From time to time we publish the story of how an assembly began, because we believe that the infinite variety of God’s methods stimulates faith and enterprise.
This account of the beginning of the work in the above Hall will be of special interest to the many believers all over the British Isles who during the holiday season find a temporary spiritual home there. In the eighties there was a very prosperous and vigorous assembly at Westham, Weymouth. Crowded gospel meetings were the rule and not the exception, and many were the souls saved. Then, alas, about the year 1900 the great enemy of truth, not liking these godly activities, brought trouble into the assembly. A division resulted and eventually the building, which had witnessed so much spiritual blessing, was closed down. But God overruled, and this seeming disaster became a stepping stone to even greater things. After much exercise a number of brethren began meeting in a brother’s house for the breaking of bread, prayer and Bible-reading, and the gospel was preached in the open air.
Then the Liberal Hall became available for meetings on the Lord’s Day. Here God mightily blessed the preaching of the Word, for souls were saved and added to the assembly.
Subsequently a building fund was opened, and later, largely due to the kindness of a sister, the land on which Ebenezer Hall now stands was purchased. The building was erected and opened in June, 1903. The name given to the Hall was to mark the Lord’s faithfulness and support to those who sought to maintain the truth of the assembly according to the teaching of the New Testament. At the time the new building opened between 50 and 60 were in fellowship, and a year or two later a Sunday School was commenced.
Through the goodness of God the testimony has continued with increasing interest until this day, although practically all who were there in the beginning have gone to be with the Lord. Memory recalls some of those early brethren, S. Symes, W. Whettam, H. Roles, E. Banger, E. Crabb, E. Farwell, and others. How much the assembly owes to their godly example and wise counsel!
From time to time the assembly has had the privilege of the ministry of gifted servants of the Lord, Mr. Webb, Col. Molesworth, Chas. Hickman, W. W. Fereday, W. Macfarlane, Alfred Mace, Russell Elliott, H. P. Barker, and many others.
Today Ebenezer has a large and growing Sunday School, recently new class-rooms have been added to accommodate children and Bible Classes, at a cost of over £2,000. The assembly also has increased very considerably, with well-attended meetings for the Breaking of Bread and Gospel Services, although it must be confessed that there is still room to spare at the Prayer-meeting and Bible-reading. The smaller meetings in the district are not forgotten, brethren from Ebenezer counting it a privilege to help them in the ministry of the Word and the preaching of the gospel.
H. C. R.
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