ACC’s first teacher, Nick Dekker, called home

Elias Simelane & Nick Dekker

Nick Dekker (ACC's first teacher; right) and Elias Simelane (an early student) in front of house Nick built forty years earlier.

In June, 1966 Nick Dekker travelled with his family, from Benoni in South Africa to Matsapha in Swaziland. His church commission was to establish a school at which to train men for the preaching ministry of the churches of Christ.

Bro. Dekker leased a farmhouse from Mrs. Nxaba, next to the property which was purchased as the site on which to establish Manzini Bible School (later African Christian College). He established a local congregation which started meeting at the Dekker home. In 1967 construction of the Round House began and it was completed in 1968.

Nick Dekker and Jesse Brown taught classes from 07:00 to 12:00 and the land was farmed from 14:00 onwards. The team raised maize and groundnuts as cash crops that were sold in order for students to be supplied with other foodstuffs. Growing beans was difficult because the Reedbuck in the area usually ate the bean crop, until they were given permission to hunt Reedbuck.

In 1967 David Makhubu arranged for king Sobuza Dlamini II’s advisor to put Bro. Dekker on the roll to preach to about 5,000 people. The ruling was that the preacher was expected to preach and answer questions until such time that the king asked him to sit down. That day Bro. Dekker preached and taught in fluent Zulu for eight hours. The king gave Bro. Dekker permission to walk into and preach at any church in Swaziland. Only the Roman Catholic Church and the Assemblies of God refused to comply with this arrangement.

The Dekkers and their co-workers worked tirelessly and by 1972, fourteen Manzini Bible School students preached to 26 congregations every Sunday. Bro Dekker and his family left Swaziland in January 1972. Nick Dekker continued to serve the Lord until he was called home on 20 September 2011. The event that brought him great joy during his final moments here was the baptism of his youngest grandson Hennie Dekker.

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