Alfonso is pastor of Dennemere Baptist Church in Cape Town, South Africa. HeartCry’s leader in the Cape region, Mario Maneville, has been mentoring Alfonso since 2018. Alfonso is in the process of reforming an existing Baptist church to submit the church’s practice to the teaching of Scripture. This has been a challenging journey, and the church lost many former members in the process. Alfonso is now building back upon a more firm foundation.
Testimony of Salvation
My parents were converted when I was about 10 years old and, therefore, I basically grew up in a Christian home. My security was in my tradition as a Baptist and my upbringing, thinking my parents’ Christian life was enough and that I was ‘okay’ being in a Christian home, I had nothing to worry about. After observing some changes in my character and sinful behavior in my personal life, I soon realized that I really couldn’t continue the way I was living and thinking.
I needed Christ in a personal way, and one evening, at a cottage meeting in our family home, I heard the gospel and responded to what Jesus Christ did for me on the cross. I remember being overwhelmed by guilt and sin, and wept as this realization swept over me. Even though I became a believer at that point, God worked with me over a period of time. I lacked proper discipleship and really didn’t grow in my newfound faith.
After getting married in 2000, I once again came under the conviction by the Holy Spirit for my lukewarm walk with the Lord. After repenting and trusting the Lord completely with my life I began to see some wholesale changes in my life. I can honestly say that I was radically changed in every respect, so much so that I felt the call to ministry soon after this spiritual renewal. In my marriage, personal life, and in general, I realized that a close walk with Jesus is what matters.
My wife Samantha and I joined a local Baptist church-plant in our area and saw the fruits of God’s grace being formed in our lives. In obedience to the Lord, I was baptized at the Northpine Baptist Church in Cape Town. If I look back over my life and my conversion, it is God’s grace that has carried me.
Call to Ministry
After I joined a church plant in Kuils River, my life radically changed and I began growing as a believer. Soon after that, I sensed a strong call to the ministry as a pastor. No matter how hard I tried to run away from this call, I was always brought back to a yearning to preach. Psalm 139 holds particular significance for me. I tried running for so many years, and I soon discovered there is no running from the Lord.
After some time, I applied to Cape Town Baptist Seminary where I completed an honors degree in Theology (BMIN) and I have been in ministry ever since. My heart has always been to preach the truth and do so as best I can. God made a way for me to prepare for ministry and, ever since 2007, I have been serving Him in churches that are either struggling or falling apart and, by His grace, we have managed to revitalize Centurion Baptist and Buccleuch Community Church (both these churches are in Gauteng Province, South Africa).