CAST was born out of the community development programmes of three Baptist churches: Westville (Home Ground), KwaDabeka and Noodsberg. Over three decades, these churches had together developed partnerships with a number of schools, clinics and community-based organisations in poorer communities. Through these partnerships, programmes to help the poor in these communities were already running when CAST was registered as an independent NPO in 2009 (and subsequently as a Trust in 2011). Jean-Ray Knighton Fitt, former Pastor of Compassionate Ministries at Home Ground Westville Baptist Church, founded and served as CEO of CAST until 2020. Jean-Ray’s vision to transform the lives of individuals and communities through the vehicle of the local church is infectious, and people are drawn to his unwavering hope that lasting change is possible, even in the lives of those living below the breadline.
The existing programmes in the Durban Inner City, KwaDabeka, Cato Manor and Noodsberg were incorporated into the new organisation which began to grow rapidly expanding its scope of programmes and branching into new communities. In 2010, the Masibambisane Center in Cato Manor was incorporated into CAST, followed in 2013 by Transformation Mariannridge (or RidgeCity) and then early in 2014, the outreach programmes of West City Fellowship in Chesterville. All these organisations brought experience, existing programmes, staff and valuable connections into the organisation.