Yeoville Day 7: Just churching around

FULL HOUSE:  Members from the different Cornerstone congregations across Johannesburg came to support the launch of Cornerstone Yeoville, on Sunday October 5.  Photo: Lameez Omarjee

FULL HOUSE: Members from the different Cornerstone congregations across Johannesburg came to support the launch of Cornerstone Yeoville, on Sunday October 5. Photo: Lameez Omarjee

*As part of the in-depth research project, one of the requirements of the BA Honours in Journalism and Media Studies degree at Wits University, students are required to write daily blog entries to show the progress of their projects. This year the theme is Yeoville and students have to take on a topic that tells a story that is Yeoville specific.

The words: “Another light goes on in Yeoville today,” was met with applause by the congregation of the Cornerstone Yeoville church today.  The church has been a seven year dream of Joe Muthee who will head it.


HEART FOR YEO: Joe Muthee spent seven years praying for and evangelizing in Yeoville, he will now voluntarily head the new church. Photo: Lameez Omarjee

Muthee has been praying and evangelizing in the Yeoville community for years and finally found a venue to host the church.  The hall on Kenmere street belonging to the Presbyterian churches will be shared with Cornerstone.

I spoke to some of the Yeoville residents who will be attending the church.  Things were so busy, I could not speak to the team who will be helping Muthee.  He is a professional and says the ministry is voluntary.  They have plans to respond to the needs of people in the Yeoville community.

The church evangelizes on Rockey street on Wednesday nights.  There is a lot of work they have to do to change the attitudes of people, says Muthee.  They also have a group meeting at the hall on Thursday nights, great opportunities to collect footage.

Members from the other Cornerstone congregations in Bedfordview, Braamfontein and Rosebank came through for support.  The hall was full of people praying for the Yeoville congregation.  I managed to get great pictures.  Unfortunately I could not collect sound from the praise and worship, it’s difficult to get things done alone.


CHAIRLESS?: Tatenda Kufardada who lives in Yeoville and attends the group meetings on Thursday nights, helped carry more chairs when the room started getting packed. Photo: Lameez Omarjee

I have decided to use Cornerstone for the multimedia part of the project because looking at the stills there is potential for great visuals.  It has the characters, the journey and after speaking to Muthee about the challenges they have, I found the conflict.  I just need help from my team to shoot.

I also went to the second church which ended at 1 pm.  I was grateful that people were willing to talk to me and answer my questions.  So I have the voice from the congregation.  I also managed to speak to the pastor again, just to ask questions I missed the first time.  Much of what he said about the challenges they had when starting the church echoed Muthee’s statements.

Both pastors said that they have to break the false perceptions people have of churches, especially because churches have hurt people. They both struggled getting approval from council.

I will be collecting multimedia and stills this week by following the projects and activities of both churches.  I hope to start writing up the story tomorrow.  I’m not looking forward to transcribing all those recordings.




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