The past week I took a photo of the Zions’s Church behind Bossa Nova in Paarl. This triggered me to do the below short blog of the church’s history.
The Zion Church was built in 1841 when the Het Gesticht Church (picture 1), in the Main Road, became too small for the growing congregation of slaves, mainly from the coloured community, who worked on the surrounding farms in Paarl. For more than 100 years, the Zion Church was the place of worship for the slaves in Paarl, but were in the 1960’s forcibly removed out of the area due to the Group Areas Act.
The first church for slaves in Paarl was the Het Gesticht Church, now a museum and the 4th oldest church in SA. It was built in 1813 as a school, church and meeting house for the slaves, and remained in use until the larger Zion church was built in 1841, this is why the congregation was known as The Zion Congregation.
Ever wondered where the street names Jason Adams and Eva Paulse come from?
Well Jason Adams and Eva Paulse, were the first 2 members of the Zion congregation, baptized as adults into the church, and both being slaves on a farm in Paarl. This year marks the 200 year anniversary of the baptism of Jason Adams in the Het Gesticht Church.
The church was restored in 1983, and in 1990 it was declared a national monument.