The Elim Gospel Hall, Ipoh is part of a community of the Christian faith currently known as the Christian Brethren. Allow us to take you back in time to the start of the Brethren movement.

The Christian Brethren started in Dublin, Ireland in 1825 by Dr. Edward Cronin a convert from the Roman Catholics. He met with his friend Edward Wilson, assistant secretary to the Bible Society in Dublin to worship, break bread and study the word of God in Wilson’s residence. The two were later joined by Dr. Edward Cronin’s cousins, the two Misses Drury. Later on they were joined by Francis Hutchinson and Anthony Norris Groves and the number began to grow. Dr. Edward Cronin wrote how they were affected by the same truth, the oneness of the Body and the presence of the Holy Spirit. These well meaning and faithful first Brethren had met together because they moved away from the doctrinal slants of their day and endeavoured to emulate the historic Christian practice as exemplified in the New Testament. By 1831, the movement had spread to Bristol, England and then to other cities and countries of the British empire especially Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

The history of the Brethren Movement most probably started in Malaysia (British Malaya) in 1859. Mr. and Mrs. John Chapman came and began a witness in Penang, then an important port in British Malaya. They were joined by Mr. and Mrs. William McDonald in 1866. In October 1898, a group of five missionary women had accompanied Mr. William McDonald from New Zealand to Penang. Among them were Mrs. M. E. Davies, Miss Sarah Shirtliff, Miss Elizabeth Dron, Miss M. A. Emerson. They soon settled down in Penang, Kuala Lumpur or other towns to do various missionary work for the Lord namely preaching, teaching and nursing duty.

The Holy Spirit laid the ground work through these men and women and by 1915, Brethren assemblies had been established in most of the major towns, like Penang, Taiping, Kampar, Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, Klang, Malacca and Singapore. These early missionaries came to our land at great personal sacrifice and risks. They were not supported by any missionary society or mission board and as such had no guaranteed financial aid. They came by faith, totally dependent on Almighty God to meet their every need.

These Brethren assemblies were simply known as Gospel Hall, Gospel Chapel or Gospel Centre governed by responsible brethren who were Elders or Overseers. Each assembly was fully autonomous.

 

 

 

Around 1900 a young adventurous missionary named George Wilson arrived in Penang from Britain. He soon settled down in Taiping to do the Lord’s work. In 1902 he married Elizabeth Dron and they lived in Taiping for a while. Through visitation and preaching, the testimony was established there and soon the Wilsons moved to Kampar (about 1906-1913), at that time an important tin mining town. They lived in Kampar for several years where later a small hall was built.

Mr. George Wilson travelled about on his trusted old fashioned bicycle which had fixed solid tyres. In 1912 he rode for hours from his house in Kampar through Ipoh to preach the Word in Batu Gajah. As he passed through Ipoh he eyed a piece of rubber estate land for sale. It was actually a “belukar,” overgrown with undergrowth and lallang and covered a large area at the intersection of Chung Thye Phin Road, a small winding dirt road with the main road Hugh Low Street. Mr. Wilson had the foresight to sense that here was the ideal location for the siting of a new gospel hall to facilitate assembly work in this new developing township of Ipoh. Mr. Wilson knelt down on the land and asked God to provide it for the Lord’s work. The Lord answered his fervent prayer. Before he went back with his family to England on furlough in 1913, he was able to come up with the money for the purchase of this piece of land. Eventually two more lots were acquired.

 

Mr. Wilson and his family returned to England on furlough in 1913 when the First World War (1914-1918) broke out in Europe. While the Wilsons were away, Sarah Shirtliff and her colleagues took charge of the work in Ipoh.

 

 

The first building erected was the big and imposing double storey Mission House (presently the Mission House / residence of the Full-time Worker) made of half-wood, half-concrete. It was built by Mr. Claude Henry Labrooy (the late Miss Leila Labooy’s father) an architect and contractor. Mr. Claude Henry Labrooy also gave generously to the Lord’s work. Building work started in 1913 most probably before the Wilsons went on leave and the building was completed in early 1914. A baptism pool made of cement was built outside just beside the house for baptism services. Around this time the first assembly conference was held in Ipoh. As the Mission House was not quite ready for use, the conference was held in a workers’ construction shed in the Labrooy compound in Dulcieville Lane, behind the Main Convent School.


 

When the Mission House was completed, Sarah Shirtliff and Rose McCann moved from Kampar to live in it. The Wilsons returned to Malaya from England in early 1915 and moved into the Mission House in Ipoh. Subsequently Sarah transferred to Kuala Lumpur to do further missionary work. Rose McCann stayed on and later moved out of the Mission House to Brewster Road.

After the Wilsons took up residence in Ipoh in 1915, assembly work in Elim Gospel Hall began in earnest. Initially assembly or worship meetings were held in the Mission House in the large front room downstairs as there was no hall then. The first congregation probably numbered about twenty, made up of the missionaries, some expatriate civil servants and a few locals. There were so few Christians in those early years. Mr. Wilson began his main thrust of missionary work by working tirelessly for the conversion of souls. He even preached in Hakka, one of the main Chinese dialects in the Kinta Valley, which he had learned in China back in 1899. Work was slow but God’s faithful worker shared the love, the power and majesty of Jesus in all the indoor and outdoor meetings and God prospered his ministry.

 

 

 

It was also in early 1915 that another interesting and exciting chapter in the history of Elim Gospel Hall unfolded. This was the beginning of the Elim orphanage work when Mr. and Mrs. Wilson took in six orphan Chinese girls from Singapore. These six little girls aged eight to ten years old, helpless and alone, nameless and without any personal records had by chance encountered a godly missionary lady named Bessie McClay on the waterfront of Canton (Guangzhou today) harbour in China in 1914. They had been sold by their families to unscrupulous agents who were waiting to ship them to Singapore, to be sold into slavery or bonded servitude to rich families, which was a common practice among the Chinese in those early hard times. Incredibly this kind woman was able to pay for them and rescued them. Miss McClay brought them across the seas to Singapore. Initially they were housed at the Church Zenana Mission Society (CZMS). Miss McClay gave them names: Kwai Fong (married, in Myanmar), Kwai Leong (in U.K. and worked for an English family), Kwai Yung (succumbed after an ear operation), Kwai Mei (retired nursing sister in Batu Pahat), Kwai Heng (married, in Kuala Lumpur) and Kwai Fah (retired nurse; migrated with husband Sung Chiew Hoay to Australia). This adoption was a spur of the moment decision so Bessie McClay decided to go back to Ireland to solicit for support and finance for her orphanage work. Unfortunately she perished when the ship she was on, the Lusitania, was torpedoed and sunk by the Germans. Once again the girls were left alone without a benefactor. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson heard about their plight and agreed to take them in, so they were transported to Ipoh and came to live with the Wilsons and their family. They took on the surname “Wai” after Wilson. This was the beginning of the orphanage which came to be called the Elim Home.

 



At first the six girls stayed in two rooms at the back of the Mission House adjacent to the main building. Soon news of this Elim “orphanage” spread around Ipoh and elsewhere and more children were taken into the Home. The number of children increased and so in 1917 proper premises to house the orphans were built after Mr. Wilson added another strip of land along Chung Thye Phin Road directly opposite today’s Ave Maria Convent School. This was a big double storey building with many rooms and came to be called the Girls’ Home (now our present Elim Gospel Hall library). At one time a portion of the Mission House (our present Elim Gospel Hall office) was turned into a mini hospital or isolation ward with Miss McCann as nurse to cater for the many epidemics and sicknesses that occurred with so many children staying together. This work was later abandoned when the government insisted on a resident doctor.

 

Elim Home subsequently took in more boarders, both boys and girls. Some of them were not orphans but came from very poor or destitute homes with single or widowed parents. Among these was Miss Voon Nyook Yoon who came in 1918. She grew up in the Home and later became an associate worker with the missionaries from 1924-1933. She assisted Mrs. Wilson and other missionaries and did a lot of visitation to rubber estates and tin mines to spread the gospel. In December 1933 she left the Home when she married Tan Gim Ann and they settled down in Malacca where they continued to serve the Lord. (‘Auntie Tan’ as she was affectionately called, went home to be with the Lord from Ipoh in 1996.)

 

 

Miss Ding Tuan Sing moved from Sitiawan to Ipoh to replace Auntie Tan as a full time worker when she left for Malacca. Other boarders were Mak Choon Hau (nursing matron), Chooi Wai Ying (Chooi Yew Hong’s sister), Mrs. Yu Choong (Shuk Lan, in UK today), and Mrs. Ong Cheng Siang (Ong Hock Huat’s mother).

As the children grew up and the numbers increased, it became necessary that the boys be housed separately. In the beginning there were about six to ten boys staying together in the Home, so a Boys’ Home was built in 1925 adjacent to the Elim Gospel Hall. It was enlarged again in 1926 to accommodate as many as thirty boys. This building was demolished in 1986 to make way for the building of the new triple storey Chinese Elim Gospel Hall. Some of the boy boarders were Chooi Fook Chon followed by his cousin Chooi Yew Hong (hospital assistant, Ipoh), Low Ah Yu (businessman, Ipoh), Timothy Chew (Singapore), Wai Thin Loke (Johor), his brother Wai Thin Fook (salesman, Ipoh), Ng Chong Choy (Sabah), Choo Theam Yong (Registrar for RIMV, Penang), Fred Philip (Penang), Koo Chong Kong (Chief Police Officer, Perak), his brother Koo Sze Kong (photographer), Tan Shen Kai (well-known blind masseur, Ipoh and organist for Chinese assembly) and Yu Choong (UK).

 

Life in the Home was not easy; all the children had chores to do; cleaning, washing, ironing and mending. The older children helped to look after the younger ones. However it was not all work or studies as there was time for fun too. The missionaries took them out for walks after every meal and sometimes they would go on picnics. The children looked forward to Christmas and Chinese New Year when they would get presents or new clothes. Another highlight in their lives was during each Chinese New Year when a kind Christian lady from Kampar would visit and gave each children an angpow of thirty cents, a large sum in those days. And on Saturday each weekend the gates of the Home were opened for hawkers to come into the compound to allow the children to buy their favourite delicacies.

 

Behind the old Elim Gospel Hall was a small mining pool where the boys could go fishing. In front of the old Hall across Chung Thye Phin Road where the present shops are standing, was a piece of barren land on a small hill with a few fruit trees. During the fruit season, people came in huge numbers to pluck the fruits like a free-for-all.

 

The Elim Home gained the respect of the community so much so that at one time the number rose to sixty. Definitely the Elim Home and all its workers and activities exerted a great influence molding the character of the children. Many of them grew up, got married, worked and became assembly and community leaders.

 

 

 

It was said that Mr. and Mrs. George Wilson were very stern-looking and strict, nevertheless they were kind and caring and provided a protective father/mother figure for the children. As education was not free and funds were limited, Mrs. Wilson started a school for the children in 1920, which was held at the meeting place in the Mission House. Mrs. Wilson assisted by Sarah Shirtliff had the responsibility of the Home and the school which employed two other teachers besides themselves. They were given basic education in reading and writing, both in English as well as Chinese (Primary School level). This gave rise to a need for a separate hall for meetings.

 

 

So in 1920 the first Gospel Hall was built by Mr. Claude Henry Labrooy. It was a smaller building than the Mission House or Girls’ Home, made of half wood, half concrete. (This building was torn down in 2002 to make way for the Chinese Assembly Library, Office and Conference Halls.) It was named “Elim,” a resting place with twelve springs and seventy palm trees mentioned in the Bible. A Chinese-speaking Assembly was also formed. This new hall known by old timers in town as “Elim Hall” began to be used by both the English and Chinese speaking assemblies. In the beginning Mr. Wilson pioneered the Chinese work but later he was assisted by other capable leaders like Mr. Koo Song Khiun, the first local Chinese Full-time Worker for the Chinese assembly. He had come from China and served from 1925 to 1957. In 1931 the church grounds were further extended by the purchase of land beside the Girls’ Home (the present site of Elim Gospel Hall - English and the playing field) for $10,000 from a gift given by Mr. Toft when he sold his rubber estate.

 

 

Brother Wilson carried the gospel to outlying villages and travelled as far as Enggor and Salak North in the north to as far south as Menglembu, Lahat and Tanjung Tualang. At first it was open-air preaching but later as Mr. Wilson got older, he rented shop houses in these villages for gospel meetings. At first his only means of transport was his old bicycle with solid tyres. His habit was to keep peddling till he came to a village, then not being able to stop because his legs were cramped, he would go through the town and fall off the bicycle onto the grass verge. After recovering he would walk back into the village to sell scriptures, preach and buy some food to eat. Then he rested by taking out his boots and placed them under his head and snatched some sleep on a plank bench. Much later the Lord provided him a new bicycle with pneumatic tires. From 1919 he used a motorcycle to visit many towns travelling hundreds of miles. That machine enabled him to cover the distance more quickly and he also would not be away from home and family so often. Many who heard the “Jesus Religion” were saved. In Enggor, thirty believers were baptised by Mr. Wilson at one time. In those days it was the practice for many Chinese to return to China, their homeland. Many died there or never returned but these new Christians spread the gospel in their villages in China.

 

 

As the years passed, the pattern of assembly work was established. Prayer meetings originally held on Thursday were changed to Wednesday which remain to this day. Bible Studies were conducted for assembly members and these laid good firm foundations for years ahead. The members were more knowledgeable and the young people matured with time and experience. Those in fellowship constituted a stabilising influence in today’s assemblies in Ipoh as well as other towns.

 

 

 

Under Mr. Wilson’s gracious ministry, other workers answered God’s call and served devotedly at Elim Gospel Hall. In the 1930’s Phyllis Wilson helped her mother in the Home and school; Miss Clare Shirtliff (Sarah’s sister) helped with the women’s ministry. Mr. Leonard Cornwall (the Wilsons’ son-in-law who married their elder daughter Mabel) assisted in the outreach to surrounding towns. He was also fluent in Hakka. Others were Mr. and Mrs. Toft and their daughter Margaret; Miss Pearl Matthews who married Mr. Arthur Simpson and moved to Kampar; Miss Nelly Holehouse; Mr. and Mrs. Oswald Wyllie (from Tasmania) stood in for a year during the Wilsons’ furlough in New Zealand in 1928. One among them was Miss H.E. Falconer.

 

 

The leading local brethren who helped in the ministry were the elders A. E. Pereira (Secretary of Kinta Sanitary Board), Mr. U. P. Madhavan (Chief clerk, Ipoh Electric Supply); Dr. James J. Samuel (an Indian doctor in Kampar). Both Dr. Samuel and Mr. Madhavan also used Tamil to proclaim the gospel regularly in the Buntong Tamil School. Mr. Madhavan was called home on 15 Feb. 1941, and Dr. Samuel in 1967 in Ipoh.

 

 

The Second World War started in Europe in September 1939. The Japanese occupation which started on 7th December 1941 ended missionary work in Ipoh and throughout Malaya. It was a time of chaos and great fear and suffering. Foreigners, especially whites, were hurriedly evacuated to Singapore. The Wilsons and their daughter Phyllis were evacuated to Singapore in late December 1941. Mr. Wilson who had been quite ill while in Ipoh died on 6th January 1942 aged sixty in Singapore and was buried there. Mrs. Wilson and Phyllis were evacuated to India and then on to United Kingdom where they arrived in March 1942. Other missionaries also evacuated to India, Australia or New Zealand.

The Japanese forces immediately seized Elim’s buildings and land. Initially the Mission House became a transit centre for European detainees with Japanese wives. Six months later the mission house was converted into an officers club. The nearby Girls’ Home was turned into a ‘comfort house’ for immoral purposes while Japanese intelligence agents occupied the Boy’s Home. Thankfully the Gospel Hall was spared and used as a military store inspite of all such undesirable activities going on. Prior to the Japanese occupation when the fall of Ipoh seemed imminent, the Boys and Girls’ Homes were disbanded and the children were sent home to their relatives and friends who would take them in.

 

 

 

With the absence of the foreign missionaries, worship duty and plans were left to the local leaders and faithful senior members of the church. Among these leaders were Mr. Yin Choo Soon, Mr. A. E. Pereira, Mr. Cunard, Mr. Leach, Dr. Jumeaux and Mr. Choo Thean Yong. Another devoted worker was Dr. James J. Samuel who faithfully came to Ipoh from Kampar every first week of each month to preach the gospel.

 

 

 

It is reported in Elim records that throughout the Occupation period, both Chinese and English speaking assemblies did not miss a single worship meeting or Sunday School. Right from the start of the Occupation, the Japanese authorities allowed the Christians to worship. From the early period of the Occupation when Elim Gospel Hall was in Japanese hands, both assemblies held combined meetings, initially in Mr. Yin Choo Soon’s house in Dulcieville Lane (present site of Ipoh Parade) for about ten months; then later moved to a dilapidated wooden hut in the Yuk Choy Chinese Primary School along Hugh Low Street for some six months or more. Later four elders approached the Japanese authorities for the reuse of Elim Gospel Hall. The elders were asked to state the assembly policies and they quoted Romans Chapter Thirteen. They got back the use of Elim Gospel Hall but were driven out twice. Eventually when the Hall was demilitarised, both the assemblies began to use it again.

 

 

The Lord continued to bless the ministry even during the Occupation period and some forty believers were added into His kingdom. Usually they were baptised in the Kinta River (near where YMCA is situated). On one occasion, brother Yin Choo Soon arranged for a bus to take the believers to the Kampar Gospel Hall for baptism. On two other occasions the believers were baptised in Kampar River just before the town.

 

 

When the war ended in August 1945, Brethren missionaries who were prisoners of war in Singapore regained their freedom and went home to recuperate. Those who were evacuated also gradually returned to their mission fields to continue their work. Mrs. E. Wilson and her daughter Phyllis returned to Ipoh in October 1945 to begin the work of repairing and reorganising the “Elim Home”. Some very needy children came to the Wilsons and lived with them temporarily in the Mission House while the Girls Home was undergoing repairs and a new kitchen was being built. When all repairs were done, the Home was reopened and some very poor children, mostly from Christian homes were taken in. The Social Welfare Department officer also brought in some children.

 

 

Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Simpson worked for a while in Elim Gospel Hall in 1946 before they moved to Kampar in 1947. Mr. Simpson was called home in 1950. In 1947 Mr. & Mrs. Frank A. V. Regler came to Elim Gospel Hall for a few months before they were transferred to Malacca.

During this time the assembly elders were Mr. A. E. Pereira, Mr. Samuel A. Cunard, Mr. H. C. Leach, Mr. William Rode, Dr. J. J. Samuel and Mr. Low Ah Yu with Mr. David Boler (a teacher in ACS Ipoh) coming in later. Sketchy records of the past also included these other brethren who had served on previous Oversights in Elim Gospel Hall: U. P. Madhavan, J. R. Tharmalinkam, D. Caleb, C. W. Price, Kong Yeng Choon and Sung Chiew Hoay.

Altogether, some thirty people were brought to the Lord and were baptised during this period.

 

 


Mr. and Mrs. Ernest V. Brewerton who were commended from New Zealand first came to Klang in 1924. Mrs. Brewerton (nee Bertha Townley) prior to her marriage had worked among the Tamils in India for ten years. She spoke excellent Tamil. Mr. Ernest V. Brewerton had learned to speak Hokkien fluently and together the Brewertons served the Lord faithfully. In 1948 they moved to Elim Gospel Hall Ipoh and gave themselves wholeheartedly to the Lord’s work. The Lord used Mr. Ernest V. Brewerton mightily in congregational preaching. He was an outstanding speaker and secured a tremendous interest in the gospel. The Lord blessed his ministry wonderfully by gathering more believers into assembly fellowship.

Mr. Ernest V. Brewerton was of great help to many brethren, males and females who came to him with all sorts of problems. Through his counseling and assistance many were rescued from difficult circumstances. Mrs. Brewerton also showed great spirituality and was a very approachable person. She never forgot the Lord’s work and made many visits to hospitals to visit the sick and feeble and to comfort them. The Brewertons were also noted for their regular house visitations. Assembly members whom they called upon appreciated their visits very much. They were truly missionaries and great friends.

 

 

In 1954, the Brewertons went on furlough for about six months during which time Mr. and Mrs. W. S. Scott relieved the work at Elim Gospel Hall. It was in this year too that Mr. Ernest V. Brewerton began to teach and nurture a young man named Victor Doss in the ways of the Brethren. Mr. Doss had come from Madras in May 1953 and belonged to the Church of England. He started coming to Elim Gospel Hall regularly and in November 1953 he was saved and in June 1954 he was baptised.

As Mr. Ernest V. Brewerton got older, his state of health began to weaken. God sent Mr. Frank A. V. Regler to relieve him of some of his responsibilities. Mr. and Mrs. Ernest V. Brewerton served until early 1964 when they retired to New Zealand. In 1975 Mr. Ernest V. Brewerton went home to the Lord.

 

 

 

Miss Holehouse arrived in Ipoh in 1929. She began serving in Elim Gospel Hall and the surrounding areas with missionaries like Miss Rose McCann, Miss Claire Shirtliff and assisted by Miss Voon Nyook Yoon and others until the Japanese Occupation. Mr. Frank A. V. Regler married Nelly Holehouse in 1942.

In 1947 Mr. and Mrs. Frank A. V. Regler were commended for the Lord’s work to this country, leaving England in March. They settled in Malacca and laboured for ten years and the saints there were greatly encouraged by their devoted service. In 1957 they went back to England on furlough. On their return in 1958 and learning that the Brewertons needed assistance, they moved from Malacca to Ipoh. Their desire and purpose in service was to bear witness for the Lord among old and young and to teach the word of God. With his passion for souls, Mr. Frank A. V. Regler constantly preached in Elim Gospel Hall and also moved about as an itinerant preacher in Kampar, Kuala Kangsar, Teluk Anson (Teluk Intan today), Batu Gajah and Cameron Highlands. Mr. Frank A. V. Regler conducted several open-air meetings in the children’s playground in Brewster Road. The Reglers were in close fellowship with Mr. and Mrs. James Samuel of Kampar, so this led to Mr. Regler preaching and teaching in the Kampar Gospel Hall regularly and in their children’s meetings.

For about a year, Mr. Regler took the teaching of the word of God to three hundred boys from Forms 1-4 of the Anglo-Chinese School, Ipoh. Mr. David Boler made the arrangement for the special service held at 7:30 am. before the school began. This service was held on four consecutive days of each week during the three school terms and each session lasted half an hour.

 

 

In 1960 from March 14-24, a short term Bible School was held in the Mission House, where a good number of the younger brethren attended. Bible teaching was given by several Brethren missionaries. From time to time, Bible camps were held in St. Anthony School (a private institution) in Ipoh, the Government School in Tanah Rata and the Christian Convention Centre (C.C.C.) in Penang.

In 1966 Mr. and Mrs. Frank Regler left Ipoh and retired to England. They had served the Lord faithfully. Their testimonies had contributed to the development of Elim Gospel Hall and other assemblies. Their departure too, marked the end of more than half a century of missionary work in Ipoh and the surrounding region. It also marked the end of foreign missionaries.

 

 

The Elim Home from its formation by Mr. and Mrs. George Wilson in 1915 had proved very popular and successful. In those early years, there was slavery or bonded servants, no free education or medical treatment. Girls were not allowed out on their own, or to get an education or to hold jobs. After World War II the whole outlook had changed and many old ideas were thrown away. On the political front, many countries in Asia and Africa started independence movements to fight for self-rule from the colonial powers. Slavery was outlawed and boys as well as girls enjoyed more freedom. Girls had more access to education and travel.

As the economic situation improved and advanced, the churches were able to support the poor families in their areas, so the numbers in the Elim Home decreased. When the girls were fourteen years old and home conditions were suitable, Mrs. Wilson and Miss Phyllis Wilson sent them home to live with their families and helped them with expenses. It was the same with the boys. In this way those children grew wholesomely in a ‘family’ environment. The remaining children were progressively channeled back to families.

 

 

Phyllis Wilson kept the Home going as her mother was very concerned for the children even in her old age. After a fall, Mrs. Wilson was weak and feeble for a few years and went to be with the Lord on 14th January 1967 aged 91 in Ipoh. Subsequently Miss Wilson left for New Zealand but returned to Ipoh in December that year. She asked permission from the elders to stay for one year in Ipoh after which she planned to move to some other work. Just then some money was received from the Ding family to build a church in Johor Baru and the missionaries and elders in Kuala Lumpur (stewards of the money) agreed that Miss Wilson could help in Johor Baru to get a suitable place for a Hall and start a testimony there. Miss Phyllis Wilson served in Johor Baru from 1968-1980. In 1980 she made a visit to Ipoh to Elim Gospel Hall for a reunion with old friends before she retired to New Zealand due to health reasons. She went to be with the Lord from New Zealand in December 2002.

 

 

In 1968 four brethren in the assembly were appointed deacons, namely Mr. Cheong Nyuk Seng, Mr. Koon Fook Sam, Mr. Edward Low and Mr. Chooi Peng Kwan. At the time there were two elders: Mr. Victor Doss and Mr. Low Ah Yu. In 1970 Mr. Chooi Yew Hong who had been in close fellowship became the third elder. In 1974 the number of elders increased to five with the appointment of Mr. Cheong Nyuk Seng and Mr. Chooi Peng Kwan.

 

 

With the growth of Elim and the increasing number of converts, Mr. Kong Yeng Choon, working in Shell Company, Ipoh, was made an elder. He was used by God in the expansion work of Elim Gospel Hall in these years. He led in prayers and preached the gospel. In 1976, he was transferred to Kuala Lumpur and in 1980 migrated with his family to Australia.

In 1955 Mr. Victor Doss commenced preaching and in 1959 became an elder in Elim Gospel Hall. In 1960 he took over the work in Kampar. In 1969 he resigned his job with the Geological Department in Ipoh to become a full time worker and missionary. Mr. Victor Doss served faithfully at Elim Gospel Hall until he retired to Klang in 1987.

 

 


 

Since the first Elim Gospel Hall was built in 1920, it had been shared by both the Chinese and English speaking assemblies. The English worship meeting would start at 8:30 am., followed by the Chinese meeting at 11:00 am. In 1974 the increase in the number of believers made it necessary for new plans to build a bigger hall or for separate halls for the two assemblies.

Immediately the English-speaking assembly launched a building fund for a new hall estimated to cost around RM80,000. However active collection only began in 1976 when the English assembly moved out from the original Elim Gospel Hall to hold their worship service in the Girls Home building, after fifty years of sharing the same premises with the Chinese assembly.

 

 

In 1979 under the leadership of Mr. Victor Doss, building plans for the new Elim Gospel Hall were submitted for approval with the Ipoh Town Board. However the project was delayed because of problems which were solved only by April 1981 and construction began. The new Elim Gospel Hall was completed in mid December 1981. By then the total cost of the project including furniture and fitting had risen to RM200,000. Everyone was thrilled to hold the first meeting in the new hall - worship service on Sunday 26th December 1981. The Thanksgiving and Official Opening Ceremony for the new Elim Gospel Hall was held on Saturday 18th June 1982. Mr. W. McVey was invited to give the message.

Meanwhile the Chinese brethren built their own beautiful triple-storey structure on the site of the previous wooden Boys’ Home built in 1925. It was officially opened on 1st May 1987. The first hall built in 1920 has been pulled down in 2002 and now a new concrete building stands in its place (Chinese Assembly Library, Office and Conference Halls) opened on 27th July 2002. Only the Mission House (first building to be built in 1914) and the Girls Home (built in December 1917) are still standing; slowly being worn out by the ravages of time and termites.

 

 

In June 1980 after discussion and approval by the Oversight, a new outreach service began in the residential area of Canning Garden-Ipoh Garden in a rented double-storey shophouse on the first floor at 32A Lengkok Canning, Ipoh Garden. This outreach point called Ipoh Garden Gospel Centre went on for sometime and stopped. The key brethren heading this outreach later initiated another assembly.

 

 

Before Mr. Victor Doss retired to Klang in late 1987, a working committee was initiated by Victor Doss which later became the Oversight with Leong Sea Fook and Jimmy Ho Chee Meng as elders and Ronny Low Kheng Onn and Wong Leong Yan as deacons. Mr. Jimmy Ho Chee Meng, formerly a Scripture Union Staffworker took over as the Full-time Worker in Elim Gospel Hall starting from 1st January 1988. Later on in an exercise to enhance the leadership in 1989, Fun Chen Cheong and Yap Kok Keong came in as elders and Ho Cheong Ming as deacon.

In 1990 Ronny Low Kheng Onn returned from Gospel Literature Outreach Training School in Tasmania and began serving full-time in Elim Gospel Hall. He was partly assigned to help out the work in Kuala Kangsar Gospel Hall as well. He went for a second term with GLO Training School, Tasmania and went on to serve as a missionary to Samar Island in the Philippines in 1998.

Richard Chin started serving as another Full-time Worker for Elim Gospel Hall in 1991. He serves mainly amongst the Youth and Sunday School as well as managing the audiovisual ministry. In February 1993, three new deacons were added on: Cheam Tong Kan, Jeffrey Suah Ah Kow and Wilson Koo Soo Lok. On May 1996, Jeffrey Suah stepped up to be an elder with Steven Low Kheng Cheang, Lee Kim Seong and N. Asogan coming in as deacons.

 

 

 

Under the leadership and initiative of Leong Sea Fook, an outreach was spearheaded in First Garden beginning with Sunday School in his house in 1994. Weekly Sunday School and Prayer Meetings with Breaking of Bread on the first Sunday of each month followed later. A shoplot was rented for a while in nearby Bandar Baru Menglembu to cater for the bigger number and the variety of activities. Meanwhile the Lord provided two double-storey shoplots in the vicinity of Taman Mas through the sacrifice of His saints and ex-members from Elim Gospel Hall with the help of assemblies throughout Malaysia. The saints had their first meeting in the new premises on 20th October 1996. This assembly named Kledang Community Chapel shared a common Oversight with Elim Gospel Hall. Later as the work advanced and flourished, an Oversight was appointed in Kledang Community Chapel and they became autonomous on 1st January 1997 with Leong Sea Fook and Jeffrey Suah Ah Kow serving as elders, and Ho Cheong Ming, Wong Leong Yan, Lee Kim Seong and Steven Low Kheng Cheang as deacons.

 

 

 

In June 1997 Chun Sam Tuck was added in as an elder of Elim Gospel Hall with William Chang Chee Kai and Wong Kim Siong as deacons. Currently the leaders in Elim Gospel Hall are Chun Sam Tuck and Jimmy Ho Chee Meng as elders with Cheam Tong Kan, William Chang Chee Kai and N. Asogan as deacons. We are in the process of appointing new elders and deacons into our leadership.
The current members of the Kledang Community Chapel’s Oversight are Leong Sea Fook, Lee Kim Seong and Steven Low Kheng Cheang as elders, and Ho Cheong Ming, Wong Leong Yan and Hooi Hou Yuen as deacons.

 

 

We have many amongst us who went out as missionaries to foreign lands as well as serving locally. Some serving presently are: Ronny (and Sharon) Low Kheng Onn in Philippines, Jeff Loh (whose wife Fay Lee Ai Lin gave her life on the mission field) in Australia, Loh Lai Keng in Tajikistan, Har, the Yeohs and Richard Chin Weng Seng. Kay Lee Poay Lin, Peter Chang Choong Ching, Steven Low Kheng Cheang and John Yip are serving within our country.

 

 

Miss Rose McCann :

Miss Sarah Shirtliff :

Mr. George Wilson :

Mrs. George Wilson :

Miss Claire Shirtliff :

Miss Pearl L. Matthews :

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Simpson :

Mr. and Mrs. T. R. Angus :

Mr. Koo Song Khiun :

Mr. and Mrs. O. B. Wyllie :

Mr. and Mrs. G. R. Gouph :

Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Cornwell :

Miss Nelly Holehouse :

Miss Ding Tuan Seng :

Mr. Muthiah :

Miss H. E. Falconer :

Miss Phyllis Wilson :

Mr. and Mrs. Frank A. V. Regler :

Mr. and Mrs. Ernest V. Brewerton:

Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Scott :

Mr. Victor Doss :

Mr. Jimmy Ho Chee Meng :

Mr. Ronny Low Kheng Onn:

Mr. Richard Chin Weng Seng:

1913 - 1930 (Assembly established in 1915)

1914 - 1947

1915 - 1941 (Assembly established)

1915 - 1967 (nee Elizabeth Dron)

1919 - 1947

1920 - 1931 (Mrs. A. Simpson)

1946 - 1947

1921 - 1922

1925 - 1957

1928 (formerly Mrs. Capewell)

1928

1929 - 1933 (nee Mabel Wilson)

1929 - 1941

1933 - 1984

1934 - 1947

1937 - 1940

1937 - 1968

1947; 1958 - 1966 (nee Nelly Holehouse)

1948 - 1964

1954

1969 - 1987

1988 - to present

1990 - 1996

1991 - to present

 

[* The records of Chinese-speaking Commended Servants of God have not been included into this list.]

 

 

Today Elim Gospel Hall is celebrating its ninetieth anniversary. This year 2003 we are embarking on a new chapter of Elim’s history. We are replacing two of our old buildings. We plan to demolish the Library (formerly the Girls’ Home) and build a multipurpose hall in its place and a two-storey education block where the Elim office now is. The cost of this project stands at RM600,000. Plans have been submitted to Ipoh City Hall (Dewan Bandaraya Ipoh) and various authorities for approval. With God’s help and blessings we shall proceed with our dreams.

To all those who have been a part of Elim Gospel Hall and have come to join us today, as well as those who are still serving, we say “THANK YOU!” with all our hearts - for all your labour of love, your vision and your sacrifice. May GOD BLESS YOU!

“To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy -- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.” Jude 24, 25

 

[Elim Gospel Hall 90th Anniversary - 5th July 2003]

 

 

 

 

 

©Copyrights Elim Gospel Hall 2005. Undergirded by God's grace.