The Gruhlers and the Sparks
The picture above, taken in Jamaica, New York, in 1966 was in the home
of Brother and Sister Eugene C. Gruhler Sr. (to the left) and shows (to
the right) Brother and Sister T. Austin-Sparks.
Referring to the conferences
in San Francisco and Palo Alto with Witness Lee, we all felt that that
had been a tremendous encouragement to us to go on in Los Angeles. It
also intensified the desire within us for a normal church life.
After continuing on at Westmoreland Chapel in December
1960, little by little some of us were coming to the distinct
realization that what we were a part of was not a local church. We were
told that it was presumptuous to say that we were the church in Los
Angeles. We considered, “If we are not the church, what are we?” What
we had experienced there was a good spiritual ministry, albeit of one
man, but no opportunity for other members to function for the building
up of Christ’s Body (Eph. 4:12, 18) and no ground on which to build.
It was early in May 1962 that Eugene Gruhler Sr.
visited us in Los Angeles. The fellowship with our brother was helpful.
We shared with him all that we had gone through during the years
1960—1962 and our desire for the normal church life in Los Angeles.
After our thorough fellowship with our brother he said, “Since it seems
you are so clear, why do you hesitate any longer?” There was a
confirming echo within us. Still, we gave ourselves to much prayer.
Every morning at 6:30 we would gather for prayer, Monday through
Friday, and 8:00 a.m. on Saturday.
Then, on the Lord’s Day, May 27, 1962, we began to
meet for the Lord’s Table as the church in Los Angeles. We called
Brother Lee to relate to him the stand we had taken to meet on the
ground of the local church. His response was to come and see.
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