Assemblee Chretienne de Hearst, ON
Hearst, Ontario, boasts the only francophone assembly to be located in that province, Assemblée chrétienne de Hearst. The first reference to French assembly work in the area of northern Ontario dates to 1967, on the occasion of the commendation of Robert Hanks and his wife Hazel by four assemblies, two French and two English. It was noted at that time that this area “is as much a part of French Canada as is the Province of Quebec.”
From Timmins, Ontario, where the Hanks were located, an early visit was made to Hearst around 1968, followed by another some six years later. It was not until seven years beyond this, in 1981, that the existence of a French-speaking assembly at Hearst was reported in the pages of News of Quebec. By 1983, a remodeled three-room cottage was being used as a meeting place for the young assembly and the following year saw the arrival of full-time workers, Gérard Jolin and wife Angéline who would remain for twelve years. Since then, the assembly has had no resident worker. In the meantime, the present meeting place was constructed and ready for occupancy by 1987.
Off and on over the intervening years, various of the Lord’s servants have given a helping hand, among others Daniel Blanchet who laboured throughout northern Ontario and Québec for over twenty years. In spite of much effort and prayer, the meeting has remained small. The believers depend upon outside help not only for the ministry of the Word via video and the occasional visiting speaker but also for seasoned counsel and advice from elders serving elsewhere.