Joseph (Hovsep) Hovsepian
Joseph Hovsepian has been the volunteer pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Montreal since 1984 but has been active in leadership there since he first immigrated to Canada in 1960. His ministry experience goes back even further than that, to his youth in Greece, where he was born to Armenian parents and raised in an evangelical Christian home and church. From writing gospel tracts to radio ministry, from missions trips to Armenia to sharing God’s love with people in his neighbourhood when they visit his radio repair shop, Hovsepian has poured his life into evangelism and missions.
Click here to read Joseph Hovsepian’s testimony and to learn more about his personal and church ministries.
Hasmig, or Jessie as she is better known at church and in her community, was born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1941 and accepted Christ as her Saviour when she was 12. In 1962, she immigrated with her parents to Montreal. Almost immediately upon her arrival, she met her husband-to-be, Joseph, during an Armenian church service at Temple Baptist Church. Having begun playing the piano or organ at church from the age of 16, knowledge of her talent preceded her and she was asked to play the piano that night, though it was her first time attending.
It took a good year for Joseph to realize this was the woman God had chosen for him as a marriage partner but he had always been aware of her commitment to Christ and her devotion to her family. The couple married in 1963 and continued to serve faithfully at Temple Baptist Church, but now as a team.
Jessie’s faithful work at Temple these past 50 years is legendary. Besides the fact that she still plays the organ every Sunday morning and the piano at other meetings, she was instrumental in the development of the current Women’s Fellowship that meets monthly; she has spent countless hours in the church kitchen preparing for and cleaning up after dinners, communion services and other special events; she has handled a large part of the official paperwork of the church and banking tasks; and, for nearly 30 years, has played the role of “pastor’s wife.”
Of course, that’s just at church. In recent years, Jessie’s personal ministry has been reaching out to merchants and other individuals in her own neighbourhood, sharing gospel tracts and Bibles with them and telling them about her faith in Jesus. Known for her hospitality, her readiness to help anyone in need and her uncompromising stance as a follower of Christ, Jessie is a key player in the ministry of the Hovsepian family.
Ruth (Hrut in Armenian) was born to Joseph and Jessie in Montreal in 1965. When she was 12, she received Christ as her Saviour and, at age 15, was baptized. Ruth, a naturally gifted leader, got involved with church activities at an early age. She began teaching Junior Church and Sunday School when she was 15 and organized many children’s events and programs over the years.
In 1987, Ruth spent a year in Whitby, Ontario, attending the Baptist Leadership Education Centre. There she furthered her Bible knowledge and developed her leadership skills. A few years later she was married and moved to Toronto until her first-born daughter, Alexis, was 8 months old. At that point, her family moved back to Montreal and became actively involved at Temple again, serving in many capacities. Two more children, Joshua and Melissa, came along in the following years.
Though she became a single mother not long after Melissa’s birth, Ruth has continued to serve the Lord with her family, putting in many hours for the projects she is responsible for. Currently, she manages all the multi-media needs at Temple Baptist Church and maintains the ministry’s dynamic website.
Her children—now 26, 23 and 20 —are always eager to volunteer and help in different areas of church life, whether it’s teaching young children, helping in the nursery, as kitchen helpers or uploading sermons to the church website.
Ann-Margret, the youngest Hovsepian daughter, was born in 1972. She gave her life to Christ in 1980, on January 1—the same day of the year her father had made his commitment 29 years earlier. She was baptized a couple of months before her 13th birthday and started to serve the Lord on a regular basis when she turned 16, teaching Sunday School, counselling at a Christian summer camp, and providing leadership at the Dawson College IVCF group.
Today, Ann-Margret serves as the clerk of Temple Baptist Church, co-leads the women’s ministry and enjoys showing hospitality as a greeter and kitchen helper. She also edits the church’s monthly print newsletter, weekly e-newsletter and weekly worship bulletin.
Passionate about women’s ministry, Ann-Margret served on the Board of Canadian Baptist Women of Ontario & Quebec for six years and has taught workshops or spoken at special events for women in both provinces. In 2012, she participated in her first mission trip, to Mistissini, a Cree village in northern Quebec, and then joined her father for the 2013, 2014 and 2017 mission trips to Armenia.
Professionally, Ann-Margret is an author and illustrator. She has had hundreds of articles published in various Christian publications and is the author or co-author of several devotional books.
Click here to learn more about Ann-Margret’s writing ministry.