Archive for November, 2014

Albert College

In 1854 the Methodist Episcopal Church, recognizing the need to improve the training of its clergy, began the construction of a seminary on this site.

Designed to accommodate 150 residents with classroom facilities for 400 students.

Belleville Seminary was opened in July 1857.

Under the able direction of its principal Rev. Albert Carman, the school flourished, producing

several eminent graduates.

In 1866 it was rechartered as Albert College, an affiliate of the University of Toronto, and five years later it became an independent degree-granting institution.

When Victoria College in Cobourg was chosen as official for the newly-formed Methodist Church in 1884, Albert College became a private collegiate. Moved in 1926 to the present location overlook the Bay of Quinte, it remains a distinguished residential school. …from Historical Plaques of  Ontario


1870albertcollegeAlbert College – Belleville, Ontario 1870

From its beginning, the Belleville Seminary was in difficult circumstances. Many in the Methodist Episcopal community were suspicious of learning and of an educated ministry. Moreover, the denomination was divided over whether the school should seek provincial grants or follow the church’s voluntarist policy. Under Rev. Albert Carman’s forceful direction, and with the backing of his bishop, Rev. James Richardson, and of the superintendent of education for Upper Canada, Egerton Ryerson, it prospered modestly. Its survival owed much to Carman’s administrative and teaching skills and to his effective advocacy of its interests. His contribution was shaped and informed by the powerful blend of evangelical spirituality, ambition, self-confidence, patriotism, and intellectual and moral rigidity that constituted the core of his personality and convictions. He managed the meagre resources of the school prudently and sought energetically to strengthen its position in his church. Within the college, secular knowledge and the knowledge of God were imparted in an evangelical, morally conformist, and intellectually conservative context.

As principal, Carman was often discouraged but remained convinced of the need for the seminary to educate Methodist Episcopal youth and to provide trained leadership for the church. Doubtless at his urging, it became affiliated with the University of Toronto in 1861 and in 1866, as Albert College, secured a charter empowering it to grant degrees in arts. Although women were not admitted to degree programs, they were offered a diploma course; in 1868 Alexandra College was created for women students, who were permitted also to attend undergraduate classes. In 1870, moreover, Carman initiated the establishment of a faculty of divinity, and organized as well faculties of arts, engineering, law, and music.

Carman’s work at the college and his evangelical preaching and writing had a strong impact on his brethren. Between 1868 and 1874 he defended the Methodist Episcopal position in the negotiations for the union of Methodist churches, but its entry into the union foundered on its insistence on an episcopate and its opposition to lay representation in governing bodies. In 1874 Carman was elected as the colleague and eventual successor of James Richardson. Ordained bishop at Napanee on 4 September, he was sole head after Richardson died in March 1875.



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Banff Avenue Methodist Church 1921

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Rev. A.E.M. Thompson


1913-1917 Aylmer (Elgin Cty)

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Rev. Joseph Philip


1905-1909 Aylmer (Elgin Cty)

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Summers Corners Methodist Church

Location: Lot 21, Concession 6 (Talbot Line & Springfield Road)
Date of Formation: 1865
Date of Closing: 1974

Circuits: Springfield, Dexter, Summers Corners Circuit (1840’s – 1879), Aylmer (1879 – 1915, Richmond & Fairview (1915 – 1964), Malahide Circuit (1964 – 1974)


In 1865, part of lot 21, Talbot Road East (Con. 6), was given to the Methodist Episcopal Church by Alex Summers. They were joined by the congregation from the Burdick Methodist church, and a building was erected on this site. Summers Corners formed a circuit with Springfield and Dexter. In 1879, Summers Corners came under the supervision of St. Paul’s Church in Aylmer, until 1915 when a circuit was formed with Richmond and Fairview. In 1964 Summers Corners became part of the Malahide Circuit until closing in 1974. The Sunday School and United Church Women’s group continued until the church was torn down in 1979.

Further history: article in the Aylmer Express, June 26, 1974 on final service in church


Rev. Davis 1800’s

Rev. Chricton 1800’s

Rev. Wood 1800’s

1885-1888 Rev. James R. Gundy

1888-1891 Dr. Pascoe

1891-1893 Rev. Thomas Cullen

1893-1896 Rev. Walter Treleaven

1896-1898 Rev. James Livingston

1898-1901 Rev. Charles Taggart Scott

1902-1905 Rev. W. George H. McAlister

1905-1909 Rev. Joseph Philip

1909-1913 Rev. Abraham Walton Tonge

1913-1917 Rev. A.E.M. Thompson


1915 -1917 M. C. Parr

1917-1918 C. K. Gower

1918-1919 T. C. Wilkinson

1919-1920 J. P. Cooke

1920-1921 L. C. Harvey

1921-1922 C. K. Dickenson

1922-1924 Hugh Wilson

1924-1925 Clayton Searle

1925-1926 Frank Gilbert

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Port Bruce Methodist Church

Location: Lot 5, Concession 1 (or Lot 15 & 16, west side of Rolph Street)
Date of Formation: 1840’s
Date of Closing: 1912

Circuits: Aylmer Circuit (1840’s – 1891), Malahide Circuit (1891 – 1912)


Port Bruce is listed as part of the Aylmer Circuit in the 1840’s. A deed dated Jan. 13, 1863 between William H. Davis and the Trustees of the Wesleyan Methodist Church exists for two-fifths of an acre in Lots 15 & 16, West side of Rolph Street, Port Bruce (part of lot 5, concession 1). It is presumed a church building was erected at this time. It was located a little to the south on the opposite side of the road across from the current Sunday School/ Community Hall building. Port Bruce is listed on the Malahide Circuit in 1891. In 1912 the church and property at Port Bruce was sold and the building was torn down.
Port Bruce Sunday School – Following his retirement in 1947, Port Bruce resident Robert Maguire began to raise funds to build a Sunday School. In 1953 a building was erected on the east side of Rolph Street almost across from where the old Methodist church had been located. The land was purchased from Frank Davidson and one lot next to it for parking. The Sunday School became part of the Copenhagen congregation, and Mrs. Maguire was the Superintendent.

elg m PortBruceMalahide

PORT BRUCE, a post village in Elgin County, Ontario, at the outlet of Catfish Creek in Lake Erie, 10 mjles from Aylmer, on the G.T.R., and 14 miles from Port Burwell. It contains a Methodist church, 1 hotel, and 5 firms engaged in the lake fishing trade. Pop. 100  ..from Lovell’s 1906 Canada Gazetteer



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Mount Salem Methodist Church

Location:South Half Lot 21, Concession 4 (John Wise Line & Springfield Road)
Date of Formation: 1843
Date of Closing: 1957

Circuits: Malahide Circuit


Prior to the establishment of a Post Office in 1868, Mount Salem was known as Hamburg or Louisville. The Methodist congregation met first in the school house which had been erected in 1843 on a lot given by Erastus Westover (part of lot 21, con 4). In 1862 a Union Church was built on a 1/4 acre lot, part of the south half of Lot 20, Concession 4 (west of the Mount Salem corner on the north side of the road).A deed for this lot bears the date March 28, 1868 from John Farthings to the Trustees of the Union Church: Joseph C. Baldwin, John Marshall, Thomas Hunt Sr., Emanuel Rockey, George Hilliker, William H. Smith and James J. Brown. A Board of Trustees from the community was formed, and the Union Church was used by different denominations. On October 10, 1886 a parcel of land in the south half of lot 21, concession 4 was deeded to the Trustees of the Methodist Church by Peter E. Hunt, and a church building was erected in 1887, north of the intersection at Mount Salem on the east side of the road. The Mount Salem congregation amalgamated with Dunboyne in 1957, and the church was purchased by the community for a hall, where Sunday School continued to be held until 1964. In 1978, the building was sold and torn down and replaced by a new home. An article in the Aylmer Express, Oct. 21, 1915 records that “the site of the old Union Church was purchased by Lloyd Graves, and the shed was sold in three sections to three parties. Mr. E. V. Learn has purchased the old Union Church and intends remodelling it into a barn”.

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Luton Methodist Church

(formerly called Centreville)

Location: North Half Lot 15, Concession 4 (John Wise Line)
Date of Formation: 1825
Date of Closing: 1957 (still active as a union church)

Circuit: Malahide Circuit


Services were first held in a log schoolhouse at Centreville (later Luton) which had been built around 1825. Property for a cemetery was deeded to the Trustees of the Centreville Burying Ground from Chester W. Fraser, on Jan. 31, 1853, being the north half of Lot 15, Concession 4. Another deed was drawn on March 4, 1856 between Fraser and the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church for 2 ½ acres. The first church, believed to have been built about 1853, was set in the cemetery property. In 1889 it was moved closer to the road, renovated and bricked. The date on the cornerstone is 1894. In 1957 the congregation amalgamated with Dunboyne, but Sunday School classes continued to be held in the Luton School which is now the community hall, until 1968. The parsonage for the Malahide Circuit has been at Luton since 1856, and continues to be the residence of the minister of the Malahide Pastoral Charge. The Luton Church is still standing and is now a Union Church under the auspices of the Cemetery Board. At present the building is being used by a congregation called “Fountain of Life Gospel Temple”.

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elg m JaffaMalahide

JAFFA, a post village in Elgin County, Ontario, 5 miles from Aylmer Station on the G.T.R., 10 miles from St. Thomas. It has 2 churches (Methodist and Baptist), 3 saw mills. Pop.
about 100  ...from Lovell’s 1906 Canada Gazetteer


Jaffa Methodist Church

Location: First church – South Half Lot 1, Concession 4 (where cemetery is), Second church – South Part Lot 1, Concession 5 (John Wise Line & Springwater Road)
Date of Formation: 1861
Date of Closing: 1919

Circuits: Malahide Circuit (1860’s – 1918), Yarmouth Circuit (1918 – 1919)

Church History:

There was a Methodist Episcopal church south of the Jaffa corner (lot 1, concession 4) where there is still a small cemetery. The deed for this property is dated June 4, 1864 between Thomas Backhouse and the Trustees of the Church; Herman Mills, Ira Doolittle, and Samuel Thayer.. The church building was moved in 1875 to the northeast corner of Jaffa onto a one-half acre parcel in lot 1, concession 5, which was deeded to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church “Townline Chapel”, by Albert & Ira White on Feb. 24, 1875. Jaffa was part of the Malahide circuit, until 1918 when the St. Thomas District Meeting Minutes show the congregation being supplied from Yarmouth Centre. The church was closed on September 9, 1919, and the property was sold in 1930, and the church remodelled into a house.



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Nelles Corners Methodist Church

Location: Lot 15, Concession 5 (Plank Road, between Jackson Line & Calton Line)
Date of Formation: 1860’s


A deed exists dated September 24, 1862 between James C. Seymour to the Trustees of the Methodist New Connection Church, for property in the southwest corner of lot 15, concession 5. This property is located on the west side of what was later Highway 19, and now called Plank Road. The lot would be between Jackson Line and Calton Line, and south of Straffordville. No church building appears on this lot in the 1877 Historical Atlas of Elgin County.

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