Our Heritage: Deer Lake Assembly – Port Sydney, Ontario

Christian first gathered unto the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ at Deer Lake around 1890. They probably first met in the home of John and Martha Nickason or James W. Nickason.

Mr. David Scott came to Deer Lake in 1889 or 1890 and found some receptive to the gospel. He found an old school in which to preach and labored until he saw an assembly planted. He even brought his bride here and stayed until he saw a hall built—the Deer Lake Gospel Hall. The Christians, under Mr. Scott’s direction, built the little Gospel Hall on a piece of land across from the lake on the north side of Stephenson Road 1 in 1897.

In addition to Mr. Scott, some of the early preachers were Mr. N. D. Brown, Mr. J. J. Rouse, Mr. McCartney, Mr. McClintock, Mr. Fred Watson, Mr. Telfer, Mr. Shivas, Mr. Sylvester, Mr. Steen, Mr. Jim Lyons, Mr. Omen Sprunt, Mr. Herb Harris, Mr. E.D. Heels.

One early member in the assembly was Mr. Herbert Taylor who was saved in 1891, baptized in Deer Lake, and received into the Deer Lake assembly. He moved west in 1901 and settled near Taylorside, Saskatchewan (named after him). Brother Taylor was responsible for the forming of the Taylorside assembly.

It seems that the assembly ceased to break bread about 1925. Those who were exercised traveled to Huntsville to remember the Lord, among which was the Huggins family. Alfred Huggins and his sister Esther continued on with a Sunday School, and preachers continued to come and have a gospel series every summer. Esther Huggins married George Cottrill of Huntsville in 1930, so her brother Alf was left to carry on the Sunday School alone, which he did for over 40 years.

Assembly Recovery

There was a revived interest around Deer Lake in the 1950’s when some were saved, some restored, and some exercised to gather in the Lord’s Name. Many from the Deer Lake area became part of the Huntsville assembly. From the late 1950’s on there were regular gospel meetings in the little Hall at Deer Lake. The Sunday School grew and some young men helped Brother Huggins.

In the 1960’s, it became obvious that a bigger hall was needed and some Christians in Huntsville began to consider an addition. In the mid-1970’s, after some good gospel series, serious thought was given to the idea of enlarging the little Hall. A building fund was started at Huntsville. We had a number of meetings and sought a suitable plan, but there was just not adequate room.

Just at that time, a young exercised brother was able to get a nice level lot across from Brother Huggins’ house and he donated it for the site of a new Gospel hall. There were about 30 from Deer Lake in fellowship in the Huntsville assembly. There was an exercise to hive off and revive the testimony at Deer Lake. The Lord encouraged our exercise with several large donations and work began in August of 1976. The work progressed well, as the people had a heart for it. Christians from other assemblies came to help, some from as far as Earlton-Charlton.

The building was ready for use in the fall. In September 1977, we gathered to remember the Lord as an assembly of Christians gathered to the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. What a privilege to gather thus!