Quebec “on the verge of a movement” of God

MONTREAL, QC—In the space of three months this spring, the Canadian National Baptist Convention (CNBC) added more than 750 new congregants—in Quebec, the most secular society in North America.

This sudden growth is the result of two independent francophone churches with 200 members apiece choosing to join the CNBC, and the astonishing launch of a new church plant in Montreal.

"We are on the verge of a movement," says Chad Vandiver, the CNBC's lead church planter in Montreal. "Those who've served in Quebec for 20 years say they've never seen a movement begin like this. We're starting to reap the harvest of years of work and years of service."

National ministry leader Gerry Taillon agrees. "There is no other answer but God. It's an answer to prayer," he says.

The church plant, La Chapelle (The Chapel), held its first worship service on Easter Sunday with 536 in attendance. The next two services drew 325 and 367 people respectively. On the second Sunday, 12 people prayed to receive Christ.

The two independent churches that have joined the CNBC are the Assemblée Chrétienne De La Grace (Christian Assembly of Grace) in Granby, and Eglise Le Contact (Contact Church) in Repentigny.

"They were looking for a denomination or a family of churches they could affiliate with, connect with, that has the same values that they do, and that is committed to trying to reach people in Quebec," says Taillon. "And they chose us."

"We started 15 years ago with 12 people just worshiping God in a park," says Assemblée Chrétienne's pastor, Rejean Cloutier. "We started at one locale, but it became full and we had to move to another locale. It became full and we moved to Granby. We bought this place and now we are 200 people."

He says they baptized six people in June, and expected to baptize several more in August.

Many of those coming to Christ are young people. "The evangelical movement in Quebec is very young," says Taillon. "There's a new movement where churches have geared the way they worship, the way they preach, the way things happen, to a younger crowd."

Most of them know virtually nothing about Christianity, because their parents decided to have nothing to do with religion, having fallen away from the once-powerful Catholic Church.

"Young people don't react as their parents did to religion," Cloutier says. "So when we share with them about Jesus, they're like, 'Who is Jesus?' I think God allowed this gap so that this new generation is ready to hear about Jesus."

And their interest in Jesus creates a domino effect.

"When they see their friends start to be transformed by the Word of God, and how God can take a life and make something beautiful out of that, when they were a mess before," he adds, "they're like, 'I want to go to your church and I want to hear about God.'

"I think it's the time for God in Quebec."

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About the author

Senior Correspondent

Frank Stirk has 35 years-plus experience as a print, radio and Internet journalist and editor.