During the period between 1858 to 1861 a total of 3832 immigrants were recruited in England, Scotland and Ireland for the Cape Colony to alleviate the shortage of skilled workers. John Thomas Cooper from Nottingham England were a stonemason and he set foot in Cape Town in 1859.
In 1860 the building committee of the Dutch Reformed Church in Oudtshoorn accepted the design plans of George Wallis for the new sandstone church in a neo-Gothic style. John Thomas Cooper were appointed as foreman of the stonemasons. In 1863 the work was abandoned due to an argument between the Building Committee and the Architect. In 1865 the work at the church was resumed under the supervision of John Thomas Cooper, but in 1865 the work came to a halt again due to a lack of money, as the district of Oudtshoorn was in a grip of severe drought.
In September 1876 John Cooper made a proposal to the Building Committee to let five stonemasons and a lumberjack come from England to help speed up the building process. The Church was inaugurated on 7 June 1879
Reverend GW Stegmann was the first minister in the newly built church until 1892. Stegmann was succeeded by George Murray, son of the well-known Dutch Reformed minister, Andrew Murray.
The Dutch Reformed rectory was built in 1881 and was designed by Otter Hager. Ds George Murray, with his wife and 15 children, worked as minister from 1892 until 1911, when they moved to the newly built church in De Hoop.