Our story began on the 1st of January 2019, our family announced our decision to, once again, step out in faith and start a church.
I (Bevan) was born and raised in the beach town of Scottburgh on the South Coast of KZN, South Africa. I didn’t grow up in a Christian household or go to church. My teenage years were spent at a boarding school in Durban where I held to a view that Christians were judgemental and hypocritical, and that church was boring and irrelevant. At the age of 20 I travelled to London in pursuit of a career in sport. Two years in to my time in the UK, and feeling lost, I began thinking that there had to be more to life than my then reality. This led to my taking personal responsibility for my spiritual condition. I did an alpha course and later bumped into a girl (called Tamlyn) at a bus stop and she invited me to her church.
Tamlyn was born and raised in the small farming town of Umhlali on the North Coast of KZN, South Africa. Her earliest memories include church and a simple but sincere faith in God, encouraged by her mum’s faith and service in church. Hers was a household where Mum knew and loved Jesus and His church but Dad attended church, by obligation, on Easter and Christmas Days only. The family dynamic changed when Tam’s dad encountered the love of God. They all started attending a life-giving church together and then moved off the family farm and an hour away from all they’d known so that her parents could attend a Bible College. The ‘temporary’ move became permanent as from their family lounge room God birthed a miracle, a church, now (23 years later) known as Open Skies. Tam’s relationship with Jesus has been an ever deepening one throughout her life. She has always played key roles in church life and since her teenage years has been part of pioneering church. She took a teaching job in London after graduating university and bumped in to me one Saturday, at a bus stop, with a mutual friend. She invited me to her church…
We went to Hillsong Church (London) the next day and it was there that I had a life changing encounter with God. Tam and I became friends, started dating, got married and planted ourselves in this local church through it all and for the next 16 years. We both carried significant leadership roles in Hillsong London in a time when the church was seeing miraculous and rapid growth. It truly was our great privilege to be used by God in this story. After leading a Hillsong campus in London for a number of years we were then asked to move to Australia to start a new Hillsong campus in a beautiful coastal town called Noosa. After six and a half years in Noosa, we exchanged pastoring a beloved, vibrant and healthy church community for the “call” back to South Africa. Again, it was our great privilege to play our part in the story that is Hillsong Noosa.
Tam and I lived overseas for close on 18 years but always held a love for the complex country of our birth. Mindful of stewarding well what was asked of us by our pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston, and right timing, we returned to South Africa in February last year. We spent several months in a leadership role in Hillsong, Cape Town before it became undeniable that it was time for us to step out of what we had known for so long and in to something new. We love Hillsong Church and always will, but the call into the new couldn’t be ignored. We took time to consider, pray and get advice before settling on our decision to plant and co-lead “co- church”.
We have pastoral leadership experience, a passion to reach all people, a love for our nation and a desire to collaborate but most importantly, we have Jesus! And wouldn’t do this without Him. Family and friendship are important to us and so we hope to see genuine community take shape in groups that would meet in and under a range of settings and circumstances, and then gather for a collective worship service. What we co-create won’t be perfect, but it will be real. And our prayer is that it will ultimately bring about positive transformation in our nation.
We want to invite you to join us in this adventure.
Bev and Tam