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The Gereformeerde Kerke (from Afrikaans: Reformed Churches) is a Christian denomination in South Africa that was formed in 1859 in Rustenburg. Members of the church are sometimes referred to as Doppers.
In the early 19th century a new hymnbook was introduced in the Dutch churches in the Netherlands, which was implemented in the Dutch Reformed Church in the Cape. Many of these songs contradicted the teachings of the three confessions accepted at the Synod of Dort in 1618/1619 (The Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dort). Some of the church members could not accept these doctrines. When they refused to sing the hymns, they were threatened with excommunication. They had the view: In Gods huis Gods lied (In God's house God's songs).
The main founders of the denomination were particularly concentrated in the vicinity of Rustenburg. In 1859, 15 brothers decided to separate them from the Dutch Reformed Church. These 15 members made a meeting on 10 February 1859 convened under a seringboom at Rustenburg. At this meeting, 300 members have enrolled as members of Gereformeerde Kerke.
The Gereformeerde Kerke founded a seminary for theological studies as well as teacher training in Burgersdorp in the Eastern Cape. It was moved to Potchefstroom in die early 20th century, where it became the Potchefstroom University College for Higher Christian Education, now the North West University. One of the faculties is the seminary for training their ministers.
The official name of the church body today is Die Gereformeerde Kerke in Suid-Afrika (GKSA). It is also known as the Reformed Churches in South Africa (RCSA). It has 415 Congregations ministering to people in all 11 official languages of South Africa. There are congregations in Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho.
The General Synod meets every third year in Potchefstroom.
It has ecumenical ties with churches on all the continets of the world.
The Gereformeerde Kerke today uses only hymns from the Bible: the Psalms as well as Skrifberymings. Skrifberymings are hymns based op passages from the Bible.
Besides the Psalms and Skrifberymings, the hymnal contains the following: