Archive for November, 2014

Eden Methodist Church (also known as MacDowell Church)

Location: Eden (corner Ridge Road & Ingersoll-Port Burwell Plank Road)
Date of Formation: 1855
Date of Closing: 1925


This church is listed as having been an Episcopal Methodist congregation. It was also known as MacDowell Church in 1854-1855. About 1911 it was part of a five point charge including Eden, Guysboro, Straffordville, North Hall, and Maple Grove. A deed dated Jan. 13, 1866 exists for property in the south east corner of the north part of the south half of lot 22, concession 9, between Henry Gilbert and Peter Yocum, et al, Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

In 1925, when the United Church of Canada was formed, the church at Eden was closed. It was converted into a garage and service station with living quarters below.

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Grovesend Methodist Church

GROVESEND a post hamlet in Elgin County. Ontario, near Lake Erie and 9 miles from Aylmer on the GTR. It contains a Methodist church. ..from Lovell’s 1906 Canada Gazetteer

elg m GrovesEndMalahide

Location: Lot 23, Concession 2 (Nova Scotia Line)
Date of Formation: 1816
Date of Closing: 1928

Circuits: Aylmer Circuit (1840’s – 1878), Malahide Circuit (1878 – 1928)


In 1816 settlers arrived at the Lake Erie shore in Malahide from Long Point, including the families of Lyons, Saxton, Griffin, Wrong and Backhouse. A church was started in 1818 by Gilbert Wrong and Nathan Lyons, meeting in Wrong’s house and the schoolhouse. Some accounts say a frame edifice was built. A deed dated Dec. 26, 1826 exists between Lewis Bowlby and the Church. Another deed dated Dec. 27, 1862 for part of lot 23, concession 2 exists between the Trustees of the Wesleyan Methodist Church and John Markle (owner of the former Bowlby land). The Christian Guardian, a Methodist newspaper, records in an 1861 issue that the “Wesleyan Methodist church recently erected at Grovesend was dedicated on the 17th of November”. Sometime between 1887 and 1889 a new church building was erected on the same site. The church was used until 1928, and in 1931 the property and building was sold, moved to an adjoining lot, and remodelled into a dwelling.

Further History: A four-page history of Grovesend Church is contained in an unpublished manuscript by Ida Haggan, titled Pioneer Families of Nova Scotia Street, found on Elgin County Library Microfilm Number 121




1877 Rev. William Bothwell – was also the Postmaster and lived on 70 acres Con 2 Lot 26 Malahide Township., Elgin Countty Ontario

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Malahyde-AylmerFairviewMethBWFairview Methodist Episcopal Church

Location: Lot 30, Concession 5 (northwest corner of Carter Road & John Wise Line)
Date of Formation: 1877
Date of Closing: 1964

Circuits: Malahide Circuit (1878 – 1915), Richmond Circuit (1915 – 1964)


Joseph Millard deeded land at the southeast corner of his farm to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church on December 31, 1877. However, the Elgin County Historical Atlas of 1877 shows a church building already in existence on this property, indicating the congregation may have been formed earlier. Additional property was deeded by Millard to the congregation on Nov. 4, 1885. The Fairview church was connected with the Malahide Circuit until 1915, when the Richmond Circuit was formed with Richmond, Summers Corners and Fairview churches. This church was closed in June 1964 and moved on July 9 to Richmond and attached to the Richmond United Church and dedicated as the Fairview Christian Education Centre for the Richmond Church.

Ministers – Students:

1915 M. C. Parr

1917 C. R. Gower

1918 T. C. Wilkinson

1919 J. P. Cooke

1920 L. C. Harvey

1921 C. H. Dickenson

1922 Hugh C. Wilson

1824 Clayton Searle

1925 Frank A. Gilbert

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Malahyde-AylmerDunboynechurch1BWDunboyne Methodist Church

Location: Lot 11, Concession 4 (Calton Line)
Date of Formation: 1910 (Dunboyne area Methodists had been meeting in a Union Church erected in 1856, and also located on Lot 11)
Date of Closing: active

Circuits: Malahide Circuit


Methodist services were held in a Union Meeting House, which had been erected in 1856 in the cemetery (see Union Church, Malahide listing for more information). The Methodist congregation left the Union Church after a disagreement about the installation of a baptismal font. A Methodist church was built in 1910, about a hundred yards west of the Union Church. By 1957, all the other United churches in the Malahide circuit had closed and Dunboyne stood alone until 1964 when Richmond and Summers Corners became part of the pastoral charge. Summers Corners church closed in 1974. The Malahide Pastoral Charge now consists of the church at Dunboyne and the one at Richmond in Bayham township.
Further History: article re building of church, Aylmer Express, Oct. 21, 1909

article re tenders for building, Aylmer Express, Jan. 20, 1910

laying of cornerstone, Aylmer Express, April 21, 1910

dedication of church, Aylmer Express, Sept. 8 and Sept. 15, 1910

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Copenhagen Wesleyan Methodist Church

Location: Lot 11, Concession 2 (Nova Scotia Line)
Date of Formation: 1881 [?]
Date of Closing: before 1889

Circuits: Sparta, Malahide Circuit


This church was located just east of the hotel corner (junction of Nova Scotia Line and Imperial Road) in Copenhagen on the north side of the road. On May 6, 1881, Henry Prowse deeded one-quarter acre, part of lot 11, concession 2, to the Trustees of the Copenhagen Methodist Church. It was originally connected with the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Sparta, but due to difficulty crossing the gully, it was later attached to the Malahide Circuit. It is remembered that many families in the Copenhagen community attended both this church and the Methodist Episcopal church. The Wesleyan Methodist congregation lasted only a short time, and the building was moved into Aylmer. The lot was sold in 1889.

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Malahyde-AylmerCcopenhagenCopenhagen Methodist Church

Location: Lot 10, Concession 2 (on west side of Imperial Road [Highway 73] just north of Nova Scotia Line)
Date of Formation: 1860’s
Date of Closing: 1957

Circuit: Malahide Circuit, Port Bruce Sunday School (1952 – 1957)


The Methodist Episcopal congregation had its beginnings in Copenhagen in the 1860’s when services were held above a general store, until 1870. A quarter acre of land in lot 10, concession 2 was deeded by Walter Livingston Brown to the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church on Aug. 26, 1871, and a frame church was built. In 1888 a brick church was built beside the frame church, which was later moved to Aylmer and can still be seen as a garage at 289 John St. S. The church was closed in 1957 and the congregation amalgamated with Dunboyne. The Sunday School at Copenhagen continued to be held in the school until 1964. In 1964 the church building and property were sold to Gordon Jones, and dismantled in 1979. Mr. Jones used some of the bricks from the church to build a new home, on the site of the church.

Further History: see Pioneer Days at Copenhagen, (James L. McCallum, 1981)

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…from Wikipedia

Charles Wesley; December 18, 1707 – March 19, 1788) was an English leader of the Methodist movement, son of Anglican clergyman and poet Samuel Wesley, the younger brother of Methodist founder John Wesley and Anglican clergyman Samuel Wesley the Younger. He was father of musician Samuel Wesley and grandfather of musician Samuel Sebastian Wesley. Despite their closeness, Charles and his brother John did not always agree on questions relating to their beliefs. In particular, Charles was strongly opposed to the idea of a breach with the Church of England into which they had both been ordained. Charles Wesley is mostly remembered for the over 6,000 hymns he wrote. He ministered for part of his life in The New Room Chapel in Bristol. His house, located nearby, can still be visited.

Charles Wesley was the son of Susanna Wesley and Samuel Wesley. He was born in Epworth, Lincolnshire, England, where his father was rector. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford. At Oxford Charles formed a prayer group among his fellow students in 1727 which his elder brother, John joined in 1729 soon becoming its leader and moulding it to his own notions. They focused on Bible study, methodical study of scripture and living a holy life. Other students mocked them, saying they were the “Holy Club”, “Sacramentarians”, and “the Methodists”, being methodical and exceptionally detailed in their Bible study, opinions and disciplined lifestyle. George Whitefield also joined this group. After graduating with a Masters’ in classical languages and literature, Charles followed his father and brother into the church in 1735.

Charles Wesley experienced a conversion on 21 May 1738 – John Wesley had a similar experience in Aldersgate Street just three days later. A City of London blue plaque at 13, Little Britain, near the church of St Botolph’s-without-Alders, off St. Martin’s Le Grand, marks the site of the former house of John Bray, reputed to be the scene of Wesley’s evangelical conversion on 21 May 1738. It reads, “Adjoining this site stood the house of John Bray. Scene of Charles Wesley’s evangelical conversion May 21st 1738”.

Wesley felt renewed strength to spread the Gospel to ordinary people and it was around then that he began to write the poetic hymns for which he would become known. It wasn’t until 1739 that the brothers took to field preaching, under the influence of George Whitefield, whose open-air preaching was already reaching great numbers of Bristol colliers.

After ceasing field preaching and frequent travel due to illness, Wesley settled and worked in the area around St Marylebone Parish Church. On his deathbed he sent for the church’s rector John Harley and told him “Sir, whatever the world may say of me, I have lived, and I die, a member of the Church of England. I pray you to bury me in your churchyard.” On his death, his body was carried to the church by six clergymen of the Church of England, and a memorial stone to him stands in the gardens in Marylebone High Street, close to his burial spot. One of his sons, Samuel, became organist of the church.

Wesley’s conversion had a clear impact on his doctrine, especially the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The change in doctrine can be seen in his sermons after 1738, but is most notable in his hymns written after 1738.

From Charles’ published work “Hymns and Prayers to the Trinity” and in Hymn number 62 he writes “The Holy Ghost in part we know, For with us He resides, Our whole of good to Him we owe, Whom by His grace he guides, He doth our virtuous thoughts inspire, The evil he averts, And every seed of good desire, He planted in our hearts.”

Charles communicates several doctrines; the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit, the depravity of mankind, and humanity’s personal accountability to God. This was a vital contribution not only to Methodism, but to modern theology as a whole.

Charles Wesley sets forth in song the whole range of the evangelical faith. It is a remarkable feat.

Methodists have learned their doctrines from their hymns … If Methodism has maintained its evangelical orthodoxy ow for two centuries, the fact is due not so much to John Wesley’s sermons as to the influence of Charles’ hymns.

The reason is that the hymns presented Scriptures or the doctrine, not as a truth of a dogma to be accepted, but as a clowing personal experience to be enjoyed.

…John Bishop, Methodist Worship

In the course of his career, Charles Wesley published the words of over six thousand hymns, many of which are still popular. These include:

  • “Arise my soul arise” (Lyrics)
  • “And Can It Be That I Should Gain?” (Lyrics)
  • “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” (Lyrics)
  • “Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies” (Lyrics)
  • “Come, O Thou Traveler Unknown” (Lyrics)
  • “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus” (Lyrics)
  • “Depth of Mercy, Can it Be” (Lyrics)
  • “Father, I Stretch My Hands to Thee” (Lyrics)
  • “Hail the Day that Sees Him Rise” (Lyrics)
  • “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” (Lyrics)
  • “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” (Lyrics)
  • “Jesus, The Name High Over All” (Lyrics)
  • “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending” (Lyrics)
  • “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” (Lyrics)
  • “O for a Heart to Praise My God” (Lyrics)
  • “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” (Lyrics)
  • “Rejoice, the Lord is King” (Lyrics)
  • “Soldiers of Christ, Arise” (Lyrics)
  • “Thou Hidden Source of Calm Repose” (Lyrics)
  • “Ye Servants of God” (Lyrics)

The lyrics to many more of Charles Wesley’s hymns can be found on Wikisource and “Hymns and Sacred Poems.”

Some 150 of his hymns are in the Methodist hymn book Hymns and Psalms, including “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, and The Church Hymn Book (In New York and Chicago, USA, 1872) where “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” is published. Many of his hymns are translated into other languages, and form the foundation for Methodist hymnals, as the Swedish Metodist-Episkopal-Kyrkans Psalmbok printed in Stockholm in 1892.

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Vienna Wesleyan Methodist 

Location: 11 Elm Street, Vienna
Date of Formation: pre 1837

Circuits: Malahide Circuit (1840-1853), Vienna Circuit (1853-1882), Port Burwell Circuit (1882-1884), Vienna Mission (1884-1908), Vienna Circuit (1908-1925)

Church History:

The Wesleyan Methodists first held services in the schoolhouse, but began to build a church in the 1830’s. When the Rebellion broke out in 1837, the stormy time put a stop to the work, and it was never completed. The frame was sold to a Mr. Durdle some years later who tore it down. In 1845, it was decided to build a chapel in Vienna for the Wesleyan Methodist church. A 1/5 acre lot was deeded to the Wesleyan Methodist congregation on May 19, 1845 by Thomas & Snow Edison (part of lot 14, concession 3). The building was still in the process of being erected in 1849. The Episcopal Methodist congregation in Vienna joined this church in 1884. A basement was put under the church in 1950.

Further history: “Vienna United Church History, 1840-1965″


Malahide Circuit (1840-1853):

Thomas Fawcett, 1840
Luther O. Rice 1841
J. K. Williston, 1842-1844
David Hardie, 1844-1845
Thomas Jeffers, 1845-1847
Joseph Sheppey, 1847-1849

Samuel C. Phelp & John English, 1849-1851

George Kennedy & Thomas Peacock, 1851-1852

George Kennedy & John Shaw, 1852-1853

Vienna Circuit (1853-1882):

Orrin H. Ellsworth, 1853-1855

Edwin Clement, 1855-1858

Daniel E. Brownell, 1869-1871

James Preston, 1858-1860

Andrew A. Smith, 1860-1863

John Mills, 1863-1864

Harry Lanton, 1864-1865

James Harris, 1865-1867

P. M. Bawtinhimer, 1867-1869

Daniel E. Brownell, 1869-1871

William C. Watson, 1871-1873

George Ferguson, 1875-1876

George Clark, 1876-1877

Charles C. Couzens, 1877-1880

William Shannon, 1880-1881

David Auld, 1881-1882

Port Burwell Circuit (1882-1884):

David Auld, 1882-1883;

James Guney, 1883-1884

Vienna Mission (1884-1908):

James Gundy, 1884-1885

John Reynolds, 1885-1888

Lewis L. Wickett, 1881-1891

T. L. McCutcheon, 1893-1895

R. W. Williams, 1895-1897

Abel S. Edwards, 1897-1900

Alfred W. Lloyd, 1900-1902

William Baugh, 1902-1905

G. H. Johnson, 1905-1907

E. A. Poulter, 1907-1908

Vienna Circuit (1908-1925):

M. A. Hunt, 1908-1909

Joseph H. Clark, 1909-1912

Samuel Quinn, 1914-1917

Hartley W. Watts, 1917-1917

Thomas P. King, 1919-1923

W. J. Holley, 1923-1925

Straffordville Circuit (1925- )

William M. Lovegrove, 1925-1928

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Rev. A. Alexander


1895 Brownsville (Elgin Cty)

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Rev. G. M. Hazen


1893 Brownsville (Elgin Cty)

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