Stellenbosch pastor revived at Toronto Blessing 20th anniversary celebration conference

Pastor Iban Vermeulen.
Pastor Iban Vermeulen.

A Stellenbosch pastor who recently attended the Catch The Fire Conference in Toronto, Canada, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ‘Toronto Blessing’ outpouring of the Holy Spirit, says he came out of a 10 year spiritual drought there and received a mandate from God to “go and anoint My workers for the harvest”.

“Within the first week after returning home from Toronto the Holy Spirit started moving in our church and has not stopped moving,” says Iban Vermeulen, senior pastor of KCI Church, Stellenbosch in a testimony he sent to Gateway News.

He says that from September 1, to September 4, 2014, KCI will be hosting a Revival Conference and the International School of Leadership that will be presented by a Catch the Fire team from Canada.

Vermeulen says that God spoke to him in 2013 about attendiing the 20th Anniversary Catch the Fire Conference in Toronto in January, 2014. The conference speakers were John and Carol Arnott, Randy Clark, Bill and Beni Johnson, Heidi Baker, Che Ahn, Duncon Smith, Steve Long and Georgian Banov. They are all influential apostolic leaders who were touched, changed, restored, called, and commissioned during the outpouring in Toronto in 1994.

On his first night there he fell in the Spirit as Randy Clark prayed for him and God ministered powerfully, erasing bitterness and hurt and restoring life into his family relationships and ministry. He felt alive for the first time in 10 years.

On the second night he was hungry for a fresh touch from God and was directed by Him to go to the front when the worship started. To get a good spot in the front he had to wait there an hour before the worship started. When the worship began a child pushed in front of him and there was a lady in a wheelchair to his right. He felt a bit annoyed with the child for pushing in.

“But during worship they told us to turn and prophecy to someone. This child turns around and says: ‘Lord, take this man to the nations and use him to transform many nations with revival.’ The moment that child prophesied the Spirit of God came upon me. Then we were asked to pray for the fire of God upon someone next to us. So the lady in the wheelchair grabs my hand and when she grabbed it, the Fire of God fell on me like it has never fallen upon me.”

Vermeulen says the woman in the wheelchair prophesied that he would spread fire and take ground for God’s Kingdom.
“When I put my hands in the air I saw that my hands was touching heaven and oil was flowing down my hands up to my elbows and I stood there, as one ready to go having been equipped and commissioned. God told me: ‘Go and anoint my workers for the harvest. They will be used in this move of My Spirit.’ For the first time in my life it felt like God had given me a clear mandate to do for Him. Go and anoint the workers for the Harvest.”

He says: “During this amazing conference there were many more visions and encounters in the Holy Spirit. I was also told that: ‘A spring of living water is going to erupt in our church, KCI Stellenbosch. People will come and drink from this spring’.”

During the conference speakers spoke about a coming ‘second wave’ outpouring that will bring a double anointing and spiritual inheritance as there was a generation that carried and stewarded the first wave faithfully for 20 years. Heidi Baker and Randy Clark told the conference that the first wave was for the healing of the church, calling prodigal sons back home and restoring the Father’s heart of love in the church. The second wave will be a wave of glory and souls compelling the move of God out of the church into the streets.

Vermeulen says he is expectant to see the fruits of the second wave manifesting in South Africa.


  1. Full credit to Gateway News for publishing this very encouraging and important article about the Toronto Blessing and about Pastor Iban Vermeulen.
    When the Toronto Blessing started in 1994, I was already a Spirit filled Christian and had been for many years. But I detested this revival, and scorned those who dared to believe it was of or from God. When the controversy about the animal noises started and Toronto Vineyard were asked to leave the Vineyard Church, I thought I was justified in my opinions.
    It took me quite a few years before I repented, and changed my views about it. My change of heart happened because I was undeniably confronted with the fruits of this revival. In what could not be described as coincidences, I was confronted by countless (yes, dozens and dozens) of men an women who’s lives had been radically transformed by this blessing, and were prepared to give up their ‘successful’ lives as they knew it to take the gospel of the kingdom to furthest parts of the earth. I waited for their ’emotionalism’ to dry out, for them to fail and then return home discouraged and disillusioned. But it did not happen. In fact, they just seem to grow stronger in the Lord, and in turn have similar impacts on others.
    As I said, it took me quite a few years of fruit ‘testing’ and soul searching for me to stick my little toe in the river, so to speak. At the time, I was visiting a church in SA that also seemed to have ‘a spring of water’ welling up in her. People were called up front to receive prayer, and I chose the youngest looking person to pray for me. She looked like a very respectable young girl, and seemed to be a little timid herself. Remember, I only wanted to stick my little toe into this river, and she looked like my safest bet.
    But my encounter with God that day also changed my life forever, and there was nothing timid about it either. In fact, there was nothing respectable about it either, if you can imagine an adult man being set on fire for God.
    Gateway News has shown great courage by publishing this story. Many people choose only to remember the controversy surrounding the Toronto Blessing. But as Proverbs says, where there is no oxen in the stalls there is also no crap. Similarly, we all know the challenges and problems we will face when we choose to get married and have children. But does the few negatives ever persuade us against the immense positives of knowing and experiencing the kind of love that those relationships can bring ? No we don’t.
    FAITH can also be spelled RISK, and sometimes only the very thirsty, the very hungry, the very dry, the very barren, the very purposelessness, and the very desperate are prepared to RISK it.
    This God encounter may not necessarily send you as a missionary to China, but it will turn your religious and Pharisee life into one of deep intimacy with the Lover of your soul. It did mine.

  2. corinne Sandenbergh

    I am very blessed and interested in the church in `Stellenbosch and would like to attend.. could you please give me an address or number to contact for location and service times.

  3. 1 John 4:1 (NLT) Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.

    • Demitri, dear friend, let me help you in the clearest way I know how. I know a man who went to Toronto, walked out of the church service halfway and kicked a couple of the dirt drums in the car park area with such anger that he literally broke them apart. Within a few years his life and his marriage was in such a mess that he came to our fellowship looking for help. But he was so conceited and self-righteous that there was little or nothing we could do to help him.
      On the other hand, I know well over a hundred people who went to the same Canadian church and as a result of their encounter with God there, their lives changed in a completely different way. The Lordship of Jesus in their lives increased substantially, they experienced greater holiness in their lives, their desire to read the Bible and to live according God’s Word increased substantially, their marriages were significantly enhanced with tremendously more mutual love and respect for each other, their relationships with others dramatically improved for the better, their desire to witness for Jesus and to lead others to salvation could no longer be contained in their lives, they became abundantly more generous in their giving, and through their ministry, they started to see others being healed and delivered from demons for the very first time.
      If you happen to believe that the devil did that to them, then all I have to say is that 1 John 4:1 is a very appropriate scripture for you my friend. Straight from God’s mouth to your ears. Take heed to what He saying to you and repent, its not too late.

      • Jaco,
        In a spirit of Christian love and grace let me respond to your aggressive “Straight from God’s mouth to your ears” tirade.

        I merely quoted one verse from God’s word that tells us as Christians to exercise spiritual discernment in the church. What, if I may ask, is so expressly wrong with that? I mean, isn’t the discernment of spirits one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit specifically mentioned in scripture? (See 1Cor.12:10). Why should it not be exercised in the church today? And why should we not put God’s word into practice in 1John, and test the spirits as it says. To be sure, we ARE living in the last days and Satan is the great counterfeiter who is out to deceive Christ’s bride as he did to Eve in the Garden.

        If you have a problem with 1John 4:1, then you need to take it out with the Apostle John who wrote it and the Holy Spirit who inspired it! Or am I wrong?

        In my short post (I was in a hurry at the time!) I did not say anything about people’s lives not being touched or changed, or people not having real encounters with God in Toronto, Canada. I’m sure lots of people were saved there in the 90’s, and are still being saved & baptized there today. I never contested any of that.

        However, what I do contest is Christians who blindly accept every spiritual move as a move of the Holy Spirit. As a Charismatic Christian for many yrs I have seen & experienced lots of things being done at church “in the Spirit” that were not really the Spirit, if you get my drift. This is the reason why we have to exercise discernment, especially in times of revival.

        The Bible says that the devil prowls about sometimes as a roaring lion, but at other times as an angel of light (1Pet 5:8; 2Cor 11:14). Many Christians are being sadly taken in by this angel.

        Going back in church history, Christians generally agree that the most loving, evangelizing, Spirit-filled, Spirit-empowered, Spirit-moved church in the last 2,000 yrs is the Acts church. Yet, for those who read the book of Acts, one thing that is abundantly clear is that there is never any hint of barking, laughing, drunkenness, slaying, farmyard noises, etc. etc in any chapter.

        In so many of those Catch the Fire conferences these were commonplace. I’ve been there and worshiped there. So its not secondhand. I just praise the Lord for blessing me at that time with a loving, caring, gracious, Spirit-filled Pentecostal Pastor who was wise enough to carry out 1John 4:1, and discern those spirits. He encouraged us to be true Book of Acts-Christians: to be baptized in the Spirit, to prophesy, to speak in tongues, and to share words of knowledge, wisdom, etc. But at the same time, he told us to be guarded and guided by God’s Spirit-inspired word, and to discern between the biblical and the unbiblical manifestations.

        So Mr. Jaco, that’s my wordy response to you! I hear what you are saying, but changed lives are not the measure of pure Christian doctrine. The test of pure doctrine is: Does it line up with God’s holy word?

        God bless,

        P.S. Readers, there is an EXCELLENT book on revival authored by Pastor Jim Cymbala of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church in NY. It is such a blessing, full of awesome testimonies, and it gives a balanced Charismatic perspective to revival. It is called “Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire” (What Happens When God’s Spirit Invades the Hearts of His People) – available on Amazon.

  4. Wow,thx for the gr8 news of people continuing in The Fathers Blessing.and Its gr8 also that people are hungry for the tangible awesome precsence of God ..thx Andre for honouring the Holy Spirit and giving space in Gateway News to talk about the outpouring,God Bless you Abundantly!!