History of Gospel Preaching in New Brunswick - 3 - Moncton

Chapter 3 - Moncton
 
 Chapter 3

Moncton

Moncton, 60,000 population, is the second largest city in New Brunswick. Moncton in the early years was known for ship building which took place along the banks of the Petitcodiac River and Halls Creek. When sailing ships were obsolete, Moncton lost their main industry and many people lost their jobs.

For years, Moncton was the home of the general offices of the Canadian National Railway and the repair shops, where repairs were made on all their equipment. Hundreds of Moncton citizens were employed through the years at the CN until 1988 when the shops were closed and 1300 jobs were lost and the work was transferred to Montreal and Winnipeg. Two of the families in the Moncton Assembly had to leave because of the closure. Raj and Patrima Manuel and their three children had to move to Winnipeg and Rick and Pauline Pardy and their two sons went to Barrie, Ontario.

The T. Eaton Co. built a large catalogue building in the 1920's and a lot of people were employed there at one time or another in their lifetime. When attending high school, a lot of us had jobs after school and on Saturdays.

Later, a retail store was added to the catalogue building and Eaton’s was THE place to shop. In those days, going to town to shop was a social outing. Mothers dressed in their best and wheeled their babies in carriages and before they’d go into Eaton’s to shop, they would park their baby carriages outside with the babies sleeping in them. There was always a long line of carriages outside of Eaton’s store. The people standing

around waiting for buses would rock the carriages if the babies happened to awake.

After a few years, the catalogue business was slowing down and eventually was closed in 1976 putting many, many people out of work including Sam and Beth Cairns who moved to Halifax with their two daughters, Charlotte and Caroline.

Moncton’s motto is RESURGO and it means "To Rise Again" and this is what Moncton has had to do when some of their largest businesses have ceased to exist.

When the CN and Eaton’s were at their peak, nobody in Moncton could ever have imagined that one day they would be no more but as they carried on when the ship building ceased so they would do again.


My interest in the history of the early days of the Assembly in Moncton began with the suggestion of Beth Cairns (Mrs. Sam Cairns) that we start to get information on the history of the Mountain Road Gospel Hall. We had a hard time getting together and I started to visit the older Christians and took along a tape recorder to record our conversations. I visited Helen (Mrs. Russell Morton), Lawrence and Bertha Adsett, Margaret (Mrs. George Morton), Ed and Annie Stuart, Hazel Budd, Frances Crandall and Mary MacQuarrie and have talked to many people since trying to get information of the Moncton Assembly’s beginnings.

In September 1919, Mr. Brennan and Mr. Milnes had tent meetings in Moncton. This tent was pitched on the corner of St. George and Enterprise Streets. Mrs. John Crandall was saved at these meetings. Mr. Crandall had been saved sometime before when Mr. Kenyon was preaching at the Highfield Baptist Church. They both were received into the Assembly in 1920. Several were saved at these meetings and on November 9, 1919, seven Christians met as an assembly to remember the Lord Jesus Christ:

Mr. & Mrs. J. Harris Bears

Mr. Norman MacNeil

Mr. & Mrs. Fred Nichols

Kate MacLeod

Mrs. Carr

Mr. & Mrs. Bears had moved to Moncton from New Scotland and he operated a shoe store called the Economy Shoe Repair on the corner of High and Dufferin Streets. Mr. I. McMullen often helped in the shop with Mr. Bears as he was an experienced shoemaker. Someone told me that Mr. Bears had a sign in the shop that said, "IN GOD WE TRUST, ALL OTHERS CASH".

Mr. Bears was very interested in having an assembly in Moncton and it was through him that the preachers came to preach the Gospel here. The Christians met first in a little meeting room above a grocery store at 347 St. George Street.

A short time later, they moved to a larger room on the second floor in the Steeves block at 326 St. George Street.

Ned Trites told me that some of the men who preached there called it a "sweat box" as the room was so small. As you went up the stairs to the meeting room, you could smell the aroma from the meals being cooked in the different apartments, cabbage and fish being the most offensive. They also shared a bathroom on that floor.

Mr. MacNeil had started an Assembly Roll Book and those listed as being in the assembly in the 1920's were:

Mr. James Harris Bears 377 St. George St.

 

Mrs. James Harris Bears

Mr. Delbert Biggar

Mr. John Crandall 504 St. George St.

Mrs. John Crandall

Mrs. Margaret Gourley 107 John St.

Mrs. Beverly Linden Sunny Brae

Mr. Ernest Morton Cherryfield

Mrs. Ernest Morton

Mr. Donald Macdonald 28 John St.

Mr. Isaac McMullen 45 York St.

Mrs. Isaac McMullen 45 York St.

Mr. Norman MacNeil Weisner Road

Mrs. Angus MacNeil Weisner Road

Mrs. MacFarland 176 Park St.

Mr. Fred Nichols 101 North St.
Mrs. Fred Nichols

Mr. Angus Sherwood 130 Cornhill St.

Mr. Fred Ward 1365 Main St.

Miss Violet Ward Atlantic Hostel,

Church St.

Viola Young 90 Fleet St.

Mr. MacNeil added the following names in the Roll Book for the 1930's and 1940's:

 

Mr. Lawrence Adsett

Mrs. Lawrence Adsett

Mr. Eric Adsett

Mrs. Eric Adsett

Mrs. Frank Adsett

Mr. Arthur Bears

Mrs. Arthur Bears

Mr. Wilfred Budd

Miss Marjorie Budd

Miss Edna Budd

Mr. James Budd

Mrs. James Budd

Miss Eleanor Bateman

Miss Pauline Bateman

Mrs. Frances Bannister

Mrs. Walter Budd

Mr. Blake

Mr. Barton Crandall

Mrs. Barton Crandall

Mr. Hiram Coates

Mrs. Hiram Coates

Mr. Ellsdon Coates

George Christopher

Mrs. William Coates

Mrs. Orville Fisher

Mrs. Charles Holmden

Mrs. Edna Humphrey

Mrs. Hopey

Mrs. Matilda Harris

Mr. Loweth Hansen

Mrs. Hansen

Mr. John Linden

Mrs. John Linden

Miss Edna Linden

Mrs. Walter Lewis

Mrs. Fred Lewis

Miss Freda Lauder

Mrs. Linkletter

Mr. Robert Lynds

Mrs. Robert Lynds

Mrs. Ken Leaman

Mr. Earl Morton

Mrs. Earl Morton

Mr. Austin Morton

Mr. Ralph Morton

Mr. Allison Morton

Mr. Ernest Morton, Jr.

Mr. Russell Morton

Mrs. Russell Morton

Mr. George Morton, Sr.

Mr. George Morton, Jr.

Mrs. George Morton

Mr. Harold Morton

Mrs. Harold Morton

Miss Pearl Mitchell

Miss Emma Moore

Miss Ellen Moore

Mrs. John Martin

Mr. Gerald Mitchell

Mrs. Norman MacNeil

Miss Alison MacNeil

Mrs. Alex MacNeil

Miss Margaret MacNeil

Mr. William MacNeil

Mrs. William MacNeil

Mr. Robert MacNeil

Mrs. Robert MacNeil

Miss Frances McMullen

Mr. Burton McMullen

Mr. James MacKenzie

Mrs. James MacKenzie

Miss Kathryn MacKenzie

Mrs. Silas McQuarrie

Mr. Robert McCracken

Mrs. Robert McCracken

Miss Kate MacLeod

Miss Lillian MacKay

Mrs. Edith Nichols

Mrs. Laura Ogden

Miss NelliePotter

Miss Winnie Sutherland

Mrs. Schofield

Mr. William Stuart

Miss Jean Stuart

Miss Alice Stuart

Mr. Edgar Stuart

Mrs. Edgar Stuart

Miss Phyllis Stuart

Miss Mary Stuart

Mr. Edward Stuart

Mrs. Edward Stuart

Mrs. Myrtle Smith

Miss Jean Smith

Mr. Edward Trites

Mrs. Edward Trites

Mr. Samuel Teed

Mrs. Samuel Teed

Mrs. Fred Ward

Mrs. Katherine Ward

Mrs. Joseph Ward

Mrs. Vance Williams

Mrs. Ronald Williams

Frank Workman

Mrs. Fred Walsh

Miss Betty Wright

Mr. John Weldon

Mr. Vance Williams

Mrs. Bernie Young

 

As the Gospel was faithfully preached by the afore-mentioned brethren and continued to be preached until the older men either moved from the area or went to be with their Lord, younger men came to Moncton to preach the Gospel.

Mr. Isaac McMullen preached in the Moncton area from 1921 until his home call in 1950.

While gathering information for this history, many people, older now, remember going to meetings where Mr. McMullen preached the Gospel in Dundas, New Scotland, Bryants Corner, Cherryfield, Sunny Brae, Berry Mills, and in parts of Albert County as well as in the city of Moncton, and of how they had trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

 

 

John and Robert McCracken came to the area in 1938-39 and so many more were saved at that time that the assembly had to move to larger quarters.

The descendants of the Mortons, MacNeils and Bears are now in the fifth generation in the Moncton Assembly.

The MacNeil descendants in Moncton are few, just Jim MacNeil and his wife Barbara and two in-laws, Margaret Ward MacNeil and the writer. Other MacNeil descendants are in assemblies in Canada and the United States, and many others of this family are saved, but at present are not in assembly fellowship. John and Lorraine MacNeil moved to Alberta with their children Melissa, Michael and Matthew when John was transferred due to a phase out of his workplace in Moncton.

The Mortons also saw many saved, but likewise have moved and are in assemblies in many different places. Ernest Morton, Sr’s sons, Ralph, Ivan and Austin moved to British Columbia, as did Ernest Morton, Jr’s daughters, Inez (Mrs. Vern Anderson) and Ruth (Mrs. Ron Porter) and two of Earl’s sons who moved to British Columbia were saved there, Peter and Victor Morton.

The Stuart family still have three generations in fellowship in Moncton. Mr. William Stuart was spoken to about salvation by Mr. Nick Bursey when they worked at the CN shops in Moncton. Mr. Fred Nichols who also worked at the shops and was in the Moncton Assembly, invited Mr. Stuart to a Gospel meeting that Mr. McMullen was having in the Moncton area and Mr. Stuart was saved in 1931. When a tent was pitched in Sunny Brae in 1933, Edward Stuart, a son of Will Stuart, was saved. Ed’s and Annie’s son Ronald was saved in 1958 when Ernie Sprunt was having Gospel meetings and in 1965, their other son Jim was saved when Ernie Sprunt was in Moncton again having Gospel meetings.

Also in 1933, Jim and Eva MacKenzie and Lawrence and Eric Adsett were saved and more that we don’t have a record of.

As the number of people in the assembly in Moncton increased in the 1940's, a building fund was started in 1944 and consequently, land was purchased at the corner of Mountain Road and Lutz Street in 1946 for $2,000. The buildings that were on the lot at that time were rented out until the building of the hall was started. The building fund continued to grow and after several meetings of the assembly, plans were obtained for a new Gospel Hall. The 32' X 60' size agreed upon was questioned as it would not have been wide enough, if in the future, an addition would be needed. After some discussion, it was decided the building should be 3' wider and this was approved. Modern Construction’s tender for $30,850. which included steel I-Beams and steam heating, was accepted and the construction of the new building commenced in 1950.

When it came time to think about seating, my father, Jack Wright, told Mr. MacNeil that the Capitol Theater on Main Street was installing new seats, and the old seating was for sale. This seating was purchased for the building and consisted of row seats with wooden seats and backs and they were anchored to the hardwood floors on iron legs in the main auditorium and in the balcony. Moveable chairs were used at the front of the hall on Sunday mornings for the Remembrance meeting, as we gathered around our Lord Jesus Christ for the breaking of bread.

The Assembly moved from the room at 124 Archibald Street to 195 Mountain Road in October, 1950. Nobody was sorry to leave the Archibald Street location as the room was on the third floor and was a very difficult climb for the older Christians. They would have appreciated a "lift" such as is in the hall today.

The hardwood floors in the new hall were very hard to maintain and at least once a year, before the Easter Conference, they were scrubbed and treated. This was a job done on your knees and Mary Stuart and Pearl Mitchell stand out in my mind as very hard workers when this job had to be done, with the help of others.

Some years later, the row seats in the auditorium were removed in favour of more comfortable chrome chairs. The hardwood floors were all carpeted at that time. The seats in the balcony were not removed, and are still there, almost fifty years later.

Every fall, the men would hold a work day to put the storm windows on for the winter and every spring, they would have another work day to take them off. This involved cleaning all the windows too. A few years ago, new windows were installed and then the spring and fall window changing was no longer necessary.

When the adjoining lot on Lutz Street was up for sale, in 1955, the Assembly bought it for $6,500. as they were thinking that if an addition was made to the building, it was necessary to have the land for an extension. Also, as more people bought cars, space was needed for parking.

In 1997, a new addition was constructed to the front of the building. It was originally thought that an extension would be added to the back of the building but because the land was needed for parking, this was not possible. A lift for wheelchairs and the elderly, was installed on the ground level by the new entrance. Also, there was now room for a wheelchair accessible washroom on the main floor and new coat racks in the large foyer.

 

Procuring of Marriage License

In 1953, there was a need to have someone in the assembly to hold a permanent marriage license. Norman MacNeil and George Heidman did all the correspondence over several months, with the New Brunswick government to obtain this license. George Heidman was given this license to marry in 1953.

Before this was granted, anyone performing a marriage in New Brunswick had to get a license for that one wedding only and an application had to be made for each subsequent marriage. When George had the permanent license, all other preachers, wanting permission to perform a marriage, had to go through him for the permit. The law has changed recently and it is not so difficult to obtain a license to marry. Bill Swan of the Moncton Assembly now has a license.

 

Incorporation

In 1962, the elders in Moncton applied to the Government of Canada for Incorporation, as Christians gathered in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. The name given by the government was "Christian Brethren". The reason for being incorporated was that the elders in the assembly would be held responsible financially, if for some reason, a mortgage was not paid or if anyone was injured on the property, so therefore, by incorporation, this burden would be lifted from them.

The following were the board of trustees at that time:

 

Donald Macdonald

Ernest Morton

Fred Ward

Eric Adsett

Fred Nichols

Norman MacNeil

Lawrence Adsett

Following is some information regarding the above-named men.

Donald Macdonald - 1886-1974

Mr. Macdonald was born in Scotland and emigrated to Canada with his family when he was five years old. The family settled in New Scotland, New Brunswick and his parents were in the Assembly in New Scotland. He moved to Moncton as a young man and went to work for the CNR and became a part of the Assembly in Moncton. In the early days of the Assembly, he taught Sunday School and later on was the Treasurer for many many years. He gave yearly reports on the finances of the Assembly and usually began by saying, "Better late than never, but better never late!"

Ernest Morton - 1892-1970

Mr. Morton was a son of Reuben and Mary Morton, who were both saved after David Scott came to New Brunswick in the 1890's and were in fellowship in the New Scotland Assembly. Mr. Morton was saved in 1915. Mr. John Martin had left a tract on a window sill and Ernest came into the house after plowing, and picked up the tract. He said, "That’s for me" and was saved while reading Romans 5:6.

He moved to Cherryfield, New Brunswick in 1920 where he had a farm. The property he owned stretched about halfway from the McLaughlin Road to the Irishtown Road and is now the site of the Royal Oaks Golf Course development. He married Ada Montrose from the Pugwash, Nova Scotia area and they raised eight sons.

About twelve of his progeny are in the Moncton Assembly at present. He was an elder in Moncton for many years.

Fred Ward - 1901-1969

Mr. Ward was born in Bryants Corner and was saved there in April, 1921 while attending a Gospel meeting where Mr. McMullen was preaching. He was in the assembly there until he came to Moncton to work at Eaton’s and for the rest of his life, he was in the Moncton Assembly where he was very active. He was a Sunday School superintendent. He took charge of the Friday Night meetings and was very involved in the D.V.B.S. (Daily Vacation Bible School) in Moncton.

He also worked along with the preachers, who went to Bryants Corner each summer for D.V.B.S. in the daytime and Gospel meetings at night. His sister and brother-in-law, Ella (Ward) Lynds and her husband Robert also had a great interest in this work. They spent much time in the preparations for the meetings, preparing the craft work for the children and showed great hospitality to the preachers and workers who went to help. Many, many children attended these meetings faithfully through the years they were able to hold them. George Heidman, Clark McClelland, James Comte, Wade LeBlanc and Harold Smith were some of the preachers who went each summer.

It was during D.V.B.S. in 1969 that while driving his car to the Gospel Hall to pick up children that he suffered a stroke and died in hospital in November, 1969.

Eric Adsett - 1906-1981

Eric was born in England and came to Canada with his family at an early age. They lived in different parts of the province and were living in Sunny Brae (then a suburb of Moncton) when he attended Gospel meetings in a tent. Mr. Isaac McMullen was preaching the Gospel and when Eric heard the truth and realized he was a sinner, he was born again in 1933. He was received into fellowship in the assembly which met in a room above a grocery store on St. George Street.

He became a great student of the Word of God and was a good teacher in the Sunday morning Bible readings and also in the Tuesday night (later on held on Wednesday nights) Bible readings through the years.

He and his wife, Florence, moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick, where their two sons were then living, and were in fellowship in the Assembly there. Eric died very suddenly in a parking lot in Fredericton after a sudden heart attack in 1981.

Fred Nichols - 1894-1966

Mr. Nichols came to Canada from England and was in an Assembly in Amherst, Nova Scotia before he moved to Moncton. He and his first wife, and his sister, Mrs. Carr, were three of the original members of the Moncton Assembly when it was formed in 1919, when he was 25 years old.

Mr. Nichols was the person who started the hymns in the Assembly and was never at a loss for a tune for any hymn given out in the meeting. After his first wife died, he married Edith West. Mr. Nichols died very suddenly during a Gospel meeting on a Sunday night in 1966. His widow, Edith, moved to Vancouver some years ago to be near her daughter, Ruth and her husband and children.

Norman MacNeil - 1885-1969

The following was taken from an Obituary in Food For the Flock, January, 1969.

Mr. MacNeil was born in November, 1885 in Black River, Kent County, New Brunswick. He was the fifth of ten children born to Angus and Elizabeth (Doige) MacNeil who were among the first in that area to be saved under the ministry of assembly preaching brethren.

Though raised by Godly parents and in a home where many of the early pioneer assembly workers were frequently entertained, it was not until after his service with the Canadian Army in World War 1 and at the age of 33 that he finally came to a saving knowledge of Christ. He came under conviction of sin through the preaching of Mr. W. N. Brennan and Mr. R. Milnes and was converted while recovering from a near fatal attack of influenza during the great epidemic of 1918.

He was one of the founders of the Moncton Assembly. For many years, the Lord’s Supper had been held periodically in his parents’ home. In 1919, with seven breaking bread together, the work was officially begun - a work which today has grown to the largest assembly in the Maritimes.

He was appointed correspondent, a position he held until the time of his death. A man of firm principles and powerful leadership, his spiritual influence was not limited to just his home assembly but was felt throughout the assemblies of the Maritimes.

He was a Regional Official of the CNR, when after forty years of service, he retired in 1950. His first love, however, was always that of the spread of the Gospel, to which he gave much of his spare energy and time. For many years, he assisted the efforts of those preachers who pioneered the early assembly work in the Maritimes by preaching at Cottage meetings and schoolhouses.

A bilingualist who spoke fluent French, he worked almost singlehandedly in bringing the Gospel to the French community. His passion for men’s souls and his zeal in the Gospel, never failed to the end.

In 1928, he married Margaret Brennan, the youngest daughter of his father in the faith. The home which they established during the four decades of their married life, became a warm haven and examples of Christians hospitality to countless numbers of the Lord’s servants, servicemen of World War II, Missionaries as well as to the local Christians. After a brief illness, he was called into the presence of his Lord in January, 1969.

Lawrence Adsett - 1907-

Lawrence, a younger brother of Eric Adsett, was also born in England and came to Canada at an early age.

His first contact with the assembly was also in the 1930's when he attended the same meetings in Sunny Brae as his brother Eric where Mr. McMullen was having meetings in a tent. He was a good church-going person and thought he was on his way to Heaven but discovered his need of a Saviour at these meetings. His testimony can be found in the "Testimonies" section of this book.

Lawrence had a gift of preaching the Gospel and also ministering to the Christians. He and Burton McMullen had many Gospel meetings together in Dundas and in Bryants Corner. Lawrence, though not in the best of health, is still able to get out to the meetings at the Gospel Hall. Lawrence is over 90 and his wife Bertha went to be with the Lord in the fall of 1999.

The above seven men were all elders for many years in Moncton.

 

Personal Workers

Raj Manuel who worked in the CNR shops in Moncton had received in the mail, tracts, with an offer for a New Testament which had been sent to him from the Tract Band of the Gospel Hall on Mountain Road. He looked at it and put it aside.

Raj had been saved as a boy in India and wanted to live in Canada as he heard it was a Christian country which would be so different from his own. He emigrated to Canada and was so surprised to hear people take his Lord’s name in vain and live lives that were far from Christian. He was disappointed that Canada was not a Christian country as he had thought while living in India.

One day, he picked up the offer of the New Testament and thought he would send for it as it was free and he wanted to give it to one of the men he had been talking to about the Gospel. Two men arrived at his home one day, John Craig and Jim Stuart who were delivering the New Testaments that people were writing in for. The men invited him to meetings at the Gospel Hall and out of curiosity he went. It was the last night of a series of Gospel meetings and he was so impressed with the Gospel message being preached so plainly that he told the elders that if they extended the meetings, he would be able to bring many of the men from work to hear the Gospel. The meetings were extended and he brought many of his fellow-workers to the meetings and some were saved.

He was already attending a church in the city but he was interested in the simplicity of the meetings and continued to go. After a time, he and his wife Patrima came into fellowship in the Moncton assembly. Raj was a great personal worker and spoke about the Lord Jesus Christ to the men at CN. He saw some saved and others concerned. A few of these men were French-speaking and were very interested in the Gospel message. A number were saved and eventually some of them came to the Mountain Road Gospel Hall, were baptized and came into fellowship. Their history is recorded in the French Assemblies. Raj and Patrima and their children, Rakesh, Moneesha and Girrish were sorely missed when the CN closed and they moved to Winnipeg and are now in an assembly in Winnipeg.

They were very hospitable and often invited Christians to their home for an Indian supper. They said they didn’t spice it up as much for their Canadian friends but it was HOT! My husband would take a bottle of ginger ale with him when he received Raj’s invitation and would try to

cool his mouth off with a cold drink but I have heard since that drinking water or ginger ale with Indian food makes it hotter!

Raj spoke to another man he used to share drives with to work, Rick Pardy. Rick Pardy was saved through Raj’s testimony and Raj and Pat invited Rick and Pauline to come to the Gospel Hall too. They decided that the Gospel Hall was the place for them and Rick also spoke to others of his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Through a friend Dave at CN, he obtained tickets for a Word of Life program at the Moncton High School. Those to whom he gave the tickets were Aurore LeBlanc, her brothers Frank and Roger, her boyfriend Greg Dollemont and her cousin Jackie Poirier. Aurore had been saved just a short time before and was anxious to see the others saved. Jackie and Roger both accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour that night.

Rick Pardy, with the help of Mark MacPherson, held Bible readings in the home of Rick’s friend Dave, who shared a house with Frank LeBlanc. When Frank and Dave moved out of that house, the Bible studies moved to Yvette Bourque’s home, a sister of Jackie Poirier. Bill Swan and Bobby Budd were the ones who held these studies and many people came to hear the Word of God discussed and many made professions of salvation. Some went on to prove their relationship with Jesus Christ was real and some did not.

Alton Stevenson attended these Bible studies and he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Saviour. He went to Fredericton to attend University and in his second year, he had a hard time finding someone to share his room as the students did not like him talking about the Bible to them. Jim Harper said he would share a room with him if Alton didn’t talk about the Bible. One night in Moncton, while sitting in a car at Bore Park with Alton, Bob Budd and Marc Babineau, Jim believed that what Alton had been telling was the truth and he trusted the Lord that night.

Also attending the Bible studies at Yvette’s home was David McQuinn. He was saved and was interested in the Assembly and how they gathered, and as a result, he came into the fellowship of the Assembly. Some time later, his parents, Everett and Noreen McQuinn also became part of the Assembly after having been in a denominational place for many years.

Frank LeBlanc was saved on May 4, 1984 at his home after attending many of the Bible studies at his cousin Yvette’s home.

Maurice Bourgeois met Bob Budd when he started working for Co-operators in 1987. In June, 1987, while on a course at the Memramcook Training Institute, he and Bobby Budd, while on a break, went for a walk in the cemetery which was close to the Training Institute. While walking through the cemetery, Bobby started talking about the Lord. In September of that year, Bobby invited Maurice to attend a Bible study in Riverview at Greg and Aurore Dollomont’s house. Maurice continued attending the studies for awhile and then stopped. He started attending the Thursday night Bible Studies in Dundas. And in February, 1988, he accepted the Lord as his Saviour.

In the summer of 1990, while at a bonfire in Shediac, Maurice had a conversation with Joanne LeBlanc, who was the sister of his best friend Frank Drisdelle. Joanne and Maurice started talking about the Lord and Frank and his wife Claudette were listening.

Bob Budd would often talk to Maurice about a French Christian, Richard Desrosiers, who had a gift for preaching the Gospel in French. In October, 1990, Maurice organized a Bible study at his home with Richard and invited his friends Frank and Claudette. Maurice’s two children, Annik and Luc, were also at this study and as a result, Maurice’s daughter professed salvation.

Frank and Claudette were saved in the fall of 1990 and started having Bible studies at their house. Claudette’s sister, Carm Powers, started attending these Bible studies in February, 1991 and was saved on April 30, 1991. Maurice, his daughter, Annik, Frank, Claudette, Carm and Bobby Budd’s youngest son, were all baptized in July, 1991. Maurice, Frank and Claudette, and Carm are presently in fellowship at the Moncton Assembly.

 

*********

To have some idea of the series of meetings that were held in Moncton through the years, I asked the Christians to write their names on the Bulletin Board at the Hall with the time of their salvation and if there were special meetings being held at the time.

The following people participated:

Edward Stuart

July, 1933

In a tent in Sunny Brae

Mr. Brennan and Mr. McMullen speaking.

Jean Stuart

February 18, 1943

Douglas Howard and Robert McCracken speaking.

Winnie Coates

November 7, 1943

Mr. J. T. Dickson and Mr. R. Roberts preaching in the Gospel Hall on Archibald Street.

Vance Williams

December 13, 1950

Reg Jordan and David Leathem speaking in the new Gospel Hall on Mountain Road

Betty Smith

January 22, 1958

George Heidman and Clark McClelland speaking in Gospel Hall, Mountain Road.

Allison Morton, Jr.

August 9, 1959

T. J. Wilkie and J. Blackwood were preaching the Gospel in a tent in Berry Mills.

Jim Stuart

April 11, 1965

Ernie Sprunt holding Gospel meetings. Saved on last night of series at home.

Mac Fraser

April 11, 1974

Saved one night at home after many visits from George Heidman who explained the Gospel to him.

 

 

Alton Stevenson

July 25, 1984

At Bible studies at Yvette Bourque’s with

Bill Swan and Bob Budd

Emily Scott

August 21, 1988

After Gospel meeting in Dundas

Bob Budd speaking

Carm Powers

April 30, 1991

At a Bible study at her sister Claudette Drisdelle’s home held by Richard Desrosiers.

Jim Harper

July 10, 1991

In Bob Budd’s car at Bore Park

These are just a few of the souls saved through the Gospel being preached in Moncton, many others were saved and have moved from this area.

 

Sunday Schools

The Sunday School work in Moncton started in the early days of the assembly and has been a wonderful outreach. Many, many children have passed through the assembly Sunday School and many have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and come into fellowship. The seed was sown in many young hearts and can still bring forth fruit unto salvation. Mr. Donald MacDonald and Mr. J. H. Bears and others taught in the early Sunday Schools as well as Norman MacNeil who taught the older ones in a Bible class.

Many teachers through the years had the opportunity to tell the children of God’s love for them and of the Lord Jesus Christ dying for their sins. The attendance increased through the years and seemed to peak during the late 60's and early 70's when classes were held in every available space in the hall at 195 Mountain Road.

The basement, at that time, had no classrooms and wires were put up to hang curtains for dividers and there were at least seven classes held in the basement. The front part of the upstairs auditorium was also curtained off into two classrooms. The little room at the front of the auditorium and the room upstairs over the platform, and sometimes the women’s coatroom were all put into use for the Sunday School classes. In those days, a Bible class was held in the balcony with Norman MacNeil or Eric Adsett teaching this class.

The following is a list of Sunday School students in 1950:

ADSETT Frank, Lois

BLAKENEYS Joan, Marlene, Marilyn, Arthur, Roger

BUDD Vaughn, Carol, Helen, Ray, Joyce

BROLEY Bobby

CRANDALL Bobby, Myrna

COATES Marion

HUMPHREY Donalda

KELLY Zita, Sharon

LEBLANC, Douglas, Ruth

LINDEN Donald, David, Elaine, Anne

LYNDS Katherine

LEAMAN Bernice, Hilda

 

MORTON Alison, Mae, Cecil, Clayton, Ronald, Tommy, Joyce, June, Frances, Inez, Ruth

MCCRACKEN David, Alan

MITCHELL Gerald

MACNEIL Gordon

SHARPE Billy

WARD John, Margaret Ann

WORTMAN George, Karen

WILLIAMS Harold, Vaunda, Carlene

When Mr. Fred Ward died, money was given in his memory and was used toward the building of six Sunday School classrooms in the basement. Mr. Ward was a Sunday School Superintendent for many years and was dearly loved by all the children.

 

Many of the Sunday School teachers would take their own classes on outings and on one of these outings Burton McMullen took his class of boys to Fundy Park for the day. On their way home, they had the misfortune of hitting a moose. He had his whole Sunday School class in the car, seven boys as well as his niece Anne Linden and Tommy, his five-year-old son. Not one of the children suffered any injuries for which we were thankful to the Lord. David McCracken Oliver was one of the boys and it is still an incident he has never forgotten.

 

Sunday School "Treats", as they were called then, were held in January every year and many children recited scriptures and Gospel poems and sang Sunday School choruses. Some of these children were quite nervous about this public speaking occasion but did their best under the circumstances. There were two little sisters that stand out in my memory at a Sunday School Treat. They had verses to say and one little girl would say a few words and cry and then another few words and cry and so on to the end of the verse but she always managed to quote the whole verse through her tears.

 

The following is a program for an annual Sunday School Treat which was held on December 13, 1987:

 

Opening Chorus

Brief address to parents

Opening Prayer

Welcome - Tina Johnson

 

Theme this year - FAITH

Bill Johnson’s class

Bradley Stuart Sharica Parlee

Wayne Morton Chris Powers

Melissa MacNeil Chris Cairns

Amy Hannah Mike Leger

Cal LeBlanc

Doris Fraser’s class ENOCH

Tina Johnson Wayne Melanson

Rick LeBlanc Erin Eastwood

Natasha Powers

Judy Eastwood’s class ABRAHAM

Christopher Morton Laura McMullen

Blair Horsman Krista Melanson

Trevor Morton

Two Choruses

Beth Cairns’ class WOMEN OF FAITH

Tracy LeBlanc Melissa Eastwood

Heather Hannah Trina Melanson

Angela Duncan

Betty McMullen’s class

Mark Kyle Jeremy Dollemont

Nicole Lyons Adam Morton

Michael MacNeill Kevin Horsman

Nausika Breau Jennifer Douthwright

Girrish Manuel Scott McMullen

Monesha Manuel

Chorus - STOP and let me tell you

Winnie Coates’ Class

Heidi Stuart Rakesh Manuel

Natasha Budd Mathew Morton

Lloyd Parlee Paul Melanson

Ray LeBlanc

Art Eastwood’s class HEBREWS

Brian Johnson Peter Eastwood

Billy Hannah Adrian LaBenne

Shane Morton Lorne Hannah

Mathew Buck Dennis Morton

Message - Bill Morton

Gifts for all students

Attendance Prizes

 

Closing Prayer

Treats for children while seated

The Sunday School teachers worked hard to get a program together and practice with the children. Each child received a brown paper bag which contained an apple, an orange, mixed hard candy, creams and chocolates and in later years maybe chips or bagged candy with the apple or orange.

Books and Bibles were given to the children at the Treats. The Superintendent would call each child to the front and award them their book. Mr. Ward kept a record each year of each child and the name of the book given to them that year. I have a book that was awarded to Burton in 1928 when he was just five years old.

Sunday School concerts are now held in December with each child receiving books, Bibles, and other gifts. Also, perfect attendance prizes were given to those who attended faithfully.

 

Sunday School Picnics

Sunday School picnics were something all the children looked forward to each year and they were usually held the second last Saturday in June with the last Saturday as a rain date.

Fred Ward was in charge of the arrangements for many years and kept a record of the food brought, the place they went to, how many attended, the weather that day, how they were transported, the cost of everything, the time they went, the time they returned and the person

who brought the Gospel message to the children which was usually an object lesson.

Fred Ward’s record of a Sunday School picnic held on June 18, 1960:

The location - Welling’s Beach, Shediac Cape area

Mr. Howard spoke. Mr. Delandrea and George Heidman were also there.

Bus left the hall at 12:45 and returned at 7:30.

Morning cloudy and hard to decide to go but had a good day.

Had to gather up quickly at 6:35 when we had a shower and by the time we got to the road, it did rain hard. Had over 200.

The menu was: potato salad, sandwiches, sweets. Had an excellent lunch.

Ellsdon Coates’ truck took two tables, five benches and eleven chairs from the hall, a kettle, three boilers and half a pound of tea.

Milk - donated

14 cases of pop, two cases for coolers $18.98

35 dozen Brookfield Revels $26.45

Grey Bus $21.00

Land $15.00

Prizes for races $10.29

Ice for coolers $1.40

After Mr. Ward died, Burton McMullen, Bill Swan, Sam Cairns and then back again to Bill Swan took over as Superintendents. The Superintendent’s work is now divided between David Patterson, Neil Morton and Ross Morton. In the early years, Donald Macdonald was the Superintendent of the Sunday School. Some locations for the picnics were Shediac Cape (Welling Property), Edgewater (property owned then by the Lewisville Baptist Church), Ing’s Intervale in Albert County, Sandy Beach, a few miles west of Shediac, Fundy National Park and recently in Moncton Centennial Park in the heart of the city. Races were always a big event with the children running for prizes in the various age brackets.