The Hatfield Methodist Church, a wood and iron shell, was established and would later evolve into the now Willows Methodist Church.
Pretoria began expanding, specifically eastwards.
The wake of the new democratic South Africa, the city’s transformation intensified.
Rev. Dudley Goodenough was appointed Minister and he began sharing his dream of relocating the church in the east of Pretoria, out along the N4 highway.
Church services started in the Willowridge High School hall. In no time the 10h00 service was bigger than the 08h30 service at the old Church. God’s plan for the Church started to unfold. The property at 224 Meerlust Road, Willow Glen was purchased by some miracle. (The EG Chapman offered the church R2.75 million for the existing Hatfield Church. The Meerlust Road property was purchased for R840,000 and ~R60,000 was used for renovating the workshop into the Gospel Garage. After six months, the EG Chapman wasn’t able to sell the old church property for R1.9 million (the difference between what they paid and the market price six months later amounted to the purchase price of the new property, plus the renovations). God practically gave us the property for free.
In March, the Willows Methodist Church was conducting all three of its Sunday services at its new premises. The leaders knew that youth work would be important and, stepping out in faith, they appointed a youth pastor in the same year.
In January, the building of the new Church building commenced, and God’s plan for bringing the Gospel to the East, became unmistakable. With the Cornerstone laid, the words chosen for the Seeker statement by Rev. Dudley were prophetic: "Sir, we would see Jesus!" The new Church was opened on 8 November 1998, amazingly with an overdraft of only R150,000. In December 1998, Rev James Ramage, his wife Jean, and their daughters moved into the newly renovated manse behind the Church.
In February, by God’s grace alone, we took transfer of the property across the road for R600,000. In August, the property behind the church became available. Our offer of R1.6 million was accepted. Negotiations started to sell the newly purchased property across the road and the church accepted an offer of R3.75 million and as a result, on 12 October 2005 we took transfer of the property behind us. The property that we bought for R600,000, was sold for R3.75M, which was enough to pay off what we owed across the road and leave us with some development capital. Who knows what will happen next? But we know God has a plan.
Rev Graeme Mercer, his wife Kathy, and their family came to Willows.
In December 1999, a lady who knew the original owner of the property at 224 Meerlust Road told of when the owner went to the building suppliers to order the slate for the Church house roof, sometime in the mid-1970s, that the supplier had asked whether he was building a Church with all the slate that he had ordered!
God had said long, long ago: "Here, I will build my Church!"