History & Ministry of Carmel
It all began on 1 May 1954
History & Ministry of Carmel
It all began on 1 May 1954
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The History of Carmel Coastal Retreat

The ministry of Carmel began on 1 May 1954 when Jack and Kaye Edkins, founders of the ministry of Carmel, took occupation of this magnificent site in response to a clear call from God to establish a retreat for integrated Christian ministry. Carmel would be a place for fellowship, encouragement, and discipleship; a place for sharing the restoring love of Christ. A place for all Christians to come together from all cultures, denominations, generations, and communities to experience spiritual rest.


Just before occupation, a raging veld fire swept up the hill threatening the guesthouse, however,

at the last moment the wind changed, and the fire was brought under control. God was watching over His property.

Initially called Vierwinde, the name Carmel was chosen from Jeremiah 46:18, “…as Tabor is among the mountains, and as Carmel by the sea”, meaning “a fruitful place; well wooded; near the sea”, an apt description, and prophetic of God’s purpose for Carmel.


Initially a 6 bedroom guesthouse, Carmel expanded its accommodation offerings to include bed and breakfast, self-catering and caravan park accommodation with a chapel on site and conference facilities.

As years passed, and Carmel grew, the Edkins realised that the vision was too large for them to pioneer on their own, and The Carmel Evangelical Trust was formed in 1975. In 1983 the entire property was donated to the Trust, who have since continued to be responsible for Carmel and its growth and development.

Carmel’s purpose has remained steadfast for 70 years in “Sharing the restoring love of Christ, through hospitality”.

The Ministry of Carmel
“Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

The Mission of Carmel

Our goal is to be a safe haven that provides the opportunity for physical rest, and emotional and spiritual renewal, for all people, regardless of culture, denomination or beliefs.


As followers of Jesus Christ we want all our guests, irrespective of their personal faith or creed, to find unconditional love and acceptance, an opportunity to appreciate God’s presence, and a new understanding of saving faith in Christ

The Carmel Evangelical Trust

Carmel was placed into Trust by its founders, Jack and Kaye Edkins, in order that the ministry of Carmel would continue after them.


The Trustees are:

  • Paula Buchel
  • Nathan Roberts (Treasurer)
  • Suzanne Mackay (Secretary)
  • Peter Brodrick
  • Brian Edwards
  • Jason Goldberg
  • Coen Scholtz