History of Gospel Preaching in New Brunswick - Chapter 4 - Bryants Corner

 Chapter 4

Bryants Corner

Mrs. George Morton of Moncton, a granddaughter of Mr. & Mrs. Reuben Morton, wrote the following account of the Assembly work in Bryants Corner

Miss Margaret Betts (a sister of Mr. Andrew Betts of Main River, Kent County) was nursing in Boston and was concerned there was not any Gospel preachers in that area and she made it known to the Christians in Boston. They contacted Mr. W. N. Brennan and Mr. Robert Milnes, workers in Nova Scotia and a short time later, they arrived at the Betts home in Main River. Miss Betts paid their room and board as none of Andrew Betts? family were saved at that time. The preachers travelled the dusty country roads on their bicycles inquiring if any Christians lived nearby. They were told to go and see Mrs. Charity MacPherson in Smiths Corner which they did and invited the family to the Gospel meetings in the tent in Main River. During 1914 and 1915, several were saved including four of the MacPherson family. Mrs. Angus (Charity) MacPherson who lived in Kent County, had heard the Gospel when Mr. John Martin from Kilmarnock, Scotland, came to the area in the 1880's, and also when Mr. Scott was preaching there but she was not saved until April 12, 1911 while reading her Bible at home in Smiths Corner, Kent County.

Two baptisms took place in the nearby brook in November 24, 1915 and August 19, 1917. At intervals, from 1917 to 1921, Mr. W. N. Brennan and Mr. Milnes and Mr. Ansley Goodwin continued to preach in the Main River area.

Early in the spring of 1921, Mr. Isaac McMullen arrived in Bryants Corner and got permission to preach the Gospel in the schoolhouse even though there was some opposition. He laboured alone for weeks with the schoolhouse filled to capacity each night, still no one got saved. He wondered at times if God had really called him to this work as there seemed no strength to bring forth new birth. He went to the meeting on Easter Sunday, and had the thought in his mind that if no one got saved that night, he would go back to Toronto to the shoemaking business. That night while preaching with vigour, he accidentally hit the oil lamp and it smashed to the floor. The interest was so great that no one moved and Mr. McMullen continued to preach and a goodly number were saved that night. At the close of the series of meetings, 26 souls had been saved.

During the summer of 1921, Mr. Brennan, Mr. J. T. Dickson and Mr. Isaac McMullen had tent meetings in the area and more souls were saved. Another baptism took place on the last Sunday in July, 1921. 21 were baptized.

A few months earlier, the Christians were exercised about buying land on which a building was to be erected for the preaching of the Gospel and the deed was registered in August, 1921.

The trustees were:

Mr. Joseph Ward

Mr. Sylvanus Chapman

Mr. Wilkinson Ward

Mr. Robert Lynds

for Christians gathered to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

 

The land was also to be used for a burying ground for Christians in the area and those having Christians connections. A building was not erected and the Christians met at the home of Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Ward.

When many of the Christians in the area died, they were buried in the cemetery awaiting the shout to rise up!

This is Margaret Morton?s list of the Christians in fellowship in the Assembly in Bryants Corner which was formed in 1921:

Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Ward

Mr. & Mrs. Wilkinson Ward

Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Betts

Mrs. Peter Johnston

Mr. & Mrs. William Byrant

Mr. & Mrs. Sylvanus Chapman

Mrs. Angus MacPherson

Mr. & Mrs. Andrew Porter

Mrs. Bertha Petley

Mrs. Margaret Little

Mr. & Mrs. Harvey Chapman

Mr. & Mrs. John Timson

Stella Lynds

Mr. Bert Fearon

The above Christians were in the Bryants Corner Assembly in the very early years and all the information given is from stories told us by our mother and older members of our family, dates from Bibles and excerpts from accounts written by Christians and preserved by our family through the years. Several of the younger Christians saved during the early years left the area to work in Moncton and were in fellowship in the Moncton Assembly including: Mary MacPherson (Barnes), Fred Ward, Violet Ward (Lynds), Wesley Lynds, Robert Lynds, Viola Young (Betts), Agnes Young, Mrs. Mel Beers, Nancy Lynds (Walker), Stella Lynds (Graham).

Mr. Brennan continued to visit the area for several years having meetings in the schoolhouses until his health prevented him from doing so. The Lord called him home in late 1943.

Mr. McMullen?s interest continued, though many of the Christians had moved away. He always had a special love for the descendants of those who were born again during the time he laboured faithfully in the Bryants Corner area.

The Assembly here continued even though many had gone home to Heaven and others had moved away to seek employment elsewhere until shortly before Mr. Joseph Ward went home to heaven in November 1937. Previous to his death, the following were in fellowship, while many others were in fellowship in Assemblies in different parts of Canada and the US: Mr. & Mrs. Joseph Ward, Mr. & Mrs. Wilkinson Ward, Mrs. Angus MacPherson and Maude Robinson.

Stella Lynds was saved as a young girl in the Sunday School when Mary MacPherson was teaching a class. She was baptized in the Hudson Brook when she was only a young girl and was in the assembly in Bryants Corner and was also in the Moncton assembly when she moved there to go to work at Eaton?s. When she left New Brunswick for the United States, like many of the Bryants Corner Christians did, she sailed to Boston from Saint John on the ship The Governor Dingley with her sister

 

Nancy. Greta Montrose, later Bagnell, also went to the Boston area and worked in a jewellery store there with Nancy Lynds.

Mr. Fred Ward, Mrs. Angus MacPherson and Robert and Ella Lynds all moved to Moncton and were in the assembly there for many years. Margaret Ward, when married Bob MacNeill, also came to Moncton and is still in fellowship in the Moncton Assembly.

When Mr. Norman MacNeil of Moncton wrote in 1935 of the assemblies in the Maritimes, he had this to say about Bryants Corner:

At Harcourt and the villages within a radius of 20 miles, the Gospel has been preached for over 30 years by Messrs. Ansley Goodwin, William Brennan, David Scott, Robert Milnes, Isaac McMullen during which time a number were saved but not in sufficient numbers in any one place to start an assembly. In the year 1921, Messrs. Milnes and McMullen went to Bryants Corner, three miles from Harcourt and at that time, over 20 were saved and during the summer of that year, a testimony for Christ was planted there with 30 being gathered to His name. Since that time, quite a number of them have gone to their eternal home and others have moved elsewhere, so that at present, 1935, only 7 persons are in the assembly.