Hofmeyr, Stefanus

1839-1905
Dutch Reformed Church
South Africa

Pioneer South African missionary.

Born in Cape Town, Hofmeyr went to school there and later became a farmer in the Cape Province. In 1863 he qualified as a teacher of religion in Stellenbosch and in 1864 became a missionary in the Soutpansberg in the far northern Transvaal. He was the first South African-born “foreign” missionary of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC). In 1866 he was ordained as a missionary (not minister) in Cape Town before returning to Soutpansberg, where a church revival from 1875 to 1877 led to rapid growth in the congregation. Because of ill health Hofmeyr returned to the Cape Province between 1887 and 1889. During his time he wrote Twintig jaren in Zoutpansberg (1890). He established several mission stations and outstations, and his work laid the foundation for what later became the Northern Transvaal region of the DRC in Africa. He also had an abiding interest in the black people north of the Limpopo (in the present-day Zimbabwe) and sent some of his own black evangelists there. Out of these efforts was born the Mashona mission of the DRC.

Willem Saayman


Bibliography

D. Crafford, Aan God die dank, vol. 1 (1982); J. du Plessis, A History of Christian Missions in South Africa (1911); W. L. Maree, Lig in soutpansberg: Die sendingwerk van die Ned. Geref. Kerk in Noord-Transvaal, 1863 - 1963 (1962).


This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.