Pastor Frank Hogan: Why he took the "heart" from When Calls the Heart when he left

Sunday, July 28, 2019

I find myself being very suspicious now, about Mark Humphrey's elimination from When Calls the Heart in the role of Pastor Frank Hogan. Now that my trust in Lori Loughlin (should any of us have trusted her to begin with?) is gone, I'm starting to feel that it was her idea to get rid of him.

I remember when she put out the call to "Save Pastor Frank," long after the decision had already been made to release him from the show. She would have known his contract wasn't being renewed, so why even bother asking the fans to fight for him? Except to give the impression that his going wasn't her idea and that she was upset that he wasn't staying.

We all know that Lori Loughlin wanted Abigail to be a strong, independent, single female. Just like almost every other woman in Hope Valley. I guess the logical thing then would be to get rid of one of the men who had "set his cap" for her, so to speak. I dislike thinking that she might have had even more devious intentions about removing the faith element from the show, but it's always possible that was her motivator too.

Keep in mind, I have no proof. This is just my theory, but right now, it sounds good to me.

I haven't watched When Calls the Heart this last season. 

Some might dislike me for jumping ship at the end of season 5, but I just can't continue. Some of it is probably due to Daniel Lissing leaving. You can't have your romantic lead die off like that and expect all of the fans to stay faithful. So by the time the Lori Loughlin debacle hit the news, I was already long gone. While I felt for the fans of the show and was horrified at her behavior, I wasn't invested in When Call the Heart anymore.

Why, you might ask?'

Because when Pastor Frank left so too did my love of Hope Valley.

Yes, all right, I liked Abigail and Frank more than Abigail and Bill, but that was never my main reason for liking the character. Frank was so much more than just a love interest for Abigail. He was the spiritual leader of the town. Without a pastor, that building Jack put together is just a school, not a church with a school in it during the week. 

I got tired. Tired of pretending that it was okay for there to be a church with no pastor and no Sunday service. Tired of pretending that I was okay with Pastor Frank leaving when his departure was so full of unanswered questions. Tired of feeling like the producers were avoiding giving us straight answers. 

I read Janette Oke's books growing up and they left a lasting impression on me. But there is so little of her books and her faith left in When Calls the Heart that, in a way, I'm distraught that the show is still running. We were promised a replacement pastor when Frank left. Where is he? I may not be watching the show this season, but I've kept up with the news about it and I know that church stands empty on Sunday.

Why? Why do I have to pretend that it's perfectly fine for a Christian television show to have all vestiges of its faith stripped away until all you're left with is a "clean" production?

I will always miss Pastor Frank. I miss his wisdom. I miss his experience. And I miss his redemption arc that made him feel so real and genuine. Christians aren't perfect. That's never the message of Jesus. Who does he approach? The hurting, the broken, and those desperate for a new way of life. That was Pastor Frank, a man with a past who had a hope for the future because of his faith in God.

Could When Calls the Heart eventually incorporate a new pastor? Maybe. But I'm not holding my breath anymore. After almost 2 seasons without one, I just don't have enough faith anymore. I'd rather watch a secular program that at least is honest with me about its motivations then one that pretends to be Christian but whose faith is such a thin veneer I can pass my hand right through.


  1. I think Lori waits to see which way the wind blows in terms of fan popularity and throws her cap to that end. She's not perfect, either. ;)

    I'm sorry the show hasn't bothered to keep up the appearance of its religious roots, but Hallmark mostly markets itself as "clean" entertainment. It's successfully removed the religious element from all of the author's books so far. I wonder what she thinks of them?

    1. I'm curious about Janette's opinion too. I met her, briefly, at the HFR2 in Canada and she was nice. Of course, back then, we had a pastor in Hope Valley. It would be interesting to hear if she's at all disappointed in the lack of spiritual guidance now. I'm sure she would never say anything, though, even if she thought it, just to keep the peace.

    2. I assume her agent keeps negotiating book deals with Hallmark, and that they did not buy all the rights to all her books at the same time. Hallmark has altered her books severely, going so far as to even kill off her leading men so sequels can pair the girl up with someone else, so either she has no control over what happens once the book leaves her hands, or she doesn't "mind" the changes and continues selling the rights for profit. :/

  2. You are very right, my dear, this show has gone down the tubes so to speak. There are way too many independent leading ladies and very few leading men and those there are, are not strong leaders who stand for truth. We haven't watched the new season either and I don't plan on it any time soon.

    1. I always was a little befuddled at the sheer volume of mine widows who stayed widows. Back in the actual Edwardian era, that's not what would have happened. One thing I do miss about the show is Rosemary and Lee, since I loved them as a couple. But even they aren't a strong motivator to interest me again. Alas.

  3. I’m glad I found your post as I haven’t found anyone else discussing the diminishing faith element in the show. It has really hit a low point for me when Elizabeth went to Rosemary and Lee and there was a build up to her asking them if they would be her son’s...”guardians”. Not Godparents. “Guardians”. I’ve noticed this show is really bowing down to the political correctness agenda and it’s so incredibly disappointing!

    1. It's interesting how, after awhile, I don't even miss the show anymore. I used to, and I've heard that there's a spin-off show, but I'm not interested in either. I dislike it when Christian programming feels like it has to compromise its values in order to be heard. And that's what's happened here.

      I am sorry that it's happened, surely. Because it's not right, and the show started off with that solid feel of Janette Oke permeating the story. But there wasn't much of her left when I called it quits.

      There is a streaming service called PureFlix that my parents love, just in case you were interested. It's all Christian content, some of it average, much of it quite good, and it's a nice alternative to Hallmark. :)

      Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting.

    2. I am very disappointed that they don't have a pastor on when calls the heart anymore. Faith was a big part of the books this series is based on and most towns in this time period thought faith and spiritual growth was a big part of their lives. Why did pastor Frank leave amyway? And why don't they have a church in hope valley now? I really miss that aspect to the stories as I'm sure other viewers do as well.

    3. I've been thinking that I should probably watch the newer seasons. It's been so long that I feel the need to see if anything has changed for the better. Pastor Frank won't be coming back, sadly, but there's still a chance they'll bring another pastor to town at some point. I just have to try harder at keeping the faith.

  4. I,too, am no longer watching When Calls the heart. I was just thinking recently that WCTH has
    gone from Pastor Frank Hogan to a gambler (Lucas). I do sometimes read the fan fiction with the
    character of Jack but skip the rest. The fact that they have gone from pastor to gambler says a
    lot to me at least about how far this show has slipped from the original premise. Nice to see
    some others have noticed as well. Will try PureFlix; did not know it existed. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for your comment. I do hope you try and enjoy PureFlix. It's wonderful that there is a Hallmark alternative out there. One thing I have noticed is that I don't miss WCTH at all. At least, I don't miss it the way it is now. Such a shame that it changed so much from the 1st season to now.


Thank you for your kind comments, which I adore!