The Local Congregation of Altona, Ecclesiastical District of Australia West held its inaugural worship service on November 11, 2020, marking its official establishment as approved by the Church Administration.
The plan to establish the local congregation, which is located in the state of Victoria, began early this year. It had to be held off to a later date following the temporary ban on mass gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In August, Victoria experienced a second wave of infection as an average of 700 new cases were reported daily, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency and more than 100 days of lockdown.
The brethren from Altona, however, continued to attend videoconferencing household worship services prescribed by the Church Administration. They also further intensified the propagation of the gospel through evangelical missions online, bearing new members for the soon-to-be founded local congregation. Meanwhile, they included in their fervent prayers that they could once again hold worship services, this time in their own house of worship.
The Victorian State Government lifted the lockdown on November 8, 2020. On the 11th of the month, the brethren were blessed to hold the inaugural worship service of their newly established local congregation, while observing health protocols. Brother Romeo E. Beltran, district supervising minister, led them in the momentous sacred occasion. — With reports from INC News Section