Funeral Hall Church
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Worship in Camarillo 61

Funeral Hall Beginnings

CamarilloFrom the problems of Lemon Grove, I was glad to hurry on to my next assignment in Camarillo, a luscious green valley surrounded by rugged mountains. The area had taken its name from the family who had been given the original land grant after the State of Mexico had been incorporated into the Union. God's blessing on the Funeral Hall Church in Camarillo gave me much satisfaction in later years. This was despite the enormous portrait of myself the congregation had specially commissioned and insisted on hanging in their church porch! When I first arrived, however, we had no Church building at all. A small group of parents who were keen to have a Sunday School for their children met in someone's home.✞

Empty Beer Bottles

Camarillo LogoOur very first gathering in Camarillo took place in a little rented building beside the railway tracks. These premises, however, were far from ideal. When we arrived for our Sunday School, empty beer bottles littered the hall from the previous night's merry making. The stink of sour beer and cigarette smoke met our nostrils as we opened the door. Simultaneously, the parents' service met in the only other place available in town, the Funeral Hall. ✞

Funeral Hall Service

We were undeterred by the thought of a corpse "on view" there any other day. Our men carted in a portable communion table early every Sunday morning and set up for our service. As the weeks passed, we arrived by car sooner and sooner, bringing a pulpit and even kneelers with us in my car. We got more brazen with Mr. Griffin, the owner. I would ask him Saturday mornings "Is the coast clear?" "Sure," he would reply with a laugh, "you can bring round your church now!"

"Funeral Hall Church"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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