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"Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offences, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen."   Romans 16:17-20  NKJV

   IHS-WA.net       Section 4 - 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

 


 

SECTION 4 - HISTORY OF COUNTRY ASSEMBLIES - STILL CURRENTLY OPERATING  

 

1. ALBANY

2. BUSSELTON

3. COOLGARDIE

4. KURRAWANG 

5. NORTH DANDALUP  

 

 


 

1.  ALBANY  (at 1993)

 

The earliest recollection of an Assembly witness at Albany is of Mr and Mrs Alan McDougall, a Greengrocer, florist and market gardener. A testimony was established it would seem in the early 1920's with the same problems as other country towns with people coming for a short period and then moving away again. The McDougalls commenced Sunday School outreach in three separate places - Torbay, Kronkup and Elleker, and this contact was maintained for many years. Some of those who went to reside in Albany for a while were Mr and Mrs R. Hobbs, Mr Malcolm Johnston [who went away and returned for a second period in 1951] and Mr and Mrs Bob Southwell in October 1951. In August, 1952 Mr and Mrs John McKenzie arrived from England where Mr McKenzie had for many years worked as an itinerant evangelist, and they took over the Sunday School that had been commenced at Lower King. In 1956 Mr and Mrs Don Gaff were transferred to Albany and sometime in the next couple of years Mr and Mrs Nelson Hetherington purchased a home in Albany on retiring from their farm.

 

With increasing membership, it was then decided to hold the meetings in the Toc H. Hall. A town Sunday School was commenced and from 1962 when Mr and Mrs George Mason commenced farming at Jerramungup, they regularly made the 80 mile trip to Albany every Sunday in time to pick up children for Sunday School. Blessing resulted from the activities of the increased membership and some were saved and added to the fellowship. However, as so often happens, Satan doesn't like to see this and numbers were greatly reduced by a certain type of teaching coming in and upsetting some. A little later, Mr and Mrs Des McGonnell went to live in Albany and having a sizeable home, meetings were eventually transferred there until our brother's decease. Mr McDougall died in 1964 having been pre-deceased by his wife, and Mr Nelson Hetherington was called home in 1969, and it was about this time that the meetings were transferred to a building on the Goodall property at Kronkup where the majority of the current membership then resided. Numbers have increased into quite a sizeable Assembly.

 


  

2.  BUSSELTON   (at 1993 plus additions)

 

As mentioned in the notes on COLLIE ASSEMBLY [Section 5], Mr and Mrs W.S. Leece came to Busselton in 1923 to establish a pastry-cook business. He had left his position as minister of the Church of Christ in Collie after being enlightened as to the question of "Eternal Security" and "Baptismal Regeneration". Mr Ken Grosser states that when he arrived in Busselton at the end of 1923 he found a group of some 6 to 8 people meeting together for worship in the Council Chambers at the corner of Queen and Adelaide Streets. Most of these people were previously connected with the Church of Christ and the meeting was conducted according to the format to which they were accustomed. Ken Grosser's brother, Ern, was working in Busselton when Mr Leece arrived in mid 1923 and attended this meeting. The new emphasis on the subject of the "Security of the Believer" sent them all searching through the Scriptures to see "if these things were so" as did the Bereans of old and soon all were completely satisfied on this important point.

 

One Lord's Day morning near the beginning of 1924, Ken Grosser arrived at the meeting place early and as he waited, he felt constrained to re-arrange the seating into a circle with the communion table in the centre. He considered that this would be nearer the Scriptural pattern and would be conducive to a wider participation in audible worship. There were some expressions of surprise when the others arrived but no objections, and in fact everybody seemed to be happy for it to be that way. And so the Christian Brethren Assembly in Busselton commenced. Open-air Gospel meetings were held at the corner of Queen and Prince Streets, but the most effective ones were those held in the summer months on the beach, near the old jetty, when hundreds of visitors and locals stopped to listen to the message and testimonies. Much blessing was derived from these meetings. In 1926, Mr Leece purchased a Chevrolet car and this led to the commencement of an outreach to isolated Christians and others in outlying areas. Visits were made to Yallingup, Carbunup, Cowaramup, Forest Grove, Witchcliffe, Karridale and Warner Glen. Many Christians were encouraged by those Visits, a few still surviving to the present time [1993].

 

During 1926 the meetings were transferred to the old Library Hall in Prince Street with about 25 in fellowship. A highlight of the Assembly was the visits of brethren from Perth including Mr Charles Wilson, and the brothers, Eric and Albert Phoenix. Ken Grosser states that Mr Wilson's ministry was always a great inspiration and he was able to bring God's Word joyfully and with simplicity. The young people always enjoyed listening to him. A Sunday School was held in the Grosser's home in Adelaide Street with about 25 children attending, and the Prize-giving and Anniversary was held in the Weld Hall with many parents hearing the Gospel from the lips of the children. Quite a number of baptisms took place in those early days and the sea was always used for this purpose. Mr Grosser [Ken's and Ern's father] who had been led to the Lord by Mr R.K. Scott of Collie, was one of the candidates for baptism at the age of 65. In 1949 prayer meetings were commenced on Tuesday and Friday evenings.

 

 

Not very much is on record from here on until 1953 when there was a special outreach in the open-air during the Easter Holiday break with the aid of a loud-speaker and distribution of tracts. Those sharing in this outreach in addition to the local brethren, were Mr J.C. Gomm, Mr Malcolm MacKay and Mr Tom Jubb. A Conference was held on Easter Saturday which gave the locals quite an uplift. In the years between 1926 and 1956 it would appear that quite a number of brethren and sisters had come and gone. Quarterly Conferences were introduced in the South West and were frequently held in Busselton, continuing to the present time. In October, 1965 the then workers with the Bible Van, Bob Dunleavy and Graham Malthouse, were exercised about a more concentrated effort in one centre, and after due prayer and consideration determined to make Busselton their base. Sunday School and Youth Work had dropped off and it was hoped that this might be revived and this hope was fulfilled. Two Sunday Schools were started in Busselton and Cowaramup. Eventually lack of adequate financial support compelled Bob and Graham to seek employment which caused a cessation of their work in the district.

 

View the full photo album of the Busselton Christian Brethren campsite here.

 

In 1966 a 1/2 acre block was purchased in West Busselton and plans were prepared for a Chapel to be built. At this time meetings were being held in the R.S.L. Hall. About 1970 the decision to build on the 1/2 acre block was reconsidered, as concurrently with this exercise, land became available on lease for a campsite in Caves Road, Vasse, about 5 miles from Busselton, with access to the beach. In view of this, plans were changed in favour of developing the campsite and building a Chapel on this property for the use of the Assembly, An old school building from Osmington was purchased and George and Terry Brown transported it to the site. Old buildings from the Leeuwin Naval Training Centre were also transported to the site and under the leadership of Mr Ern Rogers these buildings were altered to suit the needs. Many people from Perth and other places helped in bringing these buildings to the point of being usable by the Assembly. The Chapel was used for the first time on 6th February, 1971 for the marriage of Leslie Saxey and Shirley Smith. The campsite has been further developed over the years and has powered caravan and tent sites as well as dormitory facilities for camps. The site was first made available for use as a campsite in November, 1980, and now has a resident caretaker. The block of land at West Busselton was eventually sold.

 


 

 

Unthinkable: The Scott Rigsby Story

Unthinkable is the incredible story of Scott Rigsby, the first double amputee to

complete the Kona Ironman Triathlon.  Experience: 6 Weeks to Changing the World.

 

 

 


  

3.  COOLGARDIE  (at 1993)

 

Morgan and Alicia Sercombe served the Lord at Kurrawang from June 1966 - February 1971, after which they spent several months in Perth waiting on God, seeking His will for their future service. As a result of the Kurrawang outreach to Coolgardie, there was a small group of baptized Aboriginal believers who were in need of leadership. In August 1971, commended by the Tuart Hill and Wilson Assemblies, Morgan and Alicia moved to Coolgardie. A house was temporarily rented which provided accommodation and a venue for meetings. A house transported from Merredin, when renovated, then became the family home and venue for meetings. Three Wilson Assembly Elders, an Aboriginal brother, and Morgan, formed a committee and founded the Ngamar Christian Fellowship - an organisation to assist needy Aboriginal people. Railway buildings located 17 miles west were purchased and transported to Coolgardie.

 

The former Station Master's house, with alterations and renovations, became the Coolgardie Gospel Chapel. Three houses were renovated to provide housing for homeless Aboriginal Christians. In 1981, the Christian Aboriginal Parent-directed School [C.A.P.S.] was established in Coolgardie so there was need for a larger meeting place. In answer to prayer, the Lord provided a building which was transported from Kalgoorlie to a site adjacent to the original Chapel which is now the church hall and is used for Sunday School, fellowship meals and small group functions. Aboriginal and non Aboriginal townsfolk, together with C.A.P.S. students and staff, comprise the Gospel Chapel congregation with occasional tourist visitors. Mention should be made of the special contribution made by the late Mr Len Ravenscroft of Leonards Transport, his staff, and people from the Wilson Assembly for their services rendered as unto the Lord in the transport and renovation of the buildings. Malcolm and Ellen Sercombe were involved for a number of years in a full time capacity, helping to establish the work, taking responsibility on occasions when Morgan and Alicia were absent.

      

 

40th ANNIVERSARY  -  COOLGARDIE GOSPEL CHAPEL

 

      

 

Click image to enlarge

 

      

 

      

 

40th ANNIVERSARY  -  COOLGARDIE GOSPEL CHAPEL

 

 

 


 

 4.  KURRAWANG  (at 1993)

 

An Assembly has been conducted at Kurrawang ever since there were enough workers to permit meeting together in this capacity. This probably took place in the late 1950's. Over the years, many Aboriginal Christians have also fellowshipped in the Assembly. [For information concerning the work of Kurrawang Aboriginal Christian Community Inc., see under that heading in Section 6 - Combined Outreach Activities Still Current.]

 

 

 

 


5.  NORTH DANDALUP  (at 1993)

 

Although quite a number of believers have lived in the area for some years, they had constantly travelled long distances to meet with the Assemblies of their origin or of their choice. However, in March, 1992, agreement was reached for all to meet together in Assembly fellowship locally and meetings were commenced in the C.W.A. Hall, South West Highway, North Dandalup. It becomes an ongoing witness from the small home meetings and Friday night Young People's meetings which had previously been in operation for some years. There are 7 families involved and about 30 people, including children, are regularly in attendance. 

 

 


 

 

 

 

  

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