DR. James Jerry Luckyboy Hope – A life in service

Origins and educational background

Dr Jerry Hope.

James Jerry Luckyboy Hope was born on 30 December 1943 in a small village known as Madibogo (his birth was registered in Krugersdorp), situated between the Northern Cape and the Western Cape Province where his father established a thriving business known as The Madibogo Trading Store after World War II.

DNA test of Dr Hope’s Y chromosome profile (Y chromosomes are passed on from a father to only his male children) when compared with 57 000 Y chromosomes from an International database results could be traced back to one Czech individual, one Austrian individual and one White South African and when Dr Hope’s father’s mtDNA (his DNA on his mother’s side) was compared with the South African DNA database, the test revealed that Dr Hope’s father’s mother was connected to an African lineage. This proved that Dr Hope’s father was of Euro-African descend and therefore also Dr Hope.

Dr Hope’s father, James Karel Hope.

DNA test (MtDNA profile) of Dr Hope, when matched with 10,600 mtDNA haplotypes (lineage groups) from 2 International databases, a close match with 2 Afro-Caribbean individuals and 2 identical matches in the South African database with 1 African and 1 African-American. This proved that Dr Hope’s mother was of African origin and that Dr Hope is of mixed origin: Euro-African.

Dr Hope is one of twelve children. His parents were James and Leah Mat-Hope (Dr Hope’s father changed his step-father’s adopted surname to Hope in terms of Section 9 of the Aliens Act, 1937. He grew up in the Northern Cape and the Transvaal (now Gauteng Province).

Dr Hope is married to Rhoda Geraldine (born Merricks but later bore her mother’s surname Jaggers). They had seven children of whom six are still alive.


Dr Hope’s educational journey may be traced back to various primary schools: Newclare Primary School, Kliptown Primary Secondary School, Noordgesig Primary School and it was interrupted due to ill health, but continued by means of correspondence, leading to a Matriculation Certificate.

Rhoda Hope (née Merricks).

The Matriculation Certificate enabled Dr Hope to commence Theological and Tertiary Training at the Theological School which was situated at Hammanskraal, Pretoria during 1966 when he was 23 years of age.  This is where he was introduced to the original languages of the Bible: Classical Hebrew and Hellenistic Greek as well as all the relevant courses pertaining to religious instruction and the training of ministers.

Subsequently Dr Hope enrolled at the University of South Africa, where he obtained a BA degree in 1975, majoring in Classical Hebrew and Philosophy. His study included Hellenistic Greek (I and II), Anthropology, Biblical Science and Sociology. 

During 1994, he obtained an MA degree in Old Testament Ethics; Old Testament Hermeneutics; Methodology of Exegesis.  The topic of the theses was:  Etiese Gesigspunte in die Boek Jona (Ethical Perspectives in the Book of Jonah) at the University of Johannesburg.  A DLitt et Phil followed and was completed in 2007 at the University of Johannesburg.  The title of this thesis was: Exegetical Perspectives of Pauline Contextualisation of Theological Concepts with Selected Juridical Imagery in Romans and its Contextual Application.

This study was followed by an LLB degree (completed in 2012) which required inter alia knowledge of Roman Law, Latin; Fundamental Rights; Advanced Constitutional Law; Advanced Fundamental Rights; Interpretation of Statutes; Legal Philosophy; Criminal Law; Procedural Law, English and Afrikaans Netherlands, Introduction to the Theory of Law, Private Law I, II, III, Advanced Family Law, Advanced Constitutional Law and Fundamental Rights, Foundation of the South African Law, Indigenous Law I and II, Advanced Indigenous Law, Mercantile Law I and II, Administrative Law, General Principles of Civil Procedure, International Law, Professional Ethics, Advanced Company Law, Unjustified Enrichment and Estoppel, Labour Law and Advanced Criminal Law. The dissertation topic was:  The Metaphysical Origins of the South African Idea of Fundamental Human Rights.

Career history in the ministry

Dr Hope spent most of his adult life in the ministry serving in the Reformed Church Newclare (1972 to 1978), the Reformed Church Eldorado Park and Reigerpark (1978 – current). He was deputised by the Synod of the Reformed Church amongst the Coloured congregations, known as Synod Southland before this Synod joined the Synod of the Reformed Church in South Africa during 1990, in various capacities: to liaise with Radio and TV (SABC) concerning ecclesiastical matters; with the Department of Education and Culture to investigate the possibility of establishing open cross cultural schools, to advise Synod about the questions concerning the existence and acceptability of segregated schools and to correspond with the Government of the day concerning apartheid policies and how these policies affected the majority of the non-White South African community.

Dr Hope was also involved as a board member of the Bible Society South Africa concerning decisions with regard to fund-raising, translation and distribution of the Bible (1978 to 1987). During this period he was also tasked with the decision making processes of the Synod Southland with regard to the administration of synodical funds.

Dr Jerry Hope.

As from 1972 to 1989, Dr Hope was connected to the Theological Training Schools of the Reformed Church in South Africa as curator: Hammanskraal Theological School campus and Potchefstroom Theological School campus.

Between 1997 and 1998, Dr Hope was connected to the Theological Education by Extension College as a Marker and during 2003 he was a lecturer (Classical Hebrew and Exegesis) at the International College of Bible and Missions.

Dr Hope has been involved as a preacher on the Afrikaans Radio Station known as RSG (Radio Sonder Grense – meaning Radio without Boundaries).

Community involvement

During 1972 until his retirement Dr Hope served as Commissioner of Oaths in terms of Section 3 of the Matrimonial Act, 1961.  

Dr Hope was politically involved in society representing his community as one of the first councillors of the South East MSS Gauteng Government as from December 1994, serving in the Engineering Services Committee, the Social Services Committee and the Planning and Public Participation Committee. His service as councillor resumed in 1995 and ended in 1998.

Dr Jerry Hope.

Dr Hope is currently a Trustee of the Jerry Hope Protective Workshop Trust for the Physically Disabled. He has been a Director of the workshop at Eldorado Park since 2004 where his duties were the following: to conduct business case analysis of the organisation; to investigate methods and means that could assist in making the organisation profitable; to benchmark the organisation; to monitor progress of the organisation; to identify companies that can provide work for the beneficiaries; to conclude fixed term contracts; to establish relationships with donors; liaise with the bookkeeper/accountant/auditors; prepare and submit business plans; ensure regular financial reporting at meetings and to key stakeholder (Department of Social Development, Gauteng Province). Jerry Hope was also the co-founder and Vice Chairman of SACMIN (South African Ministerial Network 2008) and founder / Chairman of The Association of Joint Ministries in Riverlea (2010).

Areas of specialisation

Motivational Speaking; Biblical Interpretation; Marriage Counselling; Alternative Dispute Resolution: Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration; Legal Advice and Counselling.

Dr Hope served the Biblical Reformed Church for ten years from 1998 to 1998.

Current position

Dr Hope is an emeritus minister of the Biblical Reformed Church which upholds the Doctrinal Standards, Church Order and Articles of Confession of the Reformed Church in South Africa. The Biblical Reformed Church was established in September 1998 when the two congregations: the Reformed Church Eldorado Park (Southern Coloured Townships of Johannesburg) and Reformed Church Reigerpark (Eastern Townships of the East Rand) united to form a new Ministry Model under the name of the Biblical Reformed Church. This church was joined by the Reformed Church Riverlea-Noordgesig (Western Township of Johannesburg) in 2004.

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