Question: "What is a Gospel Hall?"
Answer: Gospel Halls are independent, autonomous Christian communities of believers throughout the world that hold to a common set of doctrines and worship practices. Since these churches are not affiliated with any central governing body or parent administrative organization, each Gospel Hall exists as a self-governing, completely stand-alone entity.
Gospel Halls reject the idea of denominational labels and avoid any sectarian classification. For example, you will not hear these believers say, “I am a member of the Gospel Hall denomination.” Instead, they prefer simply to be known as “Christians” who gather for worship in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Gospel Hall is the name this group of Christians assigns to their building or place of worship. Typically, Gospel Hall is preceded by the name of the area or city. For instance, a group may call itself Spencer Bridge Road Gospel Hall or Denver Gospel Hall. The primary mission of Gospel Hall fellowships is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ and lead lost people to salvation in Him.
Although Gospel Halls trace their spiritual roots back to the earliest Christian communities established in Jerusalem, the modern movement corresponds with the founding of the Plymouth Brethren in the early- to mid-1800s, primarily in England, Scotland, Ireland, and Continental Europe.
Gospel Halls seek to follow the pattern and principles of the New Testament church as described in the Bible, citing passages such as Acts 2:41–42, 1 Timothy 1:13, Hebrews 13:9, and Ephesians 4:14. Church fellowship rather than church membership is the emphasis. Their desire is to be Christ-centered and gospel-focused. Believing in the headship of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:18), Gospel Halls do not raise any one member into a position of leadership over the church, and there are no paid clergy. They believe a pastoral calling is a gift given to an individual believer and not an office of the local church. Gospel Halls usually select a group of spiritual overseers—elders and deacons who are responsible for making decisions—in accordance with Titus 1:5.
In practice and belief, Gospel Halls closely resemble the Plymouth Brethren. These Christians believe in the inspiration of Scripture and that the 66 canonical books of the Bible are the ultimate guide and authority for the believer’s life and relationship with God. They are evangelical in that they believe in the sacrificial death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. Gospel Halls stress the importance of meeting together regularly for worship to receive instruction in God’s Word and to encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25). Communion is a central expression of their worship. They accept the doctrine of the Trinity, the reality of hell, and the promise of eternal life in heaven for all who accept God’s free gift of salvation. All born-again Gospel Hall believers are encouraged to take the next step of obedience through baptism by immersion.
In a typical Sunday Gospel Hall meeting, Christians share in the Lord’s Supper (“Breaking of Bread”), or Communion, each week. After the Lord’s Supper, the Gospel Meeting takes place. Bible teaching and preaching are presented by men who are gifted in these areas. Generally, women wear a head covering and are silent participants in corporate worship. Children are taught in age-appropriate Sunday school settings. Contemporary music is considered shallow, distracting, and fleshly, so worship usually consists of singing a cappella hymns. Other gatherings, such as revival meetings, prayer meetings, Bible study meetings, and conferences, are held regularly at Gospel Halls.