Revival City College is a Christian College in Brackenhurst Alberton, on the premises of the Revival City Alberton AFM Church. In 1992 Revival City Alberton received a prophetic word from the Lord that ‘[they] will have many children and that they will play in a peaceful and safe environment.’ In 1997 these words were confirmed, and the church was promised by the Lord that they ‘ will take the next generation into their future’. As a church RCA was instructed that they ‘ must not forget the children.’
Standing on these words from God, and since the church leadership felt that church buildings in most cases are for most part underutilized, Pastor Hannes van Zyl and his Leaders stepped out in faith and decided to open a Christian school on the church premises. It was their belief that it would be through the children that the community would be touched for Jesus.
In 2016 Karen van den Oever was appointed by the church to register and establish a Christian Primary School on the church premises. Karen had been in education for over 32 years at that stage, the last 19 of which had been as a Principal in a local primary school. Being passionate about education, believing that education is the tool through which society can be moulded and our future generations equipped to give of their best in our country, Karen was led by the Lord to take early retirement and to volunteer for the next few years at the church in order to establish this ‘dream’ from the Lord. Karen saw her involvement in the establishing of the Revival City College as a wonderful calling from God in which she could to help create an environment in which quality education may be delivered, at affordable fees, within the context of Christian norms and principles.
As Operational Director, a position she still serves in today, Karen is responsible to ensure that the quality of academics delivered at RCC is of an excellent standard, and that the staff appointed are staff who see teaching as their calling and who place the interests of the children first in all instances. For her, giving children the tools to learn and grow academically whilst laying a sound Christian foundation in the lives of these children is a way in which she may contribute towards future generations.
As a step in faith, Revival City Church, in 2016, built the first seven classrooms plus a sickbay, Principal’s office and Secretary’s office on their premises. The registration and marketing of the college was embarked on and slowly the miraculous began to unfold before those who stepped out in faith. The next step was to appoint the Principal and Deputy Principal for the college for the next year – again a step of faith, as only 24 children had been enrolled. The Principal – Natalie Louw and the Deputy – Misty Hutchins, both, after prayer and deliberation before the Lord, resigned from their management positions in State schools and signed contracts with Revival City College when only 24 children were enrolled. Both ladies knew that their step of faith would be honoured by the Lord and they trusted Him to open doors for the college.
In January 2017 Revival City College opened their doors to 64 children in 5 classes – 2 Grade R; 2 Grade 1 and 1 Grade 2 class. With our full complement of 11 staff members, including security guards, sport coaches, After Care cooks and 1 cleaner, quality teaching started. In the first year, RCC had a child who represented us at District level for Athletics and a number of children who participated in sports tournaments, eisteddfods, the CONQUESTA and CHALLENGA, to name but a few of our accomplishments. Right from the onset, the focus at our college has been on excellence and on striving to be a ‘No Excuse’ college. We try not to make excuses, nor to accept excuses – we all aim at achieving what we believe God has made us capable of achieving, and we will do so with excellence!
By the April of 2017, plans were set into motion to build the next phase of classrooms for the college to accommodate the proposed classes up to Grade 7. ABSA was approached for a loan, and an architect was commissioned to draw up the plans for our expansion. Praise the Lord that He brought an investor on board who was willing to loan our college the funds needed to build the triple storey block which would house 17 classes, 4 ablution blocks, an office a Science Laboratory and a Library – all interest free. Work on the new block began in August 2017 and was completed by the end of November 2017 a week before the loan from ABSA was granted to us – and so we could honour our commitment and settle our interest free loan.
The prophetic words received from the Lord in 1992, 1993 and 1994 about this school, were cast into the foundations of the new block as the concrete was thrown. These promises remind us that ‘we will need faith to go where the Lord is going to lead us’; and that ‘our ways and ideas of being church will be changed by the Lord’; and finally that ‘revival will come to us.’
January 2018 saw us open our doors to 180 children from Grade R to Grade 4. This year saw us open 3 Grade R classes; 4 Grade 1 classes, 2 Grade 2 classes; 1 Grade 3 class and 1 Grade 4 Class. Once again we stood in awe at how the Lord was blessing and opening doors for us. By January 2019 we had 280 children enrolled in classes up to Grade 5. Our fulltime staff complement is now 35 in total. Lead Teachers have been appointed onto the College Management Team to support and work closely with the Principal and Deputy and structures have been set in place to ensure that each child is given the opportunity to develop to their best potential. In order to ensure we meet the needs of all our children as effectively as possible, our class sizes do not exceed 20 per class. We have also ensured that our staff are trained to identify problems and how to address these. Our college therefore boasts six trained and qualified counsellors who work closely with the therapists who work from the college premises to assist children who have been identified with academic or emotional problems. We have also set into place a well structures mentorship programme for the Learnerships we have on staff and for the inexperienced teachers who have joined us. This programme sees retired educators come in when needed to guide, support and mentor those who may be in need of their expertise and experience. As we are well aware of the fact that we need to develop the entire child we place great emphasis on the extra- curricular activities at the college, ensuring that we cater as much as possible for the many learners’ different interests.
Within the context of striving for excellence in our ‘No Excuse’ school we have also embarked on equipping our parents for their roles as parents. We have therefore run reading workshops and study skill workshops for our parents and a positive parenting workshop based on Christian norms and standards is being planned at present.
With the continued favour showered on us by the Lord, we were led this year to consider the expansion of our college to accommodate a High School. As from April 2019 steps have been taken to begin the planning and building of the High School. An architect and engineer were commissioned to draw up plans for Phases 3; 4 and 5. The proposal is that Phase 3 housing amongst other things, the College Reception and Administrative block; Staff room, Computer Centre; Management Team Offices; Sick Bay and additional classes, be built in 2020. Phase 4 housing the Tuckshop, Eating hall, College Hall, Workshop and Maintenances facilities and Phase 5 housing the High School Block and additional High School Staffroom is planned to be built in 2021/22. We thank the Lord for the vision and direction He has given us in this mammoth task and we praise Him for the favour and provision He has bestowed on us. We thank Him for the children enrolled and for the parental support and enthusiasm we see on a daily basis.
It is with great excitement and expectancy from the Lord that we have opened this College. We know it will be a place of great blessing to not only the children enrolled here, but also to their parents and the staff employed here. Each year as we have embarked on interviewing staff for the next year, we are amazed at how the Lord brings to us the people He would have work here at Revival City College. Our college truly has become the church in action. It is through the work we do with the children as we aim for excellence in our ‘No Excuse’ college that we see lives changed and God’s Kingdom glorified.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.