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In 1867 the Nazareth (Middleburg) congregation broke away from the Lydenburg district and the Vaal River ward then fell under the jurisdiction of the Nazareth congregation. Due to the vast expanse of the Vaal River ward it's inhabitants insisted on a congregation of their own. In 1870 Frans Lion Cachet established a congregation and named it after the town in Netherlands where he converted to Christianity. In April 1872 a general church meeting was held and despite some complaints by members of the Nazareth community the establishment of the Ermelo congregation was ratified.

It was more than 10 years after it's establishment that a church was built for the congregation. This was because the church council could not reach a decision on an appropriate location. Three farms were considered and finally in 1879 the eastern part of the farm Nooitgedacht(2572 ha) was purchased for R2000. The start of the first boer war delayed the building of the church but when completed the church consisted of a corrugated iron roof, dung-smeared floor and could seat 300 people.

A larger church building was erected and inaugurated in 1893. The foundation of the new church was built with dolerite (yster klip) and walls were constructed of sandstone. During the second Anglo-Boer war the whole town was destroyed except for a single house and the church.The church was however plundered by the English soldiers removing all it's contents including the organ.

In 1880 the town consisted of four long north-south streets and eight short streets running east-west. All streets in Ermelo were 30,5 meter wide. Wide enough for an ox-drawn wagon to turn around in.

The church council was responsible for the management of Ermelo. With the outbreak of smallpox in 1893 the Transvaal government established health committees in the various districts. When the Transvaal government took over management of Ermelo in 1895 the health committee got more authority. The number of members increased to five and were elected by the male inhabitants of the town.

Ermelo got municipal status in 1926.

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