The Ghanaian congregants of Ebenezer Assembly of God Church in the Bronx — many of whom are live-in home health aides, far from their homes — are connected by a prayer call.

Hartman and Todd Heisler -- who was twice awarded a Pulitzer Prize in photography -- collaborated on a photo essay about what this daily call means to them.

Pastor Benjamin Boakye, alone in his church, leads the call from his cell phone while three aides are praying solo on the line — one on a Manhattan bench, another in her Bronx apartment, and a third in her patient's New Jersey garage.

In his intimate photographs, Heisler shows them transported to a place of solace.

Solace on the Line: Uniting Through A Prayer Call was published in The New York Times on June 10, 2012.

Solace on the Line, a multi-media show, opened at the Bronx Museum of the Arts on April 19, 2013. It included Heisler's images from an Assembly of God Sunday service — showing what these live-in aides miss when they're away: joyful communion.

This story sprang from something personal: Hartman watched her mother's aide on a prayer call with Pastor Boakye, singing as she threaded beads into a necklace.

Click here to see photo essay.


All photographs © Todd Heisler