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"Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines."   Hebrews 13:7-9  NKJV

   IHS-WA.net       Section 3 - A History of the Christian Brethren in Western Australia


* PLEASE NOTE that EXTRA details have been and will be added to the internet pages of this Western Australian Christian Brethren History. These additions will be shown in GREEN TYPE, with author noted unless added in by this websites editor.  The blue type in this section is the contribution by Mr Ern West.


For the beginning of this West Australian Christian Brethren History - click HERE





1.       ARMADALE

2.       BULLCREEK  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')

3.       CARRAMAR  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')

4.       COTTESLOE  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')

5.       FREMANTLE  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')


7.       GLENGARRY

8.       HAMILTON HILL  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')


10.     MIDLAND JUNCTION  [1900-19051

11.     MIDLAND JUNCTION  [1954-19581

12.     MIDVALE


14.     NORTH COASTAL  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')

15.     NORTH PERTH  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')

16.     NORWOOD

17.     SUBIACO

18.     WANNEROO

19.     WEMBLEY DOWNS  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')

20.     WEST PERTH

21.     WUNGONG-ARMADALE  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')





In 1958 the Jarrahdale Assembly was transferred to Armadale as the Jubbs were the last of the Assembly to reside at Jarrahdale. There were a number of brethren living in the area and it was decided to meet together locally and endeavour to create an outreach in that locality. Regular monthly visits were made for some years to the Karnet Brook Prison where services were conducted. A Sunday School was also started and carried on for some years. Diminishing numbers through removals and advancing years eventually brought about a discontinuance of the witness until an exercise once again arose from members of the Lynwood Assembly who lived in the area.

[See WUNGONG-ARMADALE - Section 2]



2.  BULLCREEK CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')


During 1988 a group of Christians previously meeting at Victoria Park commenced to meet in a private home in Willetton. This arose from a desire to establish a witness in the area. Over 2,000 copies of “Facts for Faith” and “Contact with Christianity” were distributed in the area as an initial outreach effort.



3.  CARRAMAR CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')


As an extension of the work of the Bedford Gospel Chapel, an Assembly was established in September, 1988 in the new estate of Carramar in North Morley. A building previously used as a theatre and purchased by the City of Bayswater was altered and developed as a Community Centre. Arrangements were made for the Assembly to manage the Centre on behalf of the owners and also for them to use it for their own meetings. In the following months, much effort was used to contact people in the area through visitation, a distribution of a New Testament as a bi-centennial gift, and Craft and Care mornings. There was a good response in attendance at the first Easter Sunday service. A monthly men's dinner is now held with regular attendance of 18-20. A Family Service and Children's Church is held each Sunday, at which approximately 35-40 attend. Involvement with the community is still maintained.



4.  COTTESLOE  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')


After worshipping in the Gospel Hall at Claremont for some 57 years [see under CLAREMONT - Section 1] it was decided to seek other accommodation, mainly due to the isolation of the Assembly from the neighbourhood as that part of Claremont became much more commercial, as well as the problem of increasing railway and traffic noises. A surplus Uniting Church building in Edward Street, Cottesloe was eventually found, and after suitable renovations were completed, the Assembly moved in on 4th December, 1983, changing it's name to Cottesloe Christian Church. Since then, the Assembly has seen considerable change as older members have moved away or passed on, and new families have joined. Numbers have increased significantly and the average age of those attending is much lower. Part of this is attributable to the decision of the elders in the late eighties to engage a full-time worker to assist in pastoral work and in the teaching programme. This work continues with Mr and Mrs Moffat Lindsay now into their second 3 year term, with some changes in the various services. Active youth and ladies works are operating, and there are constant efforts to make new contacts in the  area.



5.  FREMANTLE  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')


Although the original Fremantle Assembly was transferred to Hamilton Hill in 1965, a number of believers began to again meet together in Fremantle on 17th January, 1988. At first they met in the St John's Ambulance Hall in Parry Street, Fremantle. Several members of the Victoria Park Assembly living in the area decided that it was time to again have an Assembly operating in the City of Fremantle and with the blessing of the Victoria Park Assembly, this was done. In May, 1989, a move was made to the Princess May Education Centre in Parry Street.





In October 1980 a few believers living in the area began to meet as an Assembly in the home of Mr and Mrs Roy Parkinson. The usual activities were carried on and blessing was experienced. The meeting was discontinued when the Parkinsons sold their home in that area.





A number of Christians had been meeting for Bible Study on Friday evenings since June 1987 and this gave rise to the desire to meet as an Assembly and so on 14th February 1988 they met for the first time for the Lord's Supper. Meetings were held in the St Stephen's School on Sunday mornings and in private homes on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. During 1989 several baptisms took place through the courtesy of the Balcatta Assembly. As so often happens with small fellowships, movement away of some members to other locations makes it impossible to maintain a viable witness and the meetings were discontinued early in 1992.



8.  HAMILTON HILL  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')


In 1964 the original Fremantle Assembly were transporting quite a good number of children and young people from the Hamilton Hill area for the Sunday School and Youth work. An auxiliary Sunday School was also being conducted in the Scouts Hall in Hamilton Hill. Because of this it was decided to purchase land in that area and a suitable block was found on the corner of Redmond Road and Carmody Street, Hamilton Hill. The purchase was made and a very suitable building was erected on the site. The official opening of the Gospel Hall took place on 17th July 1965 and an extensive and virile work was commenced and has continued until the present time. There were about 50-60 in fellowship at the commencement of the work and these numbers eventually grew to about 120-130. The Sunday School grew quickly to a record of 170 children and when the Rally movement started in W.A., Every Boy's and Every Girl's Rallies were established and maintained for quite a number of years. The Youth Hall was later extended and the block of land next door was also purchased. Full time workers and missionaries been commended to various aspects of Lord's work from the Hamilton Hill Assembly.



9.  KOONGA VALLEY  [near Midland Junction]  (plus additions)


In October, 1987, a few believers including Max and Ann Jefferies, and Brian and Jenny Irvine began to meet in the local Community Hall at Koongamia and began a "door-knock" programme in the area (Koongamia & Helena Valley). The meetings continued for some time but lack of support apparently caused the meeting to be eventually abandoned.



10.  MIDLAND JUNCTION  [1900-1905]


Very little is known about this Assembly, but it is known that it functioned from about 1900-1905. Mrs Stephenson who met for many years with the North Perth Assembly after her return from the Eastern States, was a member of this Assembly leaving to go with her husband to the East. We have reason to believe that a Mr and Mrs Dunwoodie also attended this Assembly before joining the Perth Assembly where it is known that they fellowshipped at least in 1909. They later moved to Claremont when the Assembly started there. There is also a reference in the Perth Assembly Cash Book of that period, of missionary monies from Midland Junction passed on for transmission.



11.  MIDLAND JUNCTION  [1954-1958]


In December, 1954, permission was given by the Education Department to Mr Owen Jones and Mr Arthur Willy to use the Midvale School for a Sunday School. This had been an exercise of Mr and Mrs Willy who lived in the area, Florence Bessant, and Bertha Cook. Teachers for the Sunday School were Mr Willy - Superintendent, Florence Bessant,  Owen and Nancy Jones, Margery West, Peter Thompson, Jean Adams, John Wearne, Dorothy Falot, Dick Maddren and Mr and Mrs Hobday. About April, 1955, a number of believers met in the home of Mr and Mrs Willy for the Lord's Supper, but in September of that year the meetings were transferred to the Friendly Societies Hall on the Great Northern Highway. An evening Gospel Service was also commenced at that time.


The first anniversary of the Sunday School was held on 10th December, 1955. Open-air meetings and tract distributions were also carried on. Because of renovations to the Friendly Societies Hall a move was made to the Lesser Hall of the Midland Junction Town Hall in July 1957, but a few months later the indoor Gospel meetings were discontinued in favour of open-air meetings. Mid-week meetings were held in various homes. Following the death of Mr Willy a further move was made to the Midvale State School for both Sunday morning and evening meetings in September 1958. Quite a number of young people from several metropolitan Assemblies regularly went to Midvale every Sunday to help with the Sunday School and Gospel outreach. [For the continuance of this witness, see MIDVALE below]




As mentioned under MIDLAND JUNCTION a move was made in September 1958 to the Midvale State School. Following this move, numbers in the Sunday School steadily increased. A block of land was purchased at Midvale [corner of Ferguson and Hooley Roads] in anticipation of building a Gospel Hall. Activities continued here until May 1974 when the Lord opened up the way to purchase a small unused Anglican Church on the corner of Viveash Road and the Great Northern Highway, Middle Swan. The Midvale block was sold to enable this purchase. The first meeting was held on Tuesday, 22nd May 1974, but it was not possible to transfer all meetings at this stage through lack of adequate toilet facilities. The movement of various members to other places around this time made it difficult, through lack of numbers, to pursue an active outreach, but it was determined to continue the plan for improvement of the Church building. It took 8 months for the Shire to approve the plans and eventually the building was fully available at the beginning of 1977. In 1979 the name of the Assembly was again changed to SWAN CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP and by this time an increasing number of Christians had moved into the area and were added to the Assembly.





As quite a number of folk lived in the Hills area it was decided by those concerned to meet together as an Assembly and this was first done in September, 1983. The fellowship continued over the succeeding years until attendance reduced to less than a workable number and the meetings were discontinued in August, 1991.




Motherhood  by the Skit Guys comedy team




14.  NORTH COASTAL  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')


Early 1988 saw the start of a new Assembly in the Heathridge area under the above name. A small group of believers from the Duncraig Assembly had seen the opportunity to open up a witness in the Ocean Ridge Community Centre and, initially, advertising literature was distributed to every home in the area. Current activities, apart from the normal Lord's Day meetings, include Bible Study groups, children's club, ladies coffee morning, and discipleship courses.



15.  NORTH PERTH  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')


As mentioned in Section 1 under PERTH, the unpleasant things experienced in using a rented hall for Assembly meetings prompted a desire to put into effect what had been an exercise for many years. Through a regular special collection a fair amount of money had been set aside for the day when we were able to go ahead with erecting a building for our regular use. Diligent search was made for suitable land and many sites were investigated. Eventually vacant land was found at 117 Angove Street, North Perth and plans were prepared with the assistance of Mr John Sinclair of Victoria Park Assembly. Tenders were called and the job was eventually contracted for at a favourable price. A bank loan was secured and work commenced early in 1958. The new attractive building was ready for occupation by the end of October and the official opening took place on November 1st, 1958 with our oldest member, Miss Wisely, officiating in the opening of the door. A capacity crowd from various Assemblies gathered for the meeting that followed.


During the course of erection the builder realised that he had under-estimated the cost but continued to put in quality materials despite this fact. The final cost was established at £1250 [$2500] over the original contract price, and the Assembly made the decision to make good this amount so that the builder would not be out of pocket. Because of distance a few members decided to attend nearer Assemblies but most found it just as convenient to attend as in the city. Efforts were soon made to canvas the district for children for the Sunday School and the efforts were well rewarded. At this time the writer of these notes was responsible for the Sunday School and with the loyal support of a great band of teachers the canvassing brought the attendance to over 100 which we were able to maintain for some years. The industrialisation of a good deal of the surrounding area and changes in nationality of the residents have caused the Sunday School to drop away until the attendance in 1993 is very small.


Regarding membership generally, in the Rechabite Hall years there were approximately 90-100 in fellowship but various losses have reduced the numbers to about one half of that figure. Losses occurred through transfers to new Assemblies established in the northern suburbs. Members of the Perth Assembly were responsible for the outreach in to Tuart Hill and it was logical for the Perth Assembly to handle the finances for the erection of the Gospel Hall there, the first building being erected on a self-help basis with brethren spending many Saturdays on this outreach. Quite a number of young couples have married and then moved out to live in other suburbs and consequently attended the Assembly nearest to their place of residence.


In addition to this several members felt a call to full-time service for the Lord in other places as you will see in Section 8. Nevertheless the work still continues and we have been glad to have been, and to still be, associated with the work in other places. With the advent of a couple of Italian families, a Bible Study in Italian was held on Tuesday evenings for some time. It is not possible to mention the names of all Assembly members who have played an important part in the development of the work but this history would not be complete without the mention of Mr and Mrs George Cartmel [both deceased] who were prominent for many years in Sunday School and Youth work, and also Mr Dowell Carlson who for many years faithfully attended to many of the mundane and physical jobs such as moving seats, etc. until his homecall in 1986.



16. NORWOOD  [forerunner of BEDFORD]


In seeking to place on record the early history and progress of the Assemblies in W.A. it would be very easy to give the impression that everything had been "plain sailing" but this would not then give a true and accurate record. In the exercise of His Sovereignty the Lord often allows the critical behaviour of His people to be turned to good account and to be used for His glory in the extension of His Kingdom. Because of this we place on record the following happenings. In the early 1930's the Perth Assembly had in its membership a number of very faithful and zealous brethren. Their zeal was so great that in some cases it led them to be severely critical of others. The writer, being a young man at the time, was a witness to many of the things that occurred and it was obvious that jealousy was the cause of the criticism. This jealous criticism was directed primarily against one man, Mr Charles Wilson, who was the Superintendent of the Sunday School, a leader in all the Youth work that went on, a fine Gospel preacher and minister of the Word. The fact that this gentleman eventually became the writer's father-in-law has no bearing on the matter in any way.


The criticism and personal attacks became so great that Mr Wilson felt that he could not for the time being, "break bread" with those who were hostile to him and so absented himself from the morning meeting. Without any definite plan in mind he wandered around the surrounding streets during the time the morning service was in progress and to his surprise found a large number of children playing in the streets. The idea was born that here was a great opportunity for a further outreach into Sunday School work. Allowing this exercise to simmer for a few weeks, he eventually found an empty billiard saloon opposite the Norwood Hotel in Lord Street, Norwood. These premises were duly rented and a Sunday School commenced. It was here that the Gaff family, Les Gunn and the Brennans and others were brought in to contact with the Assemblies.


As time went on it was evident that the "breach" that had been caused in the Perth Assembly showed no signs of being healed and it was eventually decided to also commence a Gospel service. At this time there were about 60-70 children attending the Sunday School. Several brethren who had been very supportive of Mr Wilson, about this time, urged him to set up an Assembly with all of the normal meetings. As there had been no attempt at reconciliation by his Perth brethren, Mr Wilson contacted the other Assemblies - Claremont, Fremantle and Victoria Park, who whole-heartedly gave their approval to this new project, but when Perth were approached they would not support the idea. This meant, of course, that Perth were "out-of-fellowship" with all of the other Assemblies and this situation prevailed for several years. However, it was eventually decided that the brethren from Norwood should meet for discussion with the Perth brethren and this was done at an evening meeting with about 40 men present.


My in-laws came and had dinner with us that evening [my wife and I were married in March 1937, so this occasion would probably have been in late 1937 or early 1938] and on our way to the meeting my father-in-law said to me "You know Ern, if there had been a little more love shown on both sides this division would never have happened." My reply was "Why don't you tell them that?" The meeting commenced and proceeded with recriminations by various brethren on both sides until it appeared we had reached a deadlock. This stalemate remained for some time, until with a great deal of trepidation [I was probably the youngest there] I rose to my feet and said "If my father-in-law would only repeat  what he said to me on the way here I am sure the matter would be finalised very quickly". It seemed an age whilst Mr Wilson struggled with his feelings, but eventually the silence was broken and he arose to his feet and said "What I said to Ern was, that if there had been a little more love shown on both sides, this division would never have happened". Almost before he completed this statement, a brother bounded across the room and shook his hand vigorously and said, "Well, what are we arguing about?" It was the end of any opposition and it was obvious from the behaviour and remarks that the separated brethren had missed each other's fellowship very much.


There was only one disappointing aspect, the two brethren who had supported Mr Wilson felt that he had let them own, but it was very obvious that they were following a "wrong spirit". The reconciliation brought into being a freedom and wealth of fellowship that had not been known for a long time. The converted billiard saloon continued to be a blessing in the lives of many people and the full range of meetings were conducted including open-air meetings. In 1940, Mr Wilson who had been the human mainstay of the Assembly was called home to be with the Lord through a serious illness that had developed very quickly. This was a great blow but as Sunday School was held in the mornings, Mr and Mrs George Michie, who were then attending Perth Assembly, found it convenient to go and help, remaining for the Breaking of Bread meeting and then going back to the Perth Assembly for the afternoon Sunday School there.


This was a tremendous help and later when the Perth Sunday School found it necessary to change their time to the morning, although it was a great disappointment to the Michies, they continued at Norwood and eventually found it desirable to transfer there completely. In, possibly August 1955, the owners of the billiard saloon sold the building and it was necessary to vacate the premises. Alternative accommodation was found in the Sea Scouts Hall by the River Swan in Mount Lawley and the Assembly remained there until they moved to the Bedford area.  [See notes under BEDFORD - Section 21.]





For many years prior to 1961 a number of believers had been meeting together at Subiaco and in fellowship with groups known as "Needed Truth" Assemblies. In December 1961 they were dissatisfied with their position and approached the "open" Assemblies and after some discussion, it was found that our mutual beliefs gave no reason to remain apart and request was made to be recognised as in full fellowship. This was duly agreed to. They had a Sunday School of some 20 children and they continued with the outreach and other meetings until July 1965 when, because of the increasing industrialisation of the area, the Assembly was closed and combined with the Wembley Downs Assembly.





As an outreach from Tuart Hill, a Sunday School was commenced at Wanneroo in 1961 under the leadership of Mr Gilbert Porter, and by the month of October the number of children attending had increased considerably. In February, 1962 a Gospel service was held for the first time when fifteen people from the surrounding district were present. The Sunday School had a weekly attendance of 50 and the first Anniversary and Prize-giving was held on 11th August 1962. In July 1965, a Youth Club was commenced with 25 children over 11 years of age. Some years later, with the addition of other Christians moving into the area and also with some fruit from the 1976 G.L.O. Literature Crusade, the Wanneroo Christian Fellowship was established. The Fellowship continued, with fluctuating membership until April 1989 when, because of decreased numbers through the movement of people away from Wanneroo, it was decided to transfer to the Balga Christian Centre and a very happy integration took place.



19.  WEMBLEY DOWNS  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')


In July, 1965, the brethren at SUBIACO decided to close down the Assembly there because of industrialization of the area. They had heard that a group of Christians were meeting for Bible Study in the home of Mr and Mrs Owen Jones at  9 Quorn Street, Wembley Downs, and so they asked if they might join the Bible Study. After their second attendance at the Bible Study, brothers Cross and Dixon from Subiaco, asked if the assembled group would be prepared to set up the Lord's Table in Wembley Downs. As the formation of an Assembly, breaking bread in Wembley Downs, had been the subject of much prayer by the Jones family, this seemed to be the leading of the Lord in answer to prayer, and so the Assembly of 15 Adults met in the home of Mr and Mrs Jones. There were 10 children present, and this provided the nucleus for a Sunday School.


By 1969, there were 40 adults and children attending the Breaking of Bread. Since 1970 the Assembly numbers began to diminish and this process has continued over the years. Every time thoughts of joining a larger Assembly arose, the Lord brought others to the meeting. The most recent arrivals have been a Ukrainian couple, who have been meeting with the Assembly for the last 2 years. There have been Baptists who were received into fellowship but they did not stay for very long. Since 1965, there have been 17 baptisms in the Assembly. The Assembly produced and distributed two publications. The first being "The Christian Messenger". This was replaced by a more ambitious magazine titled "Second Thoughts". Both these publications had a local circulation to seventeen hundred homes. It is sad to say that there has been only one positive response from the local population in all these years, but thousands of people have been reached through the written word. Eternity will reveal the final results of this witness. The Assembly witness still continues.





In the early 1940's a Sunday School called "Shiloh" was commenced by Mr Reuben Emery, Mr Dougal Sleith, and Mr Laurie Fogarty in a corrugated iron hall in West Leederville. Whilst details are somewhat limited, it is recorded that a Sunday School Anniversary and Prize-giving was held on 7th April, 1945. In November of that year an evening Gospel Meeting was commenced and this continued with varying success. Regular monthly tract distributions were carried out and in March, 1946 an Evangelistic Campaign was conducted with Mr Sidney Adams, missionary from Malaysia as the speaker. Mr Adams had been recently released from a prisoner of war camp in Singapore.


In August, 1948, all outreach activities were transferred to the Scouts Hall in Sutherland Street, West Perth. A morning worship service was commenced in September, 1952 with about 20 meeting together. The Sunday School at Shiloh was taken over by the Perth Assembly with Mr Richard Black as Superintendent, but a year later because of the geographical relationship with West Perth, responsibility was resumed by them. Quite a number of Malaysian students were resident in the district and attended the Assembly. However, by early 1958 many had completed their courses and returned to their homes. Because of the loss of numbers and other circumstances, it was eventually decided to discontinue the Assembly and the doors were closed with the remaining members transferring to the Assembly of their choice.



21.  WUNGONG-ARMADALE  (post 1993, this Assembly is 'Not Now Current')


In February, 1991, it was reported that one of the goals of the Lynwood Christian Church was to establish a sister church in the South-West corridor. Accordingly on the 10th February 1991, a Sunday morning service, attended by the families resident in the area, was commenced in the Armadale Senior High School. Towards the end of 1991 a Sunday School was commenced and in May, 1992, a Bible distribution was made in the area when the Scriptures were placed in  the hands of some 400 families. 






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