While we were living in Kapuskasing, Bruce Rodgers and I had some Gospel meetings and Bible studies in Timmins at the request of three couples who were saved. We pitched the tent there in July 1984, helped in the preaching by brother Andrew Fletcher. A Catholic man in his late twenties attended well and professed while reading “Safety, Certainty and Enjoyment.” The following summer, Doris and I moved the family to Timmins.
Tent meetings were held in the summer of 1985. Damage was done to the tent twice by vandals including the stealing of a large canvas text. The meetings were not in vain as our elder daughter Sara Jane professed to be saved. Following the tent meetings, we began using our basement for meetings.
Bruce and Becky Rodgers moved to Timmins in the summer of 1986. With the help of visiting Christians, we distributed thousands of invitations to tent meetings. The response was poor, but a young Catholic man told us the last night of the meetings that he had gotten saved the night before. His parents put him out of the house because he refused to recant. He went to Toronto to attend college that fall and began attending the Eglinton Avenue Gospel Hall where he was baptized in January of 1987.
In 1987, we pitched the tent again and had ten thousand invitations distributed with the help of believers who gave some of their holiday time to this work. Brother Paul Markle had two weeks of childrens meetings in the mornings. We experienced the most direct opposition in the work so far as the tent was pulleddown once by a storm and three or four times by vandals. They slashed the ropes and the canvas. It was sickening to see the satanic symbol (inverted cross) slashed on the canvas walls. Later that year, two families left us to attend elsewhere, causing us much discouragement.
Finally, on April 1, 1990, we remembered the Lord Jesus as a little flock (twelve) for the first time. Later that summer, a young Jewess began asking questions and started reading. She got saved, without ever having heard the Gospel preached. It is a great joy to see her in the assembly today.
The work here has been marked by a number of trials and heavy losses. My faithful and loving wife died of liver cancer on November 16, 1992. Four months later to the day, another dear sister, Marlene Scott, was called Home suddenly in a vehicle accident. The assembly then saw a period of growth in numbers as over a dozen were added in 1994 alone. Both Steve Scott and I were blessed of God in marrying wives who had been friends in London, Ontario (Lena Cake and Marlene Patterson respectively). With the upsurge in numbers, the school library where we were holding our meetings was becoming crowded. A suitable building lot was purchased and brother Bruce spent many hours working in conjunction with an architect on building plans. Brother Gordon Farnsworth acted as building superintendent in the summer of 1995 as many saints from other parts donated their time and funds to see an excellent hall completed. We close this article with thanksgiving… “TO GOD BE THE GLORY!”