Past apprentices

Since its inception in 1999, many apprentices have passed through our apprenticeship program. Some have gone on to further theological education and are serving as gospel workers throughout the world, and many others are more effective leaders and witnesses in their local churches. Listen to their testimonies below.

LootsLoots Lambrechts (1999-2000)
Myself and Kem Westdyk were St. Paul’s first apprentices, or ‘SLAVES’, as they used to call us in those days! These two years were very instrumental in my Christian life in many many ways. It was a time of learning about God through his word, serving others self-sacrificially, and growing in my desire to serve God in full-time ministry. The apprenticeship was such a good opportunity to get a feel for what pastoral ministry is all about, as i got a taste of it from the ‘inside’. In my mind I was only going to do it for a year or two and then get on with another profession. But during this time I discovered that I really enjoyed serving others in the church, and some folk encouraged me to consider serving the body of Christ in a full time capacity. Today, serving as a missionary in Rwanda I look back to these years with great fondness and thankfulness to God, for the opportunity of being discipled by Ludwig Alberts, learning from him that ‘success’ in ministry is not the amount of people that you lead to Christ, or the size of your church etc., but your faithfulness towards God and the gospel.(You can follow Loots and Nancy’s work in Rwanda here)
KemKem Westdyk (1999)
1999 was an awesome year, which I spent working at St Paul’s Church as an apprentice. It was great spending my working days with our ministers and my fellow apprentice, learning and growing. The most valuable was probably the fact that I could spend hours and hours in the Word. I remember reading through the whole Bible in about 3 or 4 months, and then spending the rest of the year studying some of the books of the Bible in more depth. Doing this for a year is highly recommendable!
SeanSean Parker (2002-2003)
10 years after being an apprentice at St Paul’s and “lots of life” coming my way I can honestly say that doing an apprenticeship was at the heart of keeping me faithful to Jesus Christ. Once you are in the working world you won’t have time to absorb God’s, have the freedom to try ministry ideas or really think through the implications of life choices like you will when you are apprentice. Watching current ministries gave me opportunity to see what was good and also what was sometimes missing, stimulating me think through where I would like to be involved in the future.
JPJohn-Paul Harper (2004)
When I came to know Jesus Christ, I was filled with a desire to share him and teach his Word to others. The local church provided me with opportunities to serve, but had it not been for the apprenticeship program, I would probably never have gone on to Bible college or ended up serving as a paid gospel worker as I am today. Apprenticeship was a formative year for me in which I was able to discover and develop my gifts in a unique way. I thank God for the way he used that experience  in my life, and want others to have the same opportunity.
AdrianAdrian Bertrand (2004)
The apprenticeship program ranks as one of the highlights of my life. Being an apprentice gave me the opportunity to dig deeper into God’s Word, to try my hand at various ministries and to do so in a supportive environment with regular discipleship opportunities – namely reading the Bible one-on-one with the pastoral team, other ministry apprentices and with students and teens. The Bible handling and people skills that I learnt during my time at St Paul’s equipped me to serve in other subsequent churches we’ve attended and to be involved in practical ministry opportunities, without necessarily having pursued further formal theological studies. For anyone considering full time ministry and/or who just wants to be further equipped for lay ministry I would be the first to recommend committing to an apprenticeship program.
SamSam Bradley (2006)
My apprenticeship gave me a very practical view of what ministry really involves. It’s also a great way to get to know the people in the church a lot better, and be part of all the events and happenings. An apprenticeship is definitely a good experience for anyone considering studying theology or a career in a church.
AmyAmy Daniels (2009-2010)
The time I was privileged enough to spend in the St. Paul’s apprenticeship program was perhaps one of the greatest blessings a Christian university graduate could hope for. It afforded me time and resources enough to grow personally and spiritually, in biblical understanding and various types of ministry. As a result, I believe that I am a more thoughtful (and thought-through) believer, able to bear more effective witness to Christ in my current situation, and better equipped to serve the local church.
AdeleAdele Steyn (2010-2011)
I did a 2 year apprenticeship at St Paul’s and really enjoyed it and found it very beneficial! I really enjoyed the “in ministry training” aspect. This meant actually doing ministry and learning from it. There was always an opportunity to have a go at something and to see whether you have the gifts for that specific ministry. I also really enjoyed our training slots with J.P. I felt these really stretched me to think further and it really challenged me to know what I believed and why I believed it.
MurrayMurray Terwin (2011)
A ministry apprenticeship, such as what I did at St Paul’s, is a valuable experience for any person.  This is regardless of whether or not a person has set his or her mind on full-time paid ministry.  My personal experience confirms this belief.  As a result of TENT, I grew in my knowledge of, and convictions in, God’s Word.  My ability to explain and apply the Bible was increased.  I was challenged to grow in my personal godliness.  I became better at leading, organising, planning and implementing tasks which were aimed at spreading the Gospel message.  However, the most valuable aspect of the apprenticeship for me was knowing the importance of the role that the local church plays in its efforts to take the Gospel out.  It was a privilege to be a part of that and, because of TENT, it is a privilege that I continue to treasure and exercise.
RogerRoger Warton (2012)
I am glad I spent a year getting to grips with the Bible and being able to speak to other people about what I have learnt. Having spent 3 years at Bible Institute of South Africa, I learnt a lot about the Bible but there wasn’t much time to turn the theory into practice. 2012 was a great blessing for me as I could use much of what I learnt to help and teach others. This made the work of the gospel that much more real to me because I could see how and where to apply it to other students and to myself.
NitaNita van der Linde (2012)
Not only did the apprenticeship teach me more about the Bible and the importance of the events revolving around Jesus and the cross, it also taught me of life and opened up the absolute joys and blessings of living as a hopeful and believing daughter of Christ/sister in the family of St Paul’s. It has been a massive learning experience in the theological sense as well as a massive growing experience spiritually and emotionally in Christ. Praise the Lord for the apprenticeship program!
Bertus Basson (2013)
I decided to do an apprenticeship since I wanted to serve God’s people and grow in my ability to do so. Throughout the year I had lots of opportunity to do both. Spending so much time studying the Bible and learning to understand and teach it was an absolute joy and a massive challenge and encouragement. I got to know lots of awesome people I’ll never forget, and also experienced the very tough side of ministry at times. Overall, my year as an apprentice was a great growing experience which I believe will have a continued impact for the rest of my life.
Jessica Nel (2013)
Being an apprentice is a once in a life time experience. It’s perfect for those who are thinking of going into ministry or are unsure if ministry is for them. Doing the apprenticeship this year I realized that God has really placed a special place for ministry in my heart. The people i worked with helped me realize this. I made amazing life long friends who supported me through the hardest times. I got to see how a church functions behind the scenes and I once again realized how important it is for the church family to get involved in each other’s lives. There are so many ways we are able help each other as a family in Christ and we are called to be a family. The apprenticeship is a great growing period in understand God’s word better, being able to teach and interpret the Bible and for my own personal growth in my relationship with Christ.
AnsophiAnsophi Bruwer (2013)
When asked to write a brief testimony on a year that took my neatly planned life and changed the course entirely I found myself wondering where to begin. But I guess the best way to start is to say that, despite the challenges that I faced, doing the apprenticeship made 2013 one of the most incredible and life-changing years I have experienced. Don’t get me wrong, the challenges were plentiful, from long days and nights at work, to countless tears shed with others over the inescapable pain and suffering of this world. But the rewards have been far greater. I can honestly say that I have grown enormously in my knowledge and understanding of the Bible, my abilities to convey biblical principles, whether in the form of discussion, bible study or presented talks, as well as my enthusiasm and confidence in evangelism. I can also say that I have been humbled enormously by my ever-growing awareness of my own sinfulness and selfish desires and my complete dependence on God as His plan for my life unfolds. Ultimately, I am comforted that my salvation depends on Christ alone. Looking back on 2013 and the foundation the apprenticeship has given me, the thing I will treasure the most is my increasing love for Christ and the hope that I will serve Him wholeheartedly as I eagerly await His kingdom.
RossRoss Netterville (2013)
2013 was a year that can only be described as full, it was full of positives and full of challenges. Having looked back at all of this I know that God, in his wisdom and grace, used both the positives and the challenges to grow and shape me.
The apprenticeship is no joke, it is a year that pulls everything out of you; it was physically tiring at times, it was emotionally draining, and it put pressure on some of my relationships outside of the church context, all because of the relentless schedule of service and learning.
That being said, the apprenticeship was a year which helped me to grow in my ability to serve others, understand God’s word and teach it, and to grow stronger in my personal relationship with Christ.