When our vast country was only four years old, a small group of believers met in St. Catharines for the very first time. They met to practice the precious principles of the Word of God relative to Church truth. From that early beginning in 1871, the Lord has blessed His people, added to their numbers as promised, and today four additional assemblies meet in their own chapels. They are:
In those early days in St. Catharines, the services were held in a variety of meeting places – the homes of believers, stores, over a drive-shed and even in a blacksmith’s shop. It was in these places they remembered the Lord, preached the Gospel and prayed. The meeting place was not important. The person of Christ, around whom they met, was all important. In the Lord’s presence, souls were saved and the assembly grew.
In 1914 the Queenston Street Gospel Hall was built and for more than 52 years it served well as the assembly home, but its inadequacies prompted the consideration of a new location and building.
In April 1966, the Queenston Street building was sold and in September of that year construction began on Scottlea Gospel Chapel. While construction was in progress, the assembly met in what was then Scottlea Public School.
On Easter Sunday, March 26, 1967, the first services were held in this chapel. It was a privilege to meet on that morning of resurrection. As this morning 19 centuries ago heralded a new and wonderful beginning for all of mankind, it was our prayer that we would clearly sound forth the message of the risen Saviour to all in this community.
Since the assembly’s inception, there has been a strong and consistent emphasis on the preaching of the Gospel and the teaching of the precious up-building truths of the Word of God. To accomplish these objectives, we have sought to encourage all in their appropriate areas of personal and collective evangelism. They include the preaching of the Gospel and ministry of the Word; Sunday School; AWANA; Daily Vacation Bible School; Youth and Camp work.
We thank God for those who have a desire to take the Gospel into the homes of senior citizens, while others go door to door in tract distribution and personal visitation.
The assembly has supported the Family Bible Hour International’s world-wide radio broadcast, financially and with personnel, since the inception of FBHI in the early 1950’s. The assembly has shown an interest in world-wide missions through its Ladies Missionary Work Class, short-term missions involvement and in other ways. Each year we enjoy the ministry of the Word of God at our annual Spring & Fall Conferences. Our annual Youth Conference presents appropriate topics for Christian young people in today’s society.
There has been a continual interest in the development of a preaching and teaching gift in the fellowship. A number of men from this assembly are now teaching in Scottlea as well as other area assemblies.
We thank the Lord that the Elders of all the assemblies mentioned earlier have a strong desire to continue warm fellowship they have enjoyed together for many years. To encourage this fellowship among the believers, the Elders of all assemblies meet annually for a time of fellowship, ministry and sharing of relevant information. These times are broadened on four occasions each year, when believers in the five assemblies meet for a time of prayer, teaching and fellowship. There is also a combined picnic, held each Labour Day.
We gratefully thank the Lord for His Hand of rich blessing since 1871 and pray that His gracious presence and power will continue to be realized, until we hear the soon-anticipated shout that will summon us all into His glorious presence.