A bit o’ history…
The first time I set foot in the Châtellerault church was in 2005…. but it didn’t look like this and it wasn’t in this building!
Paul Brochu, who founded the church in 2000, was in the USA on deputation that year and Steve Schobert was covering his furlough. Cécile LeDay, the first to receive the revelation of Jesus’ name, was still alive, and the church met in her large downtown home at 57 Boul. Aristide Briand, on the intersection of Rue de la Paix.
I have fond memories of Sis. LeDay who was a former nun and had impeccable French. The fact that I was a French Teacher at the University of New Brunswick at the time, meant that we had some great discussions about the finer details of the language. She would, from time to time, gently correct my use of a particular structure or expression. More than a French resource though, she was a faithful lady who wholeheartedly served the Lord in Spirit and Truth; truly an example of discipleship in action. She always sat in the back row, on the right side (even at that though, given that we were meeting in a living room, she was still only about 15′ from the pulpit!)
Click here to see Bro. Brochu, preaching in that building in 2006.
Our first look at this building…
In 2006, we were on a family vacation in western France and joined the Brochus for service on Sunday morning. Following the service, they took us out to see the new building, just outside the city. God had blessed them with an incredible property and building right on the Ave. de Richelieu (Route Départementale D749, at the corner of La Fontaine, directly across from the Centre d’Équitation). It wouldn’t be until 2009 that I would set foot in that building for the first time.
The building had once been a small manufacturing building so the large hangar (top pic, left side) was the workshop and the smaller section (top pic, right side) was the office area. It would be repurposed… a workshop yes, but for assembling and repairing lives broken by sin, with the power of the gospel of Jesus.
The building had been damaged by fire and so the church initially met in one of the smaller offices and could comfortably hold about 20 people. I preached there in 2009 and the Lord spoke to Sis. Jeannette about her need for baptism in Jesus’ name. Over the next 3 years, work progressed on the larger office area which would, in 2012, be dedicated as the new sanctuary.
Dedicated to a Dream
The picture below is a pretty special one. It was taken on September 22, 2012 during the dedication service for the new sanctuary. Though it wasn’t taken by me (I wasn’t in attendance), it’s special to me for a number of reasons…
- Bro. & Sis. Brochu can be seen front and center, being ministered to rather than ministering (for Pastors in smaller churches, this can a rare occurrence).
- This ministry couple have indeed been dedicated to a dream: planting a church in the heart of western France.
- This photo represents my dream as well… a full church in the city of Châtellerault. It is my prayer and my desire to see 100 people, regularly worshipping in this church, by the time the Brochu’s come back from their deputation.
Is that a daring dream? a big vision? Yes.
Is anything too hard for the Lord? No.
… and so, I dream!
If you’d like to partner with us and be part of the dream coming true… click here.