Alexander Marshall

During the winter of 1880-1881, a Mr. Alexander Marshall arrived in Orillia from Scotland, preaching a plain and simple message that Christ Jesus had died on the cross for the sin of mankind, been buried and raised again from the dead by the power of God. Through faith in that finished work, anyone could have eternal life, complete forgiveness of sins and peace with God. Many believed that message, and were willing to gather simply in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ according to the teaching of the Word of God without any denominational affiliation.
The gospel meetings were originally held in a local YMCA building then in the Kennedy building at the south-west corner of Peter and Mississauga Streets in an upstairs hall. In 1881, a baptism was held for eleven converts in the chilly waters of Lake Couchiching near Cedar Island, and on April 17th of that year, a small group of these believers (nicknamed "Marshallites" after the preacher) met for the first time in Quinn's Hall to celebrate the "Lord's Supper" according to the request of the Lord Jesus Christ recorded in Luke 22:19,20 and the practice of the early disciples in Acts 20:7.
During that year, over 200 believers were baptized in this area, and other similar groups of Christians formed in local communities such as Foxmead, Warminster, and Severn Bridge.

Later, the group in Orillia gathered at the Shaftesbury Hall on Mississauga Street, and a Mr. Robert Teifer also had gospel meetings in another upstairs hall, at 9 Andrew Street North, known as Dominion Hall. In September 1907, a gospel hall that had been built at 56 West Street North was opened and this served as the gathering place for 71 years. Shortly after this, a division took place between members of the group, and part of the company returned to Dominion Hall  at 9 Andrew Street North.

 

During the Great Depression of the 1930s, a small piece of property was acquired a half block south at
30 Andrew Street South, and a new building was erected by that congregation spite of the financial
difficulties of the times.
The building was called "Dominion Gospel Hall" simply in memory of the previous place of gathering.
These Christians moved there in 1938, and the group still gather there to this day.
Major renovations to the front entrance took place in 1986.

 

Dominion Gospel Hall

Dated: 1923

The Christians that stayed at West Street Gospel Hall changed the name to West Street Gospel Chapel in April 1960, and remained there until 1978.
Due to the expansion and parking needs, they built on Highway 12 West at Fairgrounds road, moved there, and named the building
Hillside Bible Chapel. In 1966, a Sunday School work began in the South Ward, and by 1971, another congregation formed there out of west street assembly which today is known as Simcoeside Lifepoint Church.

 

 

 

Over the years, these autonomous assemblies have commissioned a number of workers to full time service in preaching within Canada and to missions working in foreign countries. The support of this work continues actively to this day. Within this city, each carries on regular worship, prayer, and Bible teaching as well as active gospel outreach. As we look back over 135 years, to the best of our knowledge now, there has never been a first day of the week in all those years when the "Lord's Supper" has not been celebrated in this community according to the teaching of 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, truly we are compelled to be thankful to God and recognize that

GOD IS FAITHFUL!