The Glenlock Bible Camp conducted on the banks of the River Murray near the town of Waikerie is well known throughout Australia and overseas. The Camp is organised and run by a committee of brethren representing most South Australian Ecclesias with strong support from the local Glenlock Ecclesia. The Glenlock Ecclesia is, in fact, one of the oldest in the State and the following report presents a brief outline of the history of the ecclesia.

Sister Una Lunn began regular Memorial Meetings in her home at Glenlock in the year 1933. Often these meetings comprised just herself and her family. Her sister, Sister Elspeth Gogler, joined her in about 1946.

The meetings continued in her home until 1956 when the river Murray flooded and the water went through her home. The Ecclesia by this stage had grown to seven members. From 1956 until 1959 Memorial Meetings were held in the home of Brother Mac and Sister Doreen McLean. From 1959 the Memorial Meetings were held in the home of Brother Murray and Sister Audrey Lunn (who are still members of the Ecclesia), until 1967 when, in July of that year, the Ecclesial Hall was opened and the first two weekends of that month were given over to Hall opening activities.

At the time of the Hall opening the Ecclesia had grown to 29 members and a few children. The Ecclesia, after the Hall opening, displayed the Bible Exhibition at Mildura in Victoria. An interested friend was gained from that exhibition who later became the first convert in the Mildura area. That brother today is a member of the Glenlock Ecclesia – Brother Ralph Barnett.

The Glenlock and Mildura Ecclesias developed side by side, with much assistance in those early days given to the Mildura Ecclesia from the members of the Glenlock Ecclesia.

As the children increased, it was necessary to add a room on the side of the Hall for Sunday School purposes.

As time advanced and the Ecclesia grew, it brought with it changes such as a ballot system for Ecclesial appointments. Sunday School had been originally by correspondence but it was then held on a twice a month basis, until eventually it became weekly.

It was found that people would not respond by attending Bible lectures in the Ecclesial Hall, 16 kilometres from the nearest town. So it became necessary to use public halls in the Riverland towns to present the Gospel message.

By 1981 it was decided to extend the main hall because the Ecclesia had grown to 34 members and 28 children.

In 1993 the Ecclesia had reached the point where further extensions were necessary, changing the direction of the main hall and adding four rooms for Sunday School. The Ecclesial Hall is now capable of seating in excess of 200 and the Ecclesia has grown to 86 members and 38 young people and children, with 8 babies expected this year (2 having already been born during the month of May).

The Ecclesia is in a unique position, being in a rural area and yet only about two hours drive from Adelaide. The Ecclesia has many visitors and visiting speakers during the year. In recent months there has been a number of occasions when in excess of 50 visitors have been present on a Sunday morning, as a result of weddings or kitchen teas and before and after the Glenlock Bible Camp.

The Ecclesia is closely linked with the South Australian Suburban Ecclesias, forming part of the South Australian Inter Ecclesial Advisory Committee.