A teenager has been attacked at the Gelvandale Church of the Nazarene in Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth, police said on Monday.

"The 17-year-old girl was getting ready for a youth service evening on Friday when she noticed a young man in his early 20s outside the church," Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said.

The man asked for water and slipped through the gate when the teenager opened it for a friend.

"He was armed with a knife and tied them up. He then apparently took the 17-year-old to the bathroom and raped her," said Janse van Rensburg.

He fled when three other churchgoers arrived for the service.

"He took two cellphones with him," she said.

The man was arrested at noon on Saturday and would appear in Port Elizabeth's New Law Courts on Monday on charges of rape and robbery.

Sapa