Saint John Gospel Hall, NB
Also called Courtenay Avenue Gospel Hall
Saint John is the largest of the four cities in New Brunswick. It is situated at the mouth of the Saint John River and is New Brunswick’s Port City.
The story of the Saint John assembly begins with a man who had a vision. A vision to see assemblies planted and prosper in the Lord. George Heidman was commended from Dominion Gospel Hall, Orillia, ON, (Ontario) in August 1950 and moved to New Brunswick in 1952. In May 1953, he felt led to preach the Gospel in the city of Saint John. He and his wife Frances moved there, renting an apartment from Mrs. Murray, the sister of Mrs. Russell Morton of the Moncton assembly.
Mr. Heidman immediately began preaching in King's Square, a large park in the center of Saint John where many people walk through and enjoy the summer sunshine. After some time in this, he has gathered enough interest to start a well-attended Bible study in the home of James O’Neil, Mrs. Murray’s brother. Later, Mrs. Murray’s son, Don Murray offered the use of their home two nights a week for meetings. Mr. Heidman borrowed chairs from the YMCA and took them to the Murray’s home each week and then carted them back again. A good number of people attended these meetings each week.
On Sunday mornings, the Heidmans would travel to Moncton or Fredericton for the Remembrance Meeting. After a time, they felt they should stay in Saint John and start a Sunday School and a Bible class on Sunday mornings. Frances taught Sunday School in the kitchen while George had Bible studies in the living room. Gospel meetings began on Sunday nights in the large living room of the McCavours. Tract distribution was done regularly at the City Hospital, sanatorium, King’s Square and other various places.
In 1954, the first Remembrance Meeting of the Saint John assembly was held in the Heidman’s living room, with Mr. and Mrs. Donovan, Mr. McCavour, Fred Comley and the Heidmans meeting together to Remember the Lord.
In June 1954, Joe Donovan gave the assembly two lots of land next to his home on Courtenay Avenue on which to construct a building for meetings. The men of the Moncton assembly were very faithful; Burton McMullen and Fred Ward would bring a carload down on Saturdays and they would work all day on the building. Others from Moncton, Fredericton and other assemblies came to work on the hall as well. The Brock Avenue Gospel Hall in Toronto donated light fixtures. Another assembly donated all the chairs that were needed and shipped them to Saint John. Thus the Saint John Gospel Hall was finished.
The Gospel Hall was opened in February 1955. George Heidman’s father, August Heidman, preached the first message. Mr. Henry Fletcher of Toronto was at the opening and held Gospel meetings afterwards; a number professed to be saved. Mr. McNeil came often from the Moncton Gospel Hall and was a valuable mentor for George Heidman. Eric Adsett and Fred Ward as well as Burton McMullen and Lawrence Adsett came many times for the weekend to support the work and offer their assistance in the preaching. Clark McClelland often came to conduct series of meetings at the hall.
Christians from the Mispec area made up a great part of the Saint John meeting. Men in the assembly would drive to Mispec to pick up children for Sunday School. Members of the large Harold Eastwood family were always eager to come. The assembly grew as Christians from assemblies in Scotland came over to work in the Drydock. They were a help in the assembly both preaching the Gospel and ministering the word of God. Two of these men were Ian Adair and Duncan Maxwell.
In 1980, Wade LeBlanc heard the Gospel and trusted the Lord as his Savior. He soon began preaching at King's Square and became exercised about going out full-time preaching the Word of God throughout the Maritimes and beyond. The Saint John assembly was happy to commend him to the Lord's work.
When Paul Robertson returned from a few weeks in Ireland, he, his wife and family were interested in commendation as missionaries to Southern Ireland. The assembly was more than happy to commend him and his family and in the fall of 2001, the assembly said their goodbyes before they left to work for the Lord in Ireland.
In the spring of 2001, the need of a bigger Hall was expressed by the assembly. The Christians tried to sell the building in light of buying a larger building downtown. However, this did not seem to be the Will of the Lord so plans were started to extend on the the previous existing building. The auditorium was enlarged and an extra part was added to the side of the building. A large entry way as well as bathrooms, a nursery, a sound room and extra Sunday school classrooms were added some being on the top floor and some being downstairs.
In 2006, the assembly prepared for a massive distribution followed by a Gospel Outreach in the mall. Having had multiple Gospel Campaigns before the Christians felt prepared. However, this was to be one of the largest Campaigns in Atlantic Canada that summer. With the aid of surrounding assemblies, Saint John was blitzed with Seed Sowers packages containing a text with an explanation of the verse as well as a VIA magazine and invitation to the Gospel Meetings. The speakers were Matthew Cain from Halifax and Eric Fowler from Saint John’s, Newfoundland. The first Sunday night there were almost 100 people attending. The meetings were well attended for the rest of the month as well as much support in the meetings from the Christians at the Sussex assembly. When the meetings were over only one person professed salvation. The Christians were somewhat discouraged however they realized that this was all in the Will of the Lord.
A few weeks later, someone who had received the Seed Sowers and been to one of the meetings called and asked if the Christians would come and have Gospel Meetings in their area, the town of Lepreau, 20 minutes from Saint John. Wade Leblanc took the meetings along with the Gospel Tent and by the time the meetings were over, there were 9 people professed to be saved. A few weeks later, Mr. LeBlanc continued door to door and saw 3 more profess salvation. The Christians saw that the previous work was not in vain and that the Lord had answered prayers and souls were saved.
The Christians plan again to have a large Gospel Campaign this spring. As well as continue the work in the general area of Lepreau.
Even today, the assembly goes to King’s Square every Lord’s Day of the warmer months and preaches the Gospel along with tract distribution. Various people have been saved through this outreach and have joined the assembly or gone to various other assemblies throughout North America.
- Every Sunday afternoon after Ministry meeting, during the warmer seasons, the believers go up to Kings Square to proclaim the Gospel in the open air.
- A Gospel Campaign is also being planned for April where Seed Sowers will be handed out to the entire city of Saint John following Gospel meetings each night in the mall.
- Current Address
61 Courtenay Ave
Saint John, NB (New Brunswick),
- Email: email@example.com,
- Contact Address
5 Charity Lane
9:00 a.m. Lord's Supper
11:00 a.m. Sunday School & Ministry Meeting
7:00 p.m. Gospel Meeting
7:00 p.m. Prayer & Bible Study
9:00 a.m. Ladies Bible Study
7:30 p.m. Young Peoples
Canada Wade LeBlanc (Canada-Atlantic Provinces)
Overseas Paul & Melonie Robertson (Ireland)