A small assembly of people commenced services in 1941 in the back room of the School of Arts, Epping and continued there until 1951.
Captain Fred Wilkins, of the British Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, came to Epping in 1945 and encouraged us to build our first chapel. So a piece of land was purchased on this corner for 150 pounds.
Mr. Turner, the father of Marianne and Lachlan, two of our earliest Sunday School scholars, helped with the planning for the building. Although many problems were encountered along the way, the building was opened on 25th August 1951 and it was already free of debt.
1951 was the year of the Jubilee, celebrating the 50th year of the Federation of Australia. As suggested, by Mr. David Hogan, the hall was named ‘Jubilee Gospel Hall’
After about ten years, the Assembly had outgrown the small hall, so it was time to build another one. Jubilee Gospel Hall had to be moved and relocated to the back of the property. Some of the new building construction was done by volunteer labour under the capable supervision of Mr. Gordon Barnes. The official opening took place in 1962 with the name Epping Gospel Chapel.
The Jubilee Gospel Hall became the youth hall. lt was refurbished and made suitable for youth activities. The day after Cracker Night, on 25th May 1969, the hall was burnt down.
Following the Billy Graham crusade of 1959 the numbers had continued to increase and it was now considered necessary to build again. Within approximately three months we had a third chapel which could accommodate 300 people. The grand opening took place on Saturday 31st January 1970.
Many activities had developed over the years – an active youth group, the Men’s Friday Club, the Young Wives Fellowship and the Ladies’ Luncheon ministry. Many ladies came to know the Lord as a result of the Ladies’ Luncheons.
ln 1966 members of Epping youth Group won the Youth for Christ Bible Quiz Grand Final. Hundreds of young people from churches and high schools around Sydney took part.
For many years Epping had a senior and junior youth group. Hundreds of young people passed through the youth groups and the Boys’ and Girls’ Rallies with many coming to know the Lord as their Saviour. Over the years we have come across people who were saved at Boys’ and Girls’ Rally, at youth groups, Saturday Date, Jim Hackfath’s ski camps and Sunday School.
The Sunday School commenced with approximately 15 pupils and grew, over the years, to 215 pupils. There were many dedicated teachers and Superintendents.
People have gone out to the mission field from this Chapel and others have been in full-time service for the Lord in many different areas.
The Chapel has also provided more than a few Scripture Teachers for schools in the local area. Many children came from local schools to Kids’ Club on Friday afternoons.
There were activities for pre-schoolers and young mothers as well as many Bible study groups covering all ages.
Epping Chapel is well used today. We share our facilities with the Epping Korean Presbyterian Church and also the Evangelical Chinese Church.