“Why we meet as we do” from Bethel Creations on Vimeo.

A Little History

Port Colborne is located in the Southern Niagara region of Ontario. On the shores of Lake Erie, just south of Welland and St. Catharines. Approximately 30 minutes from Niagara Falls, Canada.

Portal Village Bible Chapel was started in 1986, as an extension of Ridgeville Bible Chapel, with an interest in outreach to the Port Colborne area, including a special ministry to Seniors, many of whom were saved as a result.

The Assembly started meeting at Gilead Manor, an apartment complex for Seniors, then later at Portal Village Retirement Home. In 1999 construction started for a new Chapel building, which was completed and opened in 2000, with an expectation of reaching out to a younger generation, while maintaining a ministry to Seniors.

Some of those who were here for the start of the Assembly in Port Colborne were: Ken Brady, Gordon Bye, Peter Kay, William Duncan, Lewis Shedden, Lester Shoalts and Mahlon Martin. The first elders of Portal Village Bible Chapel were: Lewis Shedden, Mahlon Martin and Lester Shoalts.

Portal Village Bible Chapel have commended several full-time workers to the service of the Lord, both locally and Foreign fields.

About the Bible

The Bible, consisting of Old and New Testaments, is the revealed Word of God. It was given by inspiration of God (2 Timothy 3:16) and written by men, as they were guided by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). It is free of error in the original writings and is our sole authority on all matters of doctrine and conduct.

About God

There is one God (Deuteronomy 6:4) who eternally exists in three persons-God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). The three persons of the Godhead are distinct personalities; yet are coequal one with the other (Ephesians 4:4-6, Hebrews 9:14). God is spirit: invisible, personal, self-existent, eternal, and unchanging.

About God the Father

God the Father is holy and cannot overlook or be associated with evil in any way. God is love (1 John 4:8) and has shown His love and mercy to all people in sending His Son, the Lord Jesus, to earth to pay the penalty of sin (1 John 4: 10). God the Father was fully satisfied with the life and death of His Son and to demonstrate this He raised Him from the dead. Now that the price for sin has been paid, people can enter God's holy presence on the basis of the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus. God is not limited or localized by time and space; however His throne or place of administration is in heaven (1 Kings 8:27; Acts 7:48-49).

About God the Son

God the Son entered human history as a man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 3:16). He was born of the virgin Mary (Luke 1:34-35), having been supernaturally conceived by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20). While here upon earth He was, in one personality, both truly God and truly man (John 10:30). He lived a perfect and sinless life and then died on the cross having offered Himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins (1 Peter 2:24). He rose bodily from the dead (Luke 24:39), ascended to His Father's right hand in heaven (Ephesians 1:20) and appears there as our great High Priest (Hebrews 4:14-16, 9:24).

About God the Holy Spirit

God the Holy Spirit is the Comforter sent by the Lord Jesus to abide with His people (John 14:16-18). He permanently indwells those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:9; 2 Timothy 1:14), thus putting God's seal of ownership upon them and guar- anteeing their security until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30). The function of the Holy Spirit is to instruct believers in things about the Lord Jesus Christ (John 14:26; 15:26), to transform them into the likeness of the Lord Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Galatians 5:22-26) and to equip and empower them for service (1 Corinthians 12:4-11)

About Humankind

Humans are a special creation of God, made in His image (Genesis 1:27), distinct from the animal world and given dominion by God over the rest of His creation (Genesis 1:26). All human life is sacred, from conception (Psalm 139:13-16) until death. Adam was created by God in a state of innocence in which he enjoyed a personal relationship with God. By a deliberate act, he sinned and thereby incurred not only physical death, but also spiritual death, which is separation from God (Romans 5:12). All his descendants are born into the world as sinners and are sinners in thought, word and deed. A restored relationship with God has been achieved by God Himself who provided His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Saviour (Romans 5:10-11). This reconciliation is received by individuals through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:36). All who accept Him are eternally saved (John 10:28).

About the Church

The Church, which is the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23), is composed of all persons who truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. All believers are incorporated into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit, and have thus become members with each other of that body (Romans 12:5; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Galatians 3:28; Colossians 1:24). Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church (Ephesians 5:22-32) and directs the activities of His Church on earth.

About the Future

At any moment our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may return for His Church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). This event will be followed by a period of tribulation, a time of unparalleled hardship and judgment. This period will culminate in the return to the earth of our Lord Jesus Christ with His saints and the establishment of His thousand-year kingdom. Subsequently, unbelievers will be raised and condemned to everlasting, conscious punishment (Daniel 12:2; Revelation 20:5-6; 11-15).

Objectives

The objectives of the assembly may be summarized as follows:

New Testament Pattern

The word "church" is a religious word which was coined to describe a Christian congregation or meeting place. The New Testament word translated "church" had no such religious connotation. It referred to a group of people who were called out as, for example, the citizens of a town at a public gathering. The English word which probably best approximates the meaning of the Greek term is "assembly."

It is necessary that a local church (or assembly) give prayerful consideration to the teaching of the New Testament as to its purposes, activities and organization.

Fellowship

All believers in the Lord Jesus are members of the church, which is the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 10:17; 12:12-13), sometimes referred to as the universal church. In New Testament times the local church was a visible, recognizable entity (note the references to churches in the plural, as in Galatians 1:2) which met for the purpose of celebrating the Lord's Supper (see 1 Corinthians 11:20-34), prayer (Acts 2:42) and teaching (Acts 20:7).

It clearly was the practice for believers to:

Ordinances

The ordinances are those practices of the church specifically ordained and commanded of God. They are twofold:
Believer's Baptism involves immersion in water (Acts 8:38) and is a public confession by a believer (Acts 8:12) of his or her identification with the Lord Jesus. It was commanded by the Lord Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20), practiced by the early church (Acts 2:41; 8:36-38), and explained by the apostles as symboliz- ing the identification of the believer with the Lord Jesus in death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:4-5; Colossians 2:12). Candidates for baptism are expected to be mature enough to explain their experi- ence of salvation and understand the implications of baptism-of identifying oneself with Christ in a world that has rejected Him.

Those requesting fellowship in the assembly are encouraged to be baptized if they have not already been baptized as believers.

The Lord's Supper is celebrated on the first day of each week (Acts 20:7). Since the Lord Himself requested that we should celebrate this supper in remembrance of Him (Luke 22:19-20; 1 Corinthians 11:20-34), it should be the desire of all those in the assembly to attend this meeting. Visiting believers are welcomed upon their presenting a letter of introduction from another assembly, or upon their being introduced by a believer known to those in the assembly or upon their confession of faith in the Lord Jesus. The meeting takes the form of spontaneous expressions of worship in prayers, hymns, reading and expounding of the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 14:26), and partaking of the emblems (bread and cup).

Missions

The assembly is committed to the support of missions at home and abroad, with primary attention to those commended from Canadian assemblies. The involvement of individuals within the assembly in missions is encouraged (Matthew 28:18-20). The great commission calls on all believers to be engaged in the work of the Lord and to have a global vision. The purpose of missions involvement is to further the work of the Lord elsewhere, increase awareness of missions among those in the assembly and provide exposure to Christian service. Commendation to Christian service is an action of a local assembly in which those in the assembly: