Our church serves both Stellenbosch and Somerset West and some members of our congregation even come from Gordons Bay, Paarl, Kleinmond, Hermanus and Worcester. Our church centre is situated in Stellenbosch, while in Somerset West we enjoy the hospitality of the Catholic St Paul’s Church.

While the German heritage and language brings common ground, we are a blend of South Africans and Europeans but we are connected in many ways by our German traditions and enriched by the multilingualism added by English and Afrikaans.

The congregation is a member of the Cape Church and the United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in Southern Africa. We have strong ties with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in South Africa (Natal-Transvaal) (ELCSA(NT)) and the Lutheran Church in Namibia (ELKiN), as well as with the United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany in Deutschland (VELKD) and the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (EKD).


The Lutheran Church was founded through the reformation efforts of Martin Luther (1483-1546), an Augustinian monk and professor of theology at the University of Wittenberg in Germany.

An intensive study of the Old and New Testament opened Luther’s eyes to the fact that the Gospel that was being preached wasn’t biblical. The Lutheran faith places the biblical message of the crucified and risen Christ at the centre. Through Christ, God gives us a relationship with Him and He desires to remain our Lord in all seasons of our lives.

Everyday life forms an integral part of our Sunday services, where it is placed within the context of our relationship with God. We ask how God’s love and His presence can be experienced in our personal and social life. Worshipping the Lord strengthens our faith from day to day.


The first Lutheran Church in Stellenbosch was built in 1854, on the corner of Dorp und Bird Street. (Today the building is no longer in use as a church and instead serves as university museum and gallery.) Initially, German Lutherans in Stellenbosch were cared for from the St Martini Church in Cape Town and from the Kreuzkirche in Bellville, but as the German community in Stellenbosch grew, so did the need for a local Lutheran Church.

In 1952 the Stellenbosch congregation was officially founded and in 1963 the church centre in Hofmeyr Street was inaugurated. Over the past 50 years the church has been the spiritual home for many and our prayer is that it will continue to be one for years to come. In recent years, increasing numbers of members have come from the Somerset West area and church services and events are now also being held at St Paul’s Church.


Our Emil Hammer Organ was put into use in 1965, two years after the inauguration of our church. This organ belongs to the group of Neo–Baroque organs; most of the organs in the South African Lutheran churches are of a similar sort (Bellville, Hermannsburg, Kroondal, Bloemfontein, Augsburg). The Stellenbosch organ however is unique as it is the only instrument in South Africa that was built by the Emil Hammer Organbuilders.  After 50 years of continuous use, it needed thorough maintenance work. This was done in May 2021 by Rieger, an Austrian organ-building company. Three months later a special concert marked the reinauguration of the organ. Since then, its new sonority has filled the church during the services praising God and uplifting the congregation.


Church Centre

Our church centre, located in the heart of Stellenbosch and close to the University of Stellenbosch campus, consists of the church, offices, a catering kitchen, two halls and several smaller rooms. The centre is the focus for our church life. The two church halls can be booked for private events. Please contact the office for further information.


Our congregation’s cemetery, located in Onderpapegaaiberg, makes up part of the town’s cemetery and is a peaceful area surrounded by trees. On Easter Sunday and Eternity Sunday, we hold special services there.


iThemba Labantu means ‘Hope for the People’ and is directed by Pastor Otto Kohlstock. The centre offers medical help, healthy nutrition and counselling for HIV/AIDS-victims, as well as cooking meals for the hungry, running a pre-school for 30 children, hosting sport and music activities and providing vocational and educational training.