When Calls the Heart tells the story of Elizabeth Thatcher (Erin Krakow), a young teacher accustomed to her high society life, who receives her first classroom assignment in Coal Valley, a small coal mining town where life is simple, but often fraught with challenges. Elizabeth charms most everyone in Coal Valley, except Constable Jack Thornton (Daniel Lissing) who believes Thatchers wealthy father has doomed the lawman's career by insisting he be assigned in town to protect the shipping magnates daughter. Living in a 19th-century coal town, Elizabeth will have to learn the ways of the frontier if she wishes to thrive in the rural west on her own. Lori Loughlin plays Abigail Stanton, a wife and mother whose husband, the foreman of the mine, and her only son, along with a dozen other miners, have just been killed in an explosion, which turns out to be a tragic accident waiting to happen as a result of the mining company's site manager's irresponsible management and lack of duty of care. The newly widowed women find their faith is tested when they must go to work in the mines to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table and compile a wage for the town's teacher.