Midrand Chapel was planted in 1992 by John French and his wife Christine, missionaries from UFM International. John qualified as a graduate from Moody Bible Institute and Grace Theological Seminary in the United States. He was joined by another missionary from UFM, Gordon Gregory, who served alongside John until 2001. From 2000-2002, two student pastors were employed. One, Chris Woolley gave oversight to the areas of mission, evangelism and discipleship in the church, while the other, Alan Schuster, developed the youth ministry using the “Word of Life” curriculum. In 2005 Midrand Chapel called Chris Woolley, who had recently graduated from The Masters Seminary in California, to be its first locally supported, full-time pastor. Chris ministered alongside John French for a year to facilitate a smooth transition between pastors and has served as the senior pastor since then. In 2013 Karl Buchan-Smith was appointed as the church’s mission pastor.


Church planting began in January 1992 with a group of about 12 people and grew to 35 families by 1995. One of the challenges to early ministry was the large turnover of members due to immigration and moving. The numbers attending Midrand Chapel therefore fluctuated through various cycles of growth and decline, growing to approximately 100 people by the year 2000 and 150 people by 2010. The first deacons were appointed in 1996 and served as a steering committee for the church until 2007 when the first lay Elders were appointed


In June 1995 the Chapel purchased two+ acres of property. Up to that time, meetings had been held in a hall rented for Sunday mornings. Building began as funds were available and through the Lord’s provision the shell of the main hall was completed by 1998, without a loan or debt of any kind. Services in the new building began in September 1998. Since then, inside finishes, restrooms and a small youth room have been completed as funds have allowed.


In 1998 Midrand Chapel’s first Missions Conference was held and the church has supported various missionaries and missions with at least 20% of its income ever since. By 2005 the church was supporting 5 missionary families, working mostly in South and Southern Africa. In 2008 Matt and Tina Viljoen were called to plant an Afrikaans church in the Midrand/ Pretoria area and some members from Midrand Chapel formed the core of this new church planting effort which shared facilities with Midrand Chapel until 2010. In 2011 Mark Penrith was sent and supported in order to re-establish Crystal Park Baptist church and in 2014 another one of our elders, Sammy Leballo, was sent to do the same for Moletsane Baptist Church in Soweto. Another elder will be sent to facilitate church planting amongst an unreached people group in 2017 and we are trusting the Lord to be able to send out additional church planters to work amongst the unreached.