The Neuenkirchen Congregation has a history that goes back to 1886, and on the 23rd October 2011 was able to celebrate the occasion of its 125th anniversary. The congregation has a rich and varied history which began in 1854 when a group of German missionaries bound for Abyssinia, Ethopia had their plans abruptly change. They instead arrived in Durban, and with the encouragement of Rev. Posselt, who had arrived in Natal some years earlier, the missionaries settled in the Hermannsburg and New Hanover areas.Because of vast distances between farms and churches, 19 members of the group left New Hanover to become the founders of the Kirchdorf congregation.Later, 7 farmers got together to form a sub-congregation of Kirchdorf in the Harburg area.
In 1886, the group built their own chapel on a piece of land donated by Christoph Küsel, and the Neuenkirchen Congregation was born. Named after the Neuenkirchen town in Germany, where Christof Küsel’s wife had come from, the congregation named their village “Harburg” after the home town of the wife of the first resident minister, Pastor H Wiese.
In 1896 the original; chapel became a school only, and a new church building was built. During this time a new building which served as a store, post office and residential dwelling was built in the centre of the village. Part of this building is currently the Harburg Heritage Centre which houses the museum.
The buildings that made up the Harburg Primary school were converted into a Retreat Centre after the 2005 closure of the school that had served the community for over a century.