains
  • To help build up the individual member to spiritual maturity in his/her walk with God, family and
    associates
  • To stimulate and encourage SAMCF members to meet together regularly for Bible study, prayer
    and fellowship.
  • To be an instrument through which others in the SANDF are led to commit their lives to Christ
  • To establish and maintain strategic partnerships
  • To have a growing active membership

History of the SAMCF

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The South African Military Christian Fellowship (SAMCF) was constituted in Cape Town in 1994, firstly as an Officer's Christian Fellowship, and then changed in 1995, to a Military Christian Fellowship for all ranks.

Prayer has been the mainstay of the SAMCF throughout its existence, even prior to constituting, when a local South African Associate Prayer Group, linked to the British Officer's Christian Union, prayed for the establishment of an MCF in South Africa.
The Lord heard the prayers of the Saints and has blessed the SAMCF over and over again. The SAMCF has a monthly prayer diary called Prayer Loop, which keep members informed of the SAMCF and AMCF prayer needs.

When the SAMCF was constituted it was decided that the SAMCF would operate independently from the Chaplaincy. The SAMCF therefore receives no SANDF budget and is financially supported by its members and associates. The SAMCF is for both retired and serving members of the SANDF, as well as associate members and is inter-denominational.

The SAMCF has been represented at several overseas conferences and events hosted by the International Association of MCF (AMCF) during its existence, namely:

  1. The AMCF World Conference in 1994 (Norfolk, USA) and 2004 (Seoul, South Korea).
  2. The SE Asian AMCF Conference in 1997
  3. The USA Rocky Mountain High Junior Officer leadership camp on several occasions.
  4. The USA ACCTS senior leadership interaction.
  5. The Military Ministries International, Serving in Military Missions (SIMM) course/interaction.

In 1998 the SAMCF hosted the first ever Southern Africa AMCF Conference in Cape Town. Besides South Africa, eight other Southern African countries were represented at the Conference, which included Namibia, Zambia, Sao Tome, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Lesotho. The Conference was a wonderful blessing and encouragement to all that attended.

As a follow up to the 1998 AMCF Conference, the SAMCF undertook a mission trip into Southern Africa in 2000 to visit again the countries who attended (and some of those that were unable to attend) the 1998 AMCF Conference. The Lord provided wonderfully for the trip and much was achieved for the Kingdom by the SAMCF mission trip into Southern Africa.

In 1999 it was prayerfully agreed that the SAMCF should have a National Executive committee and 9 separate Provincial committees to co-ordinate SAMCF activities and outreach in each of South Africa's 9 Provinces.

Over the years the SAMCF has been very involved in hosting Christians serving on board visiting foreign Naval warships. Many wonderful evenings of fellowship have been enjoyed with Christians from many different nationalities. When opportunity has permitted, day outings have been arranged for visiting sailors, followed by socials.

The SAMCF has supported the SANDF Chaplaincy whenever requested or the opportunity has arisen. The SAMCF has been approached on several occasions to stand in and take church services when no Chaplain has been available. At sea SAMCF members have assisted the ministry of the Chaplain on board ship, when requested.

The SAMCF has arranged regular Christian activities for its members during its existence, which have included the following activities: sailing days, mountain hikes, guest speakers at breakfasts and suppers, bible studies, gospel concerts and prayer meetings.

The SAMCF publishes a quarterly Newsletter called Advance, which was launched in 1994 and inspires and encourages members to greater service for the Kingdom.

In 1999 the SAMCF established The Well "coffee bar" at the old Church Centre in Simon's Town. Sailors can relax at The Well and enjoy Christian fellowship, a variety of games and other entertainment.

The following members have served as SAMCF President since 1994 to present:

  • Captain (SAN) P. Louwrens.
  • Captain (SAN) M. Lourens.
  • Cdr G. Bennett.
  • Lt Col O. Witbooi.

In 2003 the first Table Mountain Top Interaction (TMTI) was held in Cape Town and 6 further Interactions have followed. The TMTI's are primarily sponsored and supported by Military Ministries International (MMI). The aim of the TMTI is to encourage, equip and train Christians serving in the Militaries of Southern Africa.

The following Southern African AMCF Regional Conferences have taken place, which the SAMCF has had representatives attend:

  • Cape Town, South Africa - 1998.
  • Lusaka, Zambia - 2001.
  • Gaborone, Botswana - 2005.
  • Manzini, Swaziland - 2011.

The SAMCF had delegates attend the Pan African Conference in Nairobi, Kenya in 2008.

In 2010 the SAMCF initiated the launch of a Christian Newspaper called the Military Challenge, which is used for discipleship and the encouragement of Christians in the Southern African region. The Newspaper is edited in Australia and printed in South Africa.

In 2010 it was announced by the World AMCF President, that South Africa would host the 2014 AMCF World Conference.

In 2011 the first Alpha for Forces Global Alpha Training courses were conducted in South African in conjunction with the Chaplaincy. The first successful course was then held in Durban, KZN during the fourth Quarter of 2011.

In September 2011 and May 2012, AMCF World Conference Pray and Plan meetings were held in Pretoria and Cape Town respectively.

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History of the AMCF

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The Association of Military Christian Fellowships (AMCF) traces its origins to a British Cavalry officer who, while serving in India in 1851, sought to encourage officers and soldiers to meet together for Bible study and prayer.

From this the British Officers` Christian Union and the Soldiers` and Airmen`s Scripture Readers Association were formed and these were gradually replicated in several other European nations. In 1930 delegates from four nations: Germany, Britain, Holland and Sweden, met for the first time in Zuylen Castle in Holland; three of those nations had already been at war with each other, and would very soon be locked in combat again."

A Dutchman, Baron Von Tuyll, was the first President of this International grouping. The founders` aim was to establish an entirely non-political international fellowship with no central organisation, no budget and no staff except for the President who would operate from his home.

Baron Von Tuyll

In 1965 a British General,Sir Robert Ewbank, took over as President until 1976 when he handed over to an American,Gen. Clay Buckingham. He in turn handed over in 1991 to a British General,
Sir Laurence New

Sir Robert Ewbank

Gen. Clay Buckingham

Sir Laurence New

The Fifth President of AMCF, General Lee, Pil Sup from South Korea assumed the Presidency in mid September 2002 at a brief ceremony in Seoul, Korea attended by regional AMCF Vice-Presidents and the leaders of ACCTS and Accts MMI. The main task of the President is to visit and encourage nations to form and develop military Christian fellowships.

General Lee, Pil Sup

There were other directly inspired beginnings, in 1960 in Singapore, in 1961 in Chile, in 1980 in the Dominican Republic and in 1986 in Spain; but in almost every other case new national military Christian fellowships were formed by God as a result of the prayerful encouragement by one nation`s military Christians of those of another nation in accordance with the Great Commission
(Matthew 28:19-20).

Today the AMCF has members in some some 120 nations, of which about half have one or more formally established military Christian fellowships. Some are small; there are some, notably those of Brazil,
South Korea and the United States which are very large. Whereas the first international conference was between just four nations the most recent World Conference (2004) attracted over 130 nations.

Today the emphasis is rather upon regional conferences, normally attended by delegates from a dozen nations. Finally, whereas initially there was just one President, today there are additionally 14 Regional Vice Presidents. We can claim no credit whatsoever for this steady growth; the glory belongs entirely to the Lord. But we do rejoice to be within His will.

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Constitution

Our constitution includes legal information regarding our organization, as well as information pertinent to all members and prospective members of the South African Military Christian Fellowship.

Download a copy of the constitution:
Download






Membership

We encourage all Christians and their families serving in the SANDF to join us.

Why join the SAMCF?:
  • So that we can keep contact with you via post, e-mail, and/or SMS.
  • So that we can make sure you receive your personal copy of the Advance Newsletter and the Challenge Newspaper and other publication from time to time.
  • So that we can bring you in contact with other Christians in your work for prayer, Bible study, fellowship and support.

Our motto is: Serving Christ in the Military

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