The origin of Sutherland Church was in the early 1960's at Hollyburn Gospel Chapel in West Vancouver, B.C.. Hollyburn Gospel Chapel was a Plymouth Brethren Church.
"The various churches of the Christian Brethren movement are independent, conservative and evangelical....it is estimated that there are about one million people who identify themselves as Brethren.
"In the winter of 1827-1828 four men...gathered...in Dublin, Ireland. Soon there were assemblies... in several locations. The most well-known group was in Plymouth, and the name "Plymouth Brethren" has since become a default name for others.
"Brethren churches vary somewhat in their practices and beliefs due to their independent nature,...(There is an) absence of clergy/laity distinctions. Brethren churches typically partake of the Lord's Supper weekly." (REF.)
The members of the Hollyburn Gospel Chapel that lived in North Vancouver, the city to the east of West Vancouver, decided that they wanted a church in their own area. " 'Hollyburn' formed a committee to look for property in North Vancouver...The ...location of 19th Street and Sutherland Avenue...was purchased from the City of North Vancouver in 1967." (REF.)
A very well attended Daily Vacation Bible School was held at Queensbury School, North Vancouver in the summer of 1968. "The success of that undertaking encouraged the leaders of the new venture and a Sunday School and adult Bible Study commenced that fall. These were held Sunday morning in the cafeteria of Sutherland High School across the street from our property.
"In fall 1969 as the building's first phase (the foyer, lounge, kitchen washroom, nursery and basement of an eventual building) nearing completion, the leadership of the home church at Hollyburn chose the initial leaders (Elders) for Sutherland....On Feb. 2, 1970 twelve families met for communion for the first time in the new building and so formally launched Sutherland Bible Chapel. Over the next few years the number in the fellowship continued to grow to the point where the first phase of the building was overcrowded. A decision was made to complete the auditorium portion of the building. This was opened in 1974.
"In the initial years the ministry of the church was carried out in the tradition of the "Christian Brethren" in that there was no paid or full time ministry staff... the preaching was done either by a member of the congregation or by a visitor.
For more information on Sutherland Church see Blog Post 1/19/14.
Thank you: To Bill Gillmartin for information and slides.