This exploration of Faure's life provides not only the history of an individual but also information on the controversies in the political, spiritual, judicial and journalistic worlds which were shaping South Africa on the road to Union and apartheid. The founder of Unitarianism in South Africa, Reverend David Faure, was a clergyman, civil servant, interpreter, court official, and journalist during the years of his life. His life provides an interesting insight into colonial times in the Cape Colony of South Africa, and why the transition from colonial rule to the apartheid era was so easy. A biography of this man is long overdue. David Peter Faure was born in Stellenbosch in 1842, into a very well known Cape colony family. He initially desired a pulpit in the conservative Dutch Reformed Church. While attending the University of Leiden in Holland, he was exposed to the writings of the American Unitarian minister and social reformer, Theodore Parker, who moved Faure towards the so called new theology. When he returned to Cape Town he was grounded in the notion of 'higher law' as well as the very essence of liberal religion which he now perceived as love of God and neighbor.
Faure's message attracted a small group of followers who were looking for worship unhindered by traditional dogmas; and established the 'Free Protestant Church' serving as its minister from 1867-1897. Unfortunately, illness struck and forced him to reduce his activities. However, he still managed to write and have printed messages on the coming Anglo Boer war. Faure's approach to life in the colonial community in which he lived was broad-minded, liberal and tolerant. Such is not the traditional view of the Afrikaner which has been reported broadly throughout the world over the decades in which he lived. Faure was almost a unique figure in the late nineteenth century Cape.