Gospel Hall Go-Preachers
by George Sanborn
In March 2000, an item
was sent to the New Brunswick Mail List that explained a term - "Go-Preacher"
- that one might find in various writing about religion in New Brunswick.
It is being reproduced here with his permission.
The term "Go-Preacher" is
a disparaging term used by some people to describe a member of the Gospel
Hall, an evangelical, fundamentalist Christian movement. Each Hall is an
independent group, who call their minister from among themselves or another
Hall, and who hold Sunday services and prayer meetings throughout the week,
and often meet in warm months in large regional groups in fields or under
tents. Tent Meetings are common throughout the Maritimes.
I have never met one who
was not very sincere about his or her religious beliefs, and an honourable
member of the community. I am sure that over the years many people
have had their feelings hurt by being called "Go-Preachers," or the less
pejorative "Gospel Hallers." However, once members of other religious
groups (or of no religious group) get to know them better, greater understanding
and tolerances prevail, as is the case with most other instances of name-calling.
This seems to be an extension of the "school-yard bully" mentality which
we have all seen, if not experienced.
Members of the Gospel Hall
believe in reading, teaching, and following the Bible, and do not admit
of other trappings. They believe that the Bible is the word of God,
and they can read and interpret it as well as somebody else.
Perhaps you will remember
seeing the big tent set up in Sussex every summer where they have week-long
tent meetings. It's right handy the Trans-Canada. Also, you
will be familiar with the customary signs that Gospel Hallers often post
on their barns and on their property with quotations from the Bible, admonishing
people to repent, confess, get their lives on track, and be ready for the
inevitable. Those signs are usually a strong clue that the owners of the
property, if not the residents there, are members of the Gospel Hall.
You see these signs all over the Maritimes.
Updated:Sunday, 01-Dec-2002 16:30:25 MST