The Christian assembly meeting at the Langley Gospel Hall in Murrayville, had its start in the home of the Langley pioneer farming family, William and Kathleen (Katie) Brown. William was born at Stratford on Avon, England in 1876 and Katie (nee Reid) in Ontario in 1877. William and Katie’s families both immigrated to the Walhalla area of North Dakota where William and Katie were married in 1903. They later moved to Asquith, Sask., then about 1910 to Langley Prairie in B.C. They bought a 30 acre farm on the south west corner of 200th Street and the Fraser Hwy. and soon began a Sunday School in their home.
In 1912, two evangelists, Mr. J. J. Rouse and Mr. C. Summers came and pitched a tent a few yards west of what became the site of Keith Beadle Motors, holding gospel meetings there for some weeks, and later moving to what was to become the site of the B and K Economy store. As a result of these meetings, a company of Christians began to gather in the Brown's home. This was the beginning of the Christian assembly that now meets in the Langley Gospel Hall in Murrayville.
Mr. and Mrs. Brown were known as true Christians who practiced what they preached. Alice Brown, their daughter was a well known school teacher, and the Alice Brown Elementary School in Brookswood is named after her. Besides the Browns, J.J. Rouse, and Charles Summers, those involved in the start-up of the assembly were the Willox, Mercer, and Ritchie families.
Leadership over the years has been provided by William Brown, S.E. Mathews, Jim Larson, S. McKillop, J. Holgate, Philip Toogood, G. Lichti, J. Ken Foote, G. Hutchinson, David Chesney, amongst others.
In 1931 the first Gospel Hall was built on the Brown farm property and was noteworthy for being built in one day. Mr. S. E. Mathews, who was there at the time, recorded that – “Good Friday – at 7:00 a.m. a start was made. By 7:00 p.m. the building was complete. Roof on, chimney built. Windows and doors all finished, and only a little inside plastering to be added. All completed in one day. About 30 men; several capable builders among them.”
As the assembly grew, a porch was added, the hall was raised and a full basement installed. By 1970 200th Street and the Fraser Hwy. Had become a busy business intersection and a move was made to the present location at 4775 – 221st Street in Murrayville. The hall was enlarged in the 1990s to accommodate the needs of a growing congregation.
For all our technical advances in the last 100 years, our human nature and its needs remain the same. “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (1 Peter 1:24, 25)
Basic to all human nature is a need for meaning and purpose in life. We live out our time on earth, conscious of our mortality but haunted by a longing for eternity that nothing under the sun will satisfy. It is not until we get the matter of our eternal destiny fixed that we find peace and rest for the soul. That’s why this assembly sticks to the name Gospel (meaning ‘good news’) Hall for the assembly’s building, for in the Bible and in the person of Jesus Christ we have found the answer to that ultimate question – “Where will you spend eternity?” – And that is good news indeed!