Archive for the ‘Conference’ Category

No better period can be found for examining the press of Toronto than in the 1870s by which time the list of publications was long, the types varied, and experiment common.

The churches were active in publications relating wholly or in part to religion. The doyen was the Christian Guardian, organ of the Wesleyan Methodists since 1829 and made famous by Egerton Ryerson who was editor for three periods. The Methodist Book Room also brought out the monthly Canadian Methodist Magazine. From 1857 to 1884 the Primitive Methodists published the Christian Journal, a weekly which carried general news and claimed to be not ‘intensely denominational’.


The Presbyterians had a weekly, the Canadian Presbyterian, and the Baptists the Canadian Baptist. The division in the Church of England between high and low church was shown in the fact that for twenty-five years before they merged the Dominion Churchman was paralleled by the Evangelical Churchman.
Sunday school papers and improving home reading such as Golden Hours for the Young and Pleasant Hours were numerous and often short-lived.


On a subject that deeply concerned some of the churches and all in some way was the Canada Temperance Advocate.

…from the Story of Toronto by G. P. deT. Glazebrook pub. 1971

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Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada:   Rev. Wadsworth of Montreal. spoke to the Kingston. Temperance Society in the Methodist Church on Wellington St. British Whig Feb. 19, 1848 p. 3, col. 1

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada:   Rev. William  Case is general superintendent. Chronicle and Gazette Sept. 21, 1833 p. 2, col. 5

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada:   Nelson G. Reynolds, the son of John Reynolds, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was arrested and brought from Belleville to jail in Kingston; he was one of the arrests in connection with the rebellion. British Whig Jan. 6, 1838 p. 2, col. 2, 5

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada:   Nelson G. Reynolds, the son of John Reynolds, of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was arrested and brought from Belleville to jail in Kingston; he was one of the arrests in connection with the rebellion. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Dec. 30, 1837 p. 2, col. 3

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada:   Rev. W. Wilson of the Episcopal Methodist Church and others have been arrested in the Brockville area. British Whig Dec. 29, 1837 p. 1, col. 4-6

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada:   Rev. W. Wilson of the Episcopal Methodist Church and others have been arrested in the Brockville area. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Dec. 27, 1837 p. 2, col. 6

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada:   Rev. Thomas Baker is re-involved with the Union Church and will preach at the Episcopal Methodist Chapel on Rear Street. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Dec. 16, 1837 p. 2, col. 6

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada:   Extensive report on the Belleville Chapel case. It came before the Midland District. Assizes; the plaintiffs were John Reynolds and others, Episcopal Methodists, and the defendants were Billa Flint and others of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. The jury decided in favour of John Reynolds and the Episcopal Methodists. The case is to be appealed. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Oct. 11, 1837 p. 2, col. 3, 4

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada:   Notice by Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada: This body lost ownership of the Belleville Chapel to the Episcopal Methodist Church. British Whig Oct. 7, 1837 p. 3, col. 5

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada:   Craig, artist Toronto, designed and coloured glass in window of Episcopal Church in Toronto. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Nov. 8, 1834 p. 2, col. 2

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Report on the “Waterloo Chapel Suit”. It was noted that Judge Robinson felt that the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada was the same body as the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada. The other two judges felt that the property belonged to the Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada but not to the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. The British Wesleyan Methodists are associated with and are part of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. An appeal to the crown is to be made. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Feb. 22, 1837 p. 1, col. 6

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Reference to controversy over church property between this group and the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. British Whig Feb. 21, 1837 p. 3, col. 1

Methodist Episcopal Church:   British Wesleyan Methodists to appeal to crown re decision in favour of Episcopal Methodist Church concerning church lands. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Feb. 18, 1837 p. 3, col. 1

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Their church property was not vested in the British Wesleyan Church when the two recently united (1833) to form the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. Judge John B. Robinson favoured the British Wesleyan Church in the settlement but Judges James B. Macaualy and Levies P. Sherwood voted against the British Wesleyan Methodists. British Whig Feb. 16, 1837 p. 3, col. 4, 5

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Their church property was not vested in the British Wesleyan Church when the two recently united (1833) to form the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. Judge John B. Robinson favoured the British Wesleyan Church in the settlement but Judges James B. Macaualy and Levies P. Sherwood voted against the British Wesleyan Methodists. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Feb. 11, 1837 p. 3, col. 2

Methodist Episcopal Church:   According to a report by E.J. Barker, Belleville is the headquarters of the Methodist Episcopal Church. British Whig Nov. 10, 1836 p. 3, col. 4

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Letter by Ephraim Evans of the Wesleyan Methodists concerning the Waterloo Chapel property dispute between that group and the Methodist Episcopal Church. British Whig Sept. 15, 1836 p. 1, col. 5

Methodist Episcopal Church:   This church sued the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada for title to the Waterloo Chapel, and won. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Sept. 14, 1836 p. 2, col. 4

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Rev. James Powley and Rev. John Bailey went to a conference of United States Methodists in Cincinnatti. British Whig Aug. 4, 1836 p. 2, col. 3

Methodist Episcopal Church:   N.G. Reynolds son of Episcopal Methodist John Reynolds, to run as reform candidate in Hastings County. British Whig Apr. 14, 1836 p. 3, col. 3

Methodist Episcopal Church:   In the correspondence of ex-governor Colborne it is noted that he referred to a meeting held by Mackenzie in the Methodist Episcopal Chapel, Brockville.  Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Feb. 27, 1836 p. 1, col. 6

Methodist Episcopal Church:   John Grass states that he is still an Episcopal Methodist although Rev. Whitney tried to persuade him to join the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. Grass was read out of the Waterloo congregation. British Whig Feb. 5, 1835 p. 2, col. 4

Methodist Episcopal Church:   In response for a request for clarification from Egerton Ryerson of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada, Robert S. Jameson stated that the aforementioned group has a claim on the property of the Methodist Episcopal Church, even though some members of the latter group remained separate. Jameson said that ministers expelled or withdrawn from the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada can no longer perform legal wedding ceremonies. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Jan. 31, 1835 p. 3, col. 5

Methodist Episcopal Church:    Excerpt from the Christian Guardian concerning the chapel property dispute between the Episcopals and the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Canada. Egerton Ryerson does not believe that the Episcopals have the right to perform marriages. British Whig Oct. 31, 1834 p. 2, col. 1

Methodist Episcopal Church:   John Cartwright denies that he had been abusing the Methodist. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Apr. 19, 1834 p. 2, col. 2, 3

Methodist Episcopal Church:   John James accused J.S. Cartwright of saying in 1832 that Methodist preachers neither ?feared God, man, nor the devil nor honoured the King.” British Whig Apr. 18, 1834 p. 2, col. 4

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Temperence meeting held at Ernestown in the Methodist Church. British Whig May 4, 1834 p. 3, col. 1

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Kingston Chronicle and Gazette comments on the Christian Guardian’s editorial policy under Egerton Ryerson. Implies that union between British Wesleyan and Episcopal Methodists is not final. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Feb. 8, 1834 p. 3, col. 1

Methodist Episcopal Church in Canada:   Letter from an Episcopal Methodist opposing union of the two groups of Methodists. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Oct. 19, 1833 p. 3, col. 1

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Resolutions of the English Wesleyan conference re: union of the two groups. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Oct. 19, 1833 p. 2, col. 6

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Union of this church and the British Wesleyan Methodists. Egerton Ryerson of the Episcopals and George Marsden of the British Wesleyans supported union but some of the latter group did not. The reporter stated that the Episcopals are too closely connected with the American Methodist groups. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Oct. 12, 1833 p. 2, col. 5

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Article from the New York Commercial Advertiser re. Peter Jones, an Indian who was sent to England by the Methodist Church in 1831 to obtain aid for Indian missions in Upper Canada. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Sept. 21, 1833 p. 1, col. 1, 2

Methodist Episcopal Church: Rev. J. Stimson, representative of the Wesleyan Missionary Committee to Upper Canada, arrived in New York from Liverpool. Egerton Ryerson, representative of the Canadians to the British Conference, also arrived. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Sept. 14, 1833 p. 2, col. 3

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Rev. George Marsden of  London, representative of the British to the Methodist Conference in Upper Canada, arrived at New York Harbour from Liverpool. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette Sept. 14, 1833 p. 2, col. 3

Methodist Episcopal Church:   Kingston Chronicle comment on Mr. Ryan’s address to the Methodist Episcopal Church. Kingston Chronicle Nov. 21, 1829 p. 2, col. 5
Methodist Episcopal Church:   Rev. Lorenzo Dow, commonly called Crazy Dow will preach at the Methodist Episcopal Chapel in Kingston. Kingston Chronicle June 18, 1829 p. 2, col. 3
Methodist Episcopal Church:   Reference was made of Methodists. Kingston Chronicle Jan. 26, 1827 p. 3, col. 3-4
Methodist Episcopal Church:   Petition of the Episcopal Methodists in the Upper Canada Parliament. Kingston Chronicle May 1, 1822 p. 1, col. 4-5; p. 2, col. 1-3
Methodist Episcopal Church:   Episcopal Methodists present a petition to the Upper Canada Parliament. Kingston Chronicle Jan. 4, 1822 p. 1, col. 3-5; p. 2, col. 3-5; p. 3, col. 1-2
Methodist Episcopal Church:   A petition of the Episcopal Methodists presented to the Upper Canada-Parliament. Kingston Chronicle Jan. 18, 1822 p. 1, col. 3-5; p. 2, col. 1-5; p. 3, col. 1
Methodist Episcopal Church:   Robertt Jeffers withdraws from the Methodist Episcopal Church of America. Kingston Chronicle Aug. 24, 1821 p. 2, col. 5
Methodist Episcopal Church:   Letter to the editor from David Breakenridge re: the letter by the men who had withdrawn from the church. Kingston Gazette June 16, 1818 p. 3, col. 4
Methodist Episcopal Church:   Announcement from Robert Perry Jr., Daniel Picket and Daniel Perry to members of the church that they have withdrawn from the jurisdiction of that of the church in the United States and give their reasons for doing so. Kingston Gazette May 19, 1818 p. 3, col. 3, 4

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Methodist Canada Conference:   Expresses thanks to Lt. Gov.  Colborne for his aid to Indian missions. Address presented by Rev. James Richardson, Rev. J.  Stinson, and Rev. J. Ryerson. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette June 12, 1834 p. 2, col. 3

Methodist Canada Conference:   Rev. Grinrod, President of Methodist Canada Conference and Mr. Alder, Secretary of Wesleyan Missionary Society to preach in New York. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette June 5, 1834 p. 2, col. 5

Methodist Canada Conference Resolutions drawn up at Methodist Conference re:  Christian Guardian’s editorial tone. Will print proceedings of Upper Canada Parliament. Will avoid having Methodist Church identified with a party. Kingston Chronicle and Gazette June 7, 1834 p. 1, col. 6

Methodist Canada Conference Rev. William Case, address on their behalf to Lt. Gov. Colborne and his reply on the spread of religion in Upper Canada. Kingston Chronicle Dec. 6, 1828 p. 2, col. 1-2

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…from Rev. Nathaniel Bang’s Journal

Friday 27 September 1805

Agreeable to appointment our Camp-Meeting began at the Bay of Quintie, in Adolphustown on the 27th of Sep. 1805 at 1 o’C. It was held in an open field. In the centre of which a Stage was erected and about 10 or 12 rods [approximately 180 feet or 55 meters] from the stage the tents were pitched in a direct line forming a right angle.

The worship was introduced with singing and prayer, and a Short Sermon delivered by W. Case on “Brethren Pray.” [2 Thess 3.1-3] A number of Exhortations followed but with little movement among the people. After an intermission of 20 minutes a second Sermon was delivered by N.B. [Nathan Bangs] on Christ our Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption [1 Cor 1.30]: After which some exhorted and the spirit of the Lord began to move on the minds of the people. An intermission of one hour and a half, and prayer meeting was held by the whole congregation at the Stage. At first it seemed dull; but an exhortation being given by one of the preachers and then prayer again the power of God descended upon the Camp, which soon raised songs of praises to God for Salvation found. This continued till about 10 o’C at night when a Sermon was delivered by Br. Madden on “We love him because he first loved us” [1 Jn 4.19].  The night was now clear and still, & one who exhorted observed, He believed God had driven away the clouds from the sky in answer to prayer. Several exhortations were given much to the purpose, and a solemn awe rested upon our minds whilst the spirit of God powerfully opperated [sic*] upon our hearts. The exercise continued til past 12 o’C [midnight] when the majority retired to their tents. During this siege 4 sinners were Justified and 2 Backsliders reclaimed.

Saturday 28 September 1805

At 5 o’C the next morning, Sat Sep. 28 prayer meeting was held again at the Stage and continued till eight. Then a Sermon was preached by Br. Keeler on “And he preached Christ unto them” [Acts 8.5] which was applied with power. Exhortations followed in the demonstration of the spirit. At 12o’C Br. Ryan addressed us in the Name of the Lord on “My people are destroyed for lack of Knowledge, at the application” [cf. Hos 4.6] of which God made bare his potent Arm; for the Window of heaven was opened and the bursting power of God descended upon the congregation, in such an awful manner, that it raised a general outcry among the people, who began to be numerous. The travelling and local preachers descended from the Stage and ran among the crowed exhorting the impenitent, comforting the distressed, and encouraging the faithful, calling out Men and brethren help. The word of command was instantly obeyed, for old and young, Male and Female were now employed in carrying on the work of God.

The people of God were chiefly in a bunch by themselves when the camp took fire and the wicked formed a circle round about where they stood with astonishment to see the exercise, whilst many of them were constrained to cry aloud for mercy. As soon as any were wounded by the spirit of God, they were immediately surrounded by a group of men and women who were earnestly engaged with God for their deliverance, and such faith had they that five were left before they were enabled to sing the song of Redeeming love.[*] It might now be said of a truth, the God of of the Hebrews is come into the camp, for the noise was heard afar off. The groans and cries of the wounded, the shouts of the delivered, the prayers of the faithful, and Exhortations of the courageous penetrated the very heavens, and reverberated trough the neighborhood. This exorcise continued till about sunset, when in its ceasing Br. Steel preached on “Behold he cometh with clouds &c.” [Rev 1.7] After several exhortations the exercise ran into a prayer meeting which continued all night without intermission; during which time 5 Souls were Justified, 8 Backsliders reclaimed[†] and 25 Sanctified. Our grateful hearts could not but return thanks to our gracious Sovereign, for so manifest a token of his lovingkindness, therefore we sang Glory to God in the highest.

Sunday 29 September 1805

On Sabbath morning as the material sun arose and darted its luminous rays into our tents, we presented ourselves before the Lord of all the Earth and besought the Sun of Righteousness to arise and shine upon our minds and glory be to God our prayers gained access in the court of Heaven, for the exhilarating Streams of divine light illuminated our souls, and the balmy[*] drops of Jesus’s love gladdened our hearts. O what a Glorious morning was this to us all to find, the tide still continued to rise and bear up the Ark of God. All about 7 o’C love feast began. We ranged the people in [a] square body together, and after the bread and water, the lovers of God and man spake feelingly and powerfully of the goodness of God to their souls, especially since they had assembled in that place, and so expressed their gratitude to God for the introduction of camp meeting among them. It was now that God shewed himself again by something the wicked with conviction which again implored God’s dear people in prayer on their behalf.

The people flocked together from different Quarters until we judged these were at least 2000, some supposed there was 2500. As the prayers of the faithful were so loud and insistent around the Stage that preaching could not be heard, we withdrew to a Waggon [sic] where N.B. [Nathan Bangs] spoke on “Yea doubtless and I count all things but loss for the Excellency of the Knowledge of Jesus Christ my Lord.” [Phil 3.8] After this the noise ceased so that the congregated assembly gathered around the Stand, from whence Br. Ryan spoke on, “Many are called but few are chosen.[” Mt 22.1-14] But even while he was speaking the cries of the distressed in some of the neighbouring tents was such that it occasioned much disorder and irregularity, as some would be running to and froe, and from place to place, to see what was doing for I suppose they saw strange[†] things to day.

There was not, however, such a Terrible outcry now, as yesterday, yet the Lord was still at work. Some exhortations followed the sermon, and then preparation was made for administering the supper of the Lord. The disciples of Jesus came forward with boldness and owned their divine Teacher in the holy ordinance, whilst hundreds of spectators were looking on with amazement to see the mighty display of God’s power, for many were overwhelmed with the loving presence of God during this season of commemorating one of the greatest events ever exhibited to human view [i.e., the Crucifixion; Mt 27, Mk 15, Lk 23 &c.]. After the sacrament the meeting was carried on with exhortation, prayer, and singing, shouting and praising without any intermission til next morning. We shall notice something remarkable during this period. Just after the sacrament a young woman of high rank was struck by the power of God, and her sister seeing her weeping came and took her away by force from the multitude. Some of the daughters of Jerusalem seeing the daughters of Pride running away with one of Christ’s lambs pursued after them, retook the broken hearted-sinner, and brought her back. The wolf who stole away the lamb, followed back and was soon shot with an arrow from the Almighty, which constrained her to roar aloud for mercy, and it was not long before God heard her cry and changed her ferocious nature into the lamblike nature of Christ. Anon the retaken-captive was enabled to say the Lord has become my Salvation, therefore will I praise him[‡] [Ex 15.2]. A little boy of 11 years old was struck under conviction in the camp, and converted on the spot. I saw them carry him away to the tent whilst his tongue was employed in lifting forth the praises of his Redeemer.

A young man who had received the spirit of adoption not long since had got into despair, by giving away to the suggestion of Satan, that he had since sinned against the Holy Ghost [Mt 12.31]. His distress was so great, that he was delirious. He was brought into the camp so much against his will that we were obliged to hold him in order to help him there. His case was opened to us by Br. [Darius] Dunham, and his actions plainly indicated that he was possessed, for as soon as prayer was mentioned he would struggle with all his might to get away, which seemed to be similar to that recorded by the Evangelist [“]let us alone, trouble us not before the time[“] [cf. Mt 8.29]. The wicked Children of the Devil were so enraged because he was brought there that they came upon us, and would have taken him away with violence, had we not formed a ring around him of 5 or 6 deep[¹] in order to keep them off. We first besought God for Christ’s sake to restore him to his right mind which was done. He then began to pray for himself; and tho he did not immediately obtain the faith of assurance, yet he was delivered from despair, and before the meeting broke up obtained the peace of God to his soul. Glory be to God who heareth prayer.

The day at length came to a close, and the sable curtain of night spread her dark mantle over us, but God who rideth upon the wings of the wind, and before whom the darkness shineth as the light, shined into our hearts and gave the Knowledge that Jesus Christ was with us of a truth [Ps 139.11-14]. This night presented to our minds one [of] the most awful & delightful scenes we ever beheld. There was not a cloud in the sky. The stars sparkled in the firmament of the heavens, and the Glory of God overshadowed the camp of Israel. The neighbouring forest became vocal with the high praises of the God of Armies of Israel [1 Sam 17.45]. Turn our eyes which way soever we would, we beheld souls crying for mercy encircled round with a number of the Soldiers of Christ, with their hearts and voices raised in prayer for their Salvation; and anon the tune would be turned into notes of the sweetest melody of Glory of God, my soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit rejoiceth in God my Saviour [Lk 1.46-7].

[Although no pages are missing from the notebook there is obviously some missing text here.]

[…] others with streaming eyes and hearts uplifted to heaven while their bodies lay prostrate on the ground, would be shouting aloud the praises of Immanuel, whilst some would be looking on with wonder, not being capable of distinguishing between the noise of shouting and the noise of weeping — The power of God descended upon a Travelling preacher [i.e., Nathan Bangs] in such a manner that his shouts pierced the heavens, while his body was sustained by some of his friends. He was at length carried out of the Camp into a tent where he lay speechless, being overwhelmed for a considerable time with the mighty power of God. When his strength came, and his tongue was unloosed his song was, Glory to God in the Highest [Lk 2.14].

While he lay in that situation, there came in a gross Backslider who had formerly been a useful local preacher in the M.C. [Methodist Church] and the arrows of the Almighty instantly smote him, so that he roared aloud for mercy. In the meantime many of his friends came round him with weeping eyes; and asking praying hearts, commending him to God in prayer. It was not long before God showed, he had mercy in store of such as him, by sending him deliverance and restoring comfort to his soul. Thus the work of the Lord ran like fire in a dry stable until 10 o’C next morning.

Monday 30 September 1805

There is one circumstance moreover [I] would not neglect to mention, and so much the more, as it shows the entire union which the instruments of this work felt with one another. Just at the close, after a majority of the people were dispersed, and the oil of God’s grace still continuing to circulate through our heats, a local Elder, who had been an instrument in converting many souls in this Province, began to feel the happy effects of it, yet more powerfully in his soul, whilst himself & others were interceding in the behalf of a broken hearted sinner. The travelling Ministers together with the local preachers formed in a cluster together around said Elder with their hands claspt around each others necks, tears streaming from many of their eyes, and hearts uplifted to God, broke out in such expressions of gratitude to God, and love one to another, until the presence of him who filleth all in all, filled, filled our hearts with raptures of Divine Joy, that it drew tears of thankfulness from almost every bystander. Whilst our souls were thus expanded and filled with the pure stream of the Water of Life, we seemed to be absent from the body and present with the Lord, anticipating that pure & perennial bliss where the saints of the most high shall Eternally bask in the bright beams of the smiling countenance of God. Thus our congenial souls were mingling together, with the rest of our dear brethren who were standing round in the praise of their God and our God. Surely heaven smiled at this hour; and we doubt not that if the curtain had been drawn aside we should have beheld a multitude of the heavenly Host praising God and saying, Glory, honor, praise and power be unto God and the lamb forever, whose loving spirit inspires such reciprocal love in the souls of men [Rev 15.13].

We wish to ascribe all Glory to God for every blessing received, but yet we cannot but acknowledge the entire satisfaction we took in seeing the prudent measures taken by the president of the meeting for the furtherance of the work, as also the active part which all the preachers, travelling and local, as well as private members male & female, took, in endeavouring to promote the best of all causes, by exhorting of, and praying with those that were distressed, and groaning for Redemption.

The number brought into liberty during the last 24 hours were 21 Justified, 18 Backsliders reclaimed and 12 Sanctified. The sum total 30 Justified, 28 Backsliders reclaimed, and and 39 Sanctified. 97 in all. To conclude, the hour came that we must part but even after we had been about 3 days and nights upon the ground, and had taken very little sleep and rest, yet there seemed to be an unwillingness in the minds of some to leave the spot. And even after we started, we cast a longing lingering look behind, feeling a regret at evacuating the place where God had so recently blessed us, and given us such a Signal Victory over our Enemies.

We have mentioned the number, as near as we could ascertain, which were delivered from bondage, but we would not wish to insinuate that to be the precise number, for we doubt not but there were many more; but so many came forward and openly declared what God had done for them. In addition to this all those who were before steadfast in the faith, with whom we conversed, professed to have their souls much quickened and comforted beside the many who were awakened, but did not get delivered, whom we hope will yet bring forth the fruits of righteousness.

Finally, we have every reason to praise God for the introduction of Camp Meeting among us, as we have proved it to be a powerful means of awakening and converting souls. O that this blessed work may be carried on till the ends of the Earth shall see the Salvation of our God, and his Knowledge cover the Earth as the waters cover the great deep [Ps 98.3]. Let all that love God say Amen. Amen.

Camp Meeting Terms

Exhortations:  Short orations not based on a biblical text that usually followed a more traditional sermon. Among the earliest Methodists women were as likely to function as “exhorters” as men.

Justified: The process by which a person comes to an awareness of their personal sinfulness (sometimes called conviction) followed by a sense that Christ has indeed forgiven them and they are now “justified” in the presence of a perfectly holy God.

Backsliders: Returning members or adherents of evangelical Christianity who had allowed their religious convictions to atrophy.

Local Preachers: Preachers who were not usually ordained, did not travel circuits, were often married, and were always unpaid for the duties they performed. Local preachers often assisted itinerants and, when no itinerant was available, would also lead worship services and preach on Sundays.

Wounded: Those brought to a conviction of their own sinfulness and their need for salvation.

Love-feasts: Periodic special events of public worship at which bread and water were taken. Attendance at love-feasts was strictly reserved for members in good standing. Tickets provided by circuit riders were usually necessary for admission.

Supper of the Lord: A celebration (also called Eucharist, Communion, Holy Ordinance and sometimes simply the Sacrament), held by most protestant groups at which bread and wine are taken as symbols of the body and blood of Christ. Among Methodists only ordained ministers (circuit riders and bishops) could preside over this celebration. Before the Christmas Conference of 1784 (at which the Methodist Episcopal Church was established in America) all Methodists were obliged to receive the Sacrament only from ordained Church of England clergymen.

Children of the Devil: Unconverted members of the general community who were inclined to interfere with the proselytizing activities of the Methodists.

Traveling Preacher: An itinerant circuit rider as opposed to a local preacher.

Waked: An awareness of one’s sinfulness next to God’s perfect holiness.

Archival Resources

Nathan Bangs’s original journals (together with his six-hundred and sixteen page ms. autobiography) are housed in the Methodist collections of Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.  They are described in the electronic finding aid of the General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church.  Copies of Bangs’s Canadian journals from 1 July 1805 to 28 April 1806 and the American journal and notebook covering events between 1800 and 1817 are also available at the United Church Archives at Victoria College, University of Toronto.  I acknowledge the kind permission of Drew University to publish them in this form.

Edited by Scott McLaren
Book History Practicum
University of Toronto

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Oswegatchie Circuit


Oswegatchie Circuit

…from John Carroll on the establishment of the Oswegatchie circuit
Carroll Case and His Cotemporaries 12

25. The next year [1792], he [Wiliam Losee] and Darius Dunham, were appointed to supply the work in Canada, and it was divided into two circuits, Cataraqui and Oswegotchie, both of them designated by formidable Indian names. Cataraqui was used interchangeably with Kingston, as the former was the ancient name of the place; and Oswegotchie was named from a river and fort on the American side of the St. Lawrence, near where Ogdensburgh now stands, bearing that same name—although the labors of the preachers were bestowed on the Canada side. Dunham had special charge of the former circuit, Losee of the latter; yet, as Mr. D. alone was in full ministerial orders, he probably sometimes exchanged with the other for the purpose of dispensing the ordinances [sacraments]. At the close of the year, 255 members were returned for Cataraqui, and 90 for the other—345 in all.

Rev. Nathaniel Bangs

In 1804 Bishop Asbury ordained Bangs a deacon and then an elder so that he could administer the sacraments along his circuit. One year later Bangs was assigned, with Sylvanus Keeler, to ride the Oswegatchie circuit along the northern shore of the St. Lawrence between Kingston and Montreal.

The content of the Upper Canadian journal covers almost the whole period of Bangs’s itinerancy on Oswegatchie. In addition to being one of the oldest and largest Methodist circuits in Upper Canada, accounting for 25% of the church’s membership at that time, it was also geographically diffuse. It included the settlements of Elizabethtown, Augusta, Edwardsburg, Matilda, Williamsburg, Oznabruck, and Cornwall (Cornish 272).

Although this appointment was a sign of Asbury’s confidence in the young Bangs, Keeler was by far the more experienced of the two. Having been received on trial in 1795, even before Bangs’s conversion, Keeler had also ridden the Oswegatchie circuit in 1802 and had even located his family in Elizabethtown (Carroll 21-22).

The fact that Bangs does not mention Keeler in his journal, however, suggests that the two worked largely independently of one another. Bangs, moreover, probably didn’t want for a helping hand wherever he went: Oswegatchie embraced the regions where the Hecks and Embury families had settled in the 1780s. In addition to the descendants of these families who were active as class leaders and local preachers, at least three additional local preachers were also working in the circuit at that time (Carroll 126-128).

Finally, although Bangs’s journal is curiously silent on the matter, it is almost certain that he became engaged to his future wife, Mary Bolton of Edwardsburgh, sometime during the course of this year. They married on April 27th 1806 just before Bangs was assigned to Lower Canada. Bangs was appointed to the Quebec circuit in 1806, the Niagara circuit again in 1807, and returned to the United States to the Delaware circuit in 1808.

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LACMA-e30064bGraceMethWhat’s so important about the 1874 Methodist Conference at Napanee?

During most of the 19th century, there were several Methodist denominations active in Ontario. The two largest groups were the Wesleyan Methodists and the Methodist Episcopalian. The Wesleyan Methodist Church was founded by missionaries from the United Kingdom and organized in a similar way to the English Methodist Church. The Methodist Episcopal Church, however, was founded by missionaries from the United States and grew out of the revivals and “awakenings” of the frontier. The Methodist Episcopals believed in the ordination of Bishops, while the Wesleyan Methodists did not. The Methodist Episcopals resisted working with government even on issues of education and morality, while the Wesleyans believed this to be a way of influencing society for good. Although there had been efforts to unite all Canadian Methodists as one church, they had been unsuccessful.

By 1874, it became apparent that Bishop Richardson was failing and would soon retire. The choice of a new Bishop was critical. Would it be someone who favoured Methodist union, or someone who would continue to resist it?

Partly because of the “movers and shakers” in the area at the time, little Napanee was chosen for the Conference. With a shortage of local hotel rooms suitable for “men of the cloth”, delegates were billeted with private families. Almost every local Protestant church had at least one guest preach a sermon. Between sessions, Dundas Street was flooded with serious, black-suited gentlemen, some of whom were quite eccentric having wild uncut hair or enormous patriarchal beards. The Napanee Standard, whose editor was a Presbyterian, found the situation quite comical. But inside the Conference, some serious matters were being discussed. Decisions made by such religious congresses would ultimately move the new province of Ontario away from the agrarian past. The roots of the United Church of Canada are here as well as deliberations which would effect the history of Victoria University.

Whether in towns or out in the rural areas, 19th century clergymen were important influences on Ontario society. They commanded a willing and eager audience every Sunday. Social life, even in cities such as Toronto, revolved around church sponsored activities and out on the farms, church activities were almost the only choice. At a time when many people had only a few years of schooling, the opinion of the preacher, who often had college education and had read several dozen books, was highly respected. So, when we look at the faces of the attendees at the 1874 Conference, we are seeing the faces of influential men once as well-known as television personalities are today, but now almost forgotten.…The Lennox and Addington County Museum and Archives  Photo Credit:   e30064b

Guest Ministers

Rev. Dr. Moses J. Hill, is described in the newspaper as ” the senior delegate from the United States”. “Rev. Dr. Hill presented the address of the General Conference of the M.E. Church in the United States. After the address had been read by the Secretary, Dr. Hill made a humourous and practical address in which he expressed his pleasure in being present, the home-feeling he felt surrounded by familiar faces and engaged in business similarly transacted to their own; he spoke of the connection between the American and Canadian conferences and said that their Conference entertained the hope that they would be one here, and trusted the strong ties of Methodist doctrines and Methodist politics would unite them still stronger.” (Napanee Standard) Dr. Hill “of Erie” had met Bishop Richardson at the Episcopalean Methodist Conference in Brooklyn, New York, in May of 1872. They are both mentioned in the New York Times as speakers. (NYT, May 23, 1872) In their day, both were well-known and respected. Moses J. Hill was Born December 6, 1817 in Bergen, New York. He was licensed to preach on trial for the Erie Conference in 1837. The Erie Conference included parishes in what was partly the old Ohio territory, including work in western Pennsylvania and part of New York. Here he met pioneers such as Nathan Bangs and Darius Smith. As well as being a convivial and approachable pastor, Hill showed academic abilities and in the late 1840’s he attended Alleghany College, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree. He later earned a Doctor of Divinity from Baldwin University. He was still serving the Erie Conference when it split in 1876, at which time he became part of the new Ohio Conference. His last parish was in Cleveland. He retired in 1882 and died January 21, 1898 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. (Rev. N.C. Young, in “Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church)

Rev. Homer Eaton, D.D., is described as the junior delegate from the United States. (Senior delegate was Dr. Hill.) Rev. Eaton was from Albany, N.Y. The Napanee Standard commented, “Rev. Eaton discoursed ably and masterly from Corinthians II 1 chap., v. 21 and 22.” Homer Eaton was born in Vermont in about 1835. In 1881, he was stationed at Saratoga Springs, N.Y. At the time of the Napanee Conference, he was about 39 years old.

Rev. J. Gardner, was at that time the Editor of the Christian Advocate. We are somewhat unclear which Christian Advocate but likely this was the newspaper published by the Methodist Episcopal Church in America from New York State.

Ministers in Attendence

Rev. George Abbs
Rev. John Andrews
Rev. Thomas Argue
Rev. Isaac Brock Aylesworth
Rev. Abraham Beemer
Rev. John D. Bell
Rev. Michael Benson
Rev. William W. Benson
Rev. William Claude Bird
Rev. Emerson Bristol
Rev. Walter L. Brown
Rev. W.G. Brown
Rev. Alexander Campbell
Rev. Stephen Card
Rev. A. Carman

Rev. Francis Chisholm
Rev. Owen G. Collamore
Rev. James Curts
Rev. Robert Baldwin Denike
Rev. Moses Dimmick
Rev. John N. Elliott
Rev. Walter Fansher
Rev. John Ferguson
Rev. Francis M. Finn
Rev. William Henry Graham
Rev. A.E. Griffith
Rev. Nathan H. Howard
Rev. Wentworth D. Hughson
Rev. George Jones
Rev. Sylvester L. Kerr

Rev. Bidwell Lane
Rev. Edward Lounsbury
Rev. John McLean
Rev. George Miller
Rev. Samuel Morrison
Rev. Howard B. Palmer
Rev. R.C. Parsons
Rev. Thomas W. Pickett
Rev. John C. Pomeroy
Rev. John O. Reynolds
Rev. James Richardson
Rev. Robert Sanderson
Rev. William Service
Rev. William A. Sills
Rev. James Simpson
Rev. S.G. Stone
Rev. Frederick B. Stratton
Rev. Charles Taylor
Rev. Simon Terwilligar
Rev. Able Traveler
Rev. Thomas Webster
Rev. G. Sullivan White
Rev. Hiram Williams
Rev. Jonathan Sprague Williamson
Rev. David Wilson
Rev. Joseph Young

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1906 Markerville Alta – Methodist Manse center of image

Acme  Rev. Merk

Airdrie  Rev. J.H. Johnson


Alix  Rev. S. Pike

Angus Ridge  Rev. J.G. Anderson

Athabaska Landing  Rev. Hopkins

Banff  Rev. W.J. Haggith

Bankhead  Rev. R.H. Parry (Residence)

Baroo  Rev. B. Anderson (Missionary)

Barrhill  Rev. M.B. Anderson (Farmer)

Battle Lake  Rev. H.R. Murril

Bawlf  Rev. C.R.A. Dutton

Beaver Hills  Rev. S. Webster

Beaver Lodge  Rev. Alex Forbes

Beiseker  Rev. Moosley

Belleview  Rev. T.D. Jones

Bentley  Rev. O.E. Mann

Berry Creek  Rev. W. Smith

Black Diamond  Rev. P. Morecombe

Black Falls  Rev. J. Anderson

Bon Accord  Rev. Bennet

Bonnie Glen  Rev. H.J. Evers

Botha  Rev. Johnson

Bottrel  Rev. H.T. Jarett

Bow Island  Rev. Wright

Boyne Lake Mission  Rev. Stinour

Brant  Rev. H.J. Ball

Bruse  Rev. F.G. Matthews


Superintendent of Missions  Rev. T.R. Buchanan

Bankview  Rev. W. Hollingsworth

Central  Rev. George W. Kerby assisted by
Rev. J.W.G. Martin

Crescent Heights  Rev. Joseph B. Francis

Trinity  Rev. Arthur W. Coone

Wesley  Rev. Aubrey S. Tuttle M.A.

Victoria  Rev. J.W. Williams

Content  Rev. Pike

Cooking Lake  Rev. Chillman

Coppice Hill  Rev. D. Cameron

Cowley  Rev. S.S. Peat

Crossfield  Rev. W.A. Smith

Culham  Rev. Law

Daysland  Rev. J.N. Wilkinson

Didsbury  Rev. J. Davidson

East Clover Bar  Rev. Fawcett

Edison  Rev. T.H. Boyce B.A.

Edson  Rev. Woodward


McDougall  Rev. J.E. Hughson

Grace  Rev. Robert Pearson

Norwood  Rev. W.A. Lewis

Wesley  Rev. J. Coulter

North Edmonton  Rev. Charles G. Bailey

Elinor  Rev. Riddley

Elbow River Mission  Rev. W. Hollingsworth and
Rev. J. Kennedy

Ena  Rev. Johnson

Entwistle  Rev.G. Fathergill

Erskine  Rev. Clarke C. Hawley


Ferrybank  Rev. C.J. Tate

Fisher Home  Rev. E.J. Evers

Forman  Rev. R. Airey

Forshee  Rev. Johnson

Fort Saskatchewan  Rev. W.J. Conoly

Freshfield  Rev. W. Berry

Gadsby  Rev. C.H. Johnson

Gilpin  Rev. R.K. Swenaton

Gladys  Rev. W.W. Saunders

Gleichen  Rev. Giddings

Granlim  Rev. H.H. Cragg

Greenshields  Rev. Thomas Philps

Grouard  Rev. F.W.H. Armstrong

Hardistry  Rev. H.S. Bird


High River  Rev. J.P. Berry

Holden  Rev. A. Williams

Innisfail  Rev. H.J. Munton

Iowalta  Rev. A. Moseley

Irma  Rev. E. Boothroyd

Irricana  Rev. A. Moseley

Irvine  Rev. Nightingale

Irwinville  Rev. John Tough

Islay  Rev. Geoghyan

Killam  Rev. J. Chester

Lacombe  Rev.Thomas Powell

Lac Ste. Anne  Rev. William McNutt

Lamont  Rev. W.G. Shaw

Landonville  Rev. Arthur S. Orton

Langdon  Rev. J.W. Coone

Laurence  Rev. Lonsdale

Lawsonburg Mission Rev. Wells


Wesley  Rev. T.P. Perry

Westminster  Rev. Alfred A. Lyttle

Lewisville Mission  Rev. S.R. Hosford

Lloydminster  Rev. W.J. Wilson B.A.

Lobley  Rev. Williams

Lundbreck  Rev. F.T. Cook

MacLeod  Rev. S.W. Bishop

Magnolia  Mission  Rev. Wright

Manville  Rev. Hankinson

Manola  Rev. I.M. Seymour

Markerville Rev. G.G. Pybus

Maughan  Rev. Kempton

Medicine Hat

Century  Rev. McDonald

Methodist Episcopal  Rev. J.S. Damm

Millet  Rev. C.H. Shepherd

Minburn  Rev. A. Moore

Morley Mission  Rev. Marchmont Ing

Nanton  Rev. E.S. Bishop

Noyes Crossing  Rev. Geeghan

Ohaton Rev. Simpson

Okotoks  Rev. G.G. Webber

Olds  Rev. T.J. Johnston M.A. PhD.

O’Mara Rev. George Watson

Pakan  Rev. W.J. Howard

Pincher Creek  Rev. R.E. Finlay

Pleasington  Rev. Robert West

Ponoka  Rev. E.J. Tatis

Provost  Rev. R.J, Harden

Ranfurly  Rev. Mann

Red Deer  Rev. Robert Pearson

Red Willow  Rev. Thomas Pickering

Rexboro  Rev. Clemens

Rimbey  Rev. E.F. Kemp

River Bow  Rev. M.W. Smith

Rocky Rapids  Rev. H.H. Cragg

Rosemead Mission  Rev. McComb

Sedgewick  Rev. W.L.Bradley

Spilsted  Rev. D.H. Chillman (Farmer)

Spring Lake  Rev. A.T. Flynn

Spring Ridge Mission   Rev. Taylor

Star  Rev. Shaw

Stavely  George H. Backus (Lay Preacher)

Sterlingville  Rev. Wesley Sinclair

Stettler  Rev. J.F. Woodsworth

Stoney Plain  Rev. A. Clegg

Strathcona  Rev. Arthur H, Schultz

Strathmore  Rev. T. Wilson

Sullivan Lake Mission  Rev. W.G. Shaw

Summerview Mission  Rev. Finlay

Tofield  Rev. S. Nicholson

Vegreville  Rev. George D. Armstrong

Viking  Rev. R.K. Swenarton

Wabamun  Rev. R.W. Clements

Wainwright  Rev. T.D. Phillips

Walsh  Rev. Percy Sutton

Water Glen  Rev. Young

Wavy Lake  Rev. William Marshall

Wetaskiwin  Rev. A.R. Aldridge

Whitefish Lake  Rev. R.B. Steinhauer

White Whale Lake  Rev. W.E.S. James

Woodglen Mission  Rev. W.H. Marshall

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Alberta Past and Present, Historical and Biographical

Vol 1 – Chapter XIV
Church History in Alberta


As we have noted at the beginning of the chapter the first missions of the Wesleyan or Methodist Church in Western Canada were established in 1840. In that year a party of missionaries under Rev. James Evans left Montreal to establish stations at different points in the West from Rainy Lake to the Rocky Mountains. Mr. Evans was an Englishman had spent some time among the Indian missions of Upper Canada. He was invited by the Wesleyan Missionary Society of England to take charge of Wesleyan Missions in Western Canada. At the same time three young men—Rev. George Barnley, Rev. Wm. Mason and Rev. Robert T. Rundle—were sent from England to assist him, under the auspices of the Society, and chiefly at the expense and under the protection of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Evans accepted the invitation and brought with him two young Objibway Indians, Peter Jacobs and Henry B. Steinhauer.

The missions established and the missionaries in charge were as follows:

Norway House—Rev. James Evans, superintendent, and Peter Jacobs.
Moose Factory and Abittibi—Rev. George Barnley.
Rainy Lake and Fort Alexander—Rev. Wm. Mason and Henry B. Steinhauer.
Edmonton and Rocky Mountain House—Rev. Robert Rundle.

Rundle was the first missionary to visit what is now Alberta and to establish missions among the Indians of this part of the West. He reached Edmonton September 1st, 1840. He was given quarters in the Fort and supplied with the necessaries of life by the Hudson’s Bay Company, a custom followed by the Company throughout its wide territory. In the course of his ministry Rundle visited Beaver Lake, Rocky Mountain House, the Blackfeet on the Bow River and the Stoneys in the vicinity of Banff. He camped for a number of weeks at the foot of Cascade Mountain in 1841, and ascended the mountain that now bears his name. At the Mountain House he met Maskepetoon, the great peace chief of the Wood Crees, and accepted an invitation to visit the chief at the Red Deer. This visit culminated in the chief’s conversion. Other notable Indian neophytes of Rundle were Broken Arm, Stephen Kecheyees and Pakan; also Peter Erasmus, a half-breed, still living and long employed as missionary and interpreter at Whitefish Lake. During his periods of residence at Fort Edmonton, Rundle held school twice a day in the Fort.

He established a mission at Pigeon Lake under Benjamin Sinclair, which was destroyed by the Blackfeet in 1845. In that year we find him at Fort Canton where Paul Kane met him. He left the country in 1848, and died in England in 1886.

During his superintendency of Wesleyan Missions, Evans visited Fort Chipewyan, Isle a Ia Crosse, Fort Pitt, Fort Canton and many of the principal fur posts on the Churchill River as far east as York Factory. Endowed with a natural aptitude for linguistic study Evans was the originator of the syllabic system of the Cree language, which has been one of the great factors in the success of Indian missions by all Christian denominations in Western Canada and America. Evans made his first type from lead taken from tea chests and old bullets. carving the letters with his pocket knife. Ink he made from soot; paper from birch bark and with his own hands built a rude press with which he printed the first characters of his hymn collections and Scripture translations. This system is based upon a form of phonetic shorthand and is so simple that by its use it is possible to teach all to read and write his own language in a few weeks. The Methodist Missionary Society saw the great importance of such an invention, and types, paper and press were sent from England to Evans’ headquarters at Rossville. The influence of the new learning spread far and wide. The Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches adopted it. It gave an incentive to invent other similar systems for the Athabaskan and Blackfeet tribes.

The labors of this great pioneer missionary in Western Canada had a tragic ending. During one of his trips to a neighboring mission, he accidentally shot and killed his beloved interpreter, Thomas Hassall, an educated Chipewyan. Overcome by grief he left the country and died in England November 23, 1846. His place at Rossville was taken by Rev. Wm. Mason, who had labored there since 1844.

In 1854 Indian missions established in Western Canada by the Wesleyan Missionary Society were transferred to the Methodist Church of Canada, and soon the splendid work inaugurated by Evans was taken up by one who measured up to him in heroism, in adaptability to pioneer conditions, in missionary zeal and power over the Indian tribes. This was the Rev. George McDougall, the father of Methodism in Alberta. Mr. McDougall was commissioned in 1860 by the Methodist Conference of Upper Canada to take charge of Methodist Missions in Western Canada with headquarters at Rossville. He was, by this appointment, chairman of a vast district embracing stations at Oxford House, Rossville, Carlton. Edmonton, Rocky Mountain House, Whitefish Lake and Lac la Pluie.

During the interval from 1854 to 1862 the work in Alberta was carried on by Rev. Thomas Woolsey, and Rev. Henry B. Steinhauer, assisted by Rev. Benjamin Sinclair and Peter Erasmus. Woolsey and Steinhauer arrived at Edmonton September 26th, 1855. Mr. Steinhauer was stationed at Lac la Biche until 1857, when he moved to Whitefish Lake, establishing a mission there, where he labored until his death in the closing days of 1884. Mr. Woolsey made Edmonton his headquarters, being accorded the same privileges as Rundle – a private room and a place at the officers’ mess. In 1857 he commenced an outpost mission at Pigeon Lake and during his residence in the territory visited at various intervals the Indians at Old Bow Fort, Rocky Mountain House, Smoky Lake and Whitefish Lake. In 1862 he determined to establish a mission at Smoky Lake, and erected a cabin. Before he left the country he translated a number of hymns and portions of Scripture, with the help of Peter Erasmus and Jonas, one of Rundle’s converts of the Mountain Stoneys, for the people of that tribe. His knowledge of medicine gave him a great reputation among the camps. He left the country via York Factory in 1864 for England. Returning to Eastern Canada he continued in the ministry until 1885, when he was superannuated and died in 1894.

In 1862 Rev. George McDougall resolved to establish the Indian missions of what is now Alberta, but then known as the Saskatchewan Valley, on a more permanent basis. In that year he crossed the plains, accompanied by his son John, from Winnipeg via Batoche, Carlton and Pitt to Whitefish Lake, established about 1857. Here he met Rev. Henry B. Steinhauer. Several Indian houses had been built around the mission and many of the natives were strongly attached to the place. From Whitefish Lake he proceeded to Smoky Lake, about twenty miles north of the present village of Pakan, on the North Saskatchewan, where he found Rev. Thomas Woolsey. Exercising his authority as chairman of the district, he ordered this mission to be transferred to Victoria, now called Pakan. He then crossed the Saskatchewan at Victoria, taking with him Rev. Mr. Steinhauer and Peter Erasmus, and journeyed into the Battle River country to meet the Wood Crees, under their great chief, Maskepetoon, who, through the labors of Rundle and Woolsey, was able to read the Cree Bible. When Mr. McDougall visited him he was reading the 8th chapter of Romans. Mr. McDougall next visited Edmonton, where he was hospitably received by Chief Factors Christie and Hardisty, and proceeded down the Saskatchewan on September 9th for Rossville, on Lake Winnipeg.

In the following year Mr. McDougall returned to Victoria where, according to his orders, the new mission was established, the Indians moving from Smoky Lake with the mission. This was his headquarters until 1871. During the summer he visited the Stoneys South of the Battle River, going as far as the Big Canyon, on the Red Deer River. Seed was procured from Edmonton and Lac la Biche for the spring crops of 1864 at Victoria. After seeding, McDougall, with his son John, Mr. Steinhauer and Peter Erasmus visited the Stoneys again and proceeded far enough south to meet the Mountain Stoneys. The party returned home via Pigeon Lake, where a site was picked for another mission station, which was subsequently called Woodville. Two schools under the auspices of the Methodist Church were opened this year, one at Victoria and the other at Whitefish. These were the first Protestant schools in the Province. They are still carried on by the Methodist Church, and have (lone a splendid work for the Indian and half-breed children. The first teacher at Whitefish was Ira Snyder. Other teachers in this roll of honor were Miss E. A. Barrett, 1872-1874; Benjamin Sinclair and Edward R. and Robert Steinhauer, and J. A. Youmans.

In the following year the mission at Pigeon Lake was built, and put in charge of John McDougall, who for the next half century occupied a commanding position in the history of the Methodist Church and the Indian affairs of the North West Territories. The timber for the mission was taken out by the younger McDougall in the fall of 1864. He was in charge of this mission until 1869 when he was succeeded by Rev. Peter Campbell, who arrived at Edmonton September 21, 1868, having taken his wife and two small children across the plains from Fort Garry, driving ox carts. Mr. Campbell was one of a party of three young ministers brought out by Rev. George McDougall that year from Ontario. The other two were Rev. George Young and Rev. Egerton R. Young, famous in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The former was the first Methodist minister of Winnipeg.

For the program of the summer of 1869 the principal missionaries of the Saskatchewan Valley organized a big gathering of the Indians on the plains with the object of promoting peace among rival tribes and educating them in loyalty and Christianity. The Indians and half-breeds from Lac la Biche, Mr. Steinhauer and his people from Whitefish Lake,, Rev. George McDougall and the people from Victoria, the Wood Crees, John McDougall with the Wood and Mountain Stoneys, Hudson’s Bay Company officers -almost the entire population of Central Alberta at the time – were included. Following the Indians over the plains was a favorite method followed by all the missionaries – before the Indians were placed on reserves – Roman Catholic, Methodist and Anglican, to bring the gospel to the natives and acquaint them with the policies of the Government. But this gathering including so many tribes, was the first effort of the kind and an anxious experiment for Superintendent McDougall and his son John. The big meeting nearly failed owing to the treacherous murder of the Chief Maskepetoon by the Blackfeet in the spring of the year. Maskepetoon visited the Blackfeet camp hoping to arrange a peace. As he was approaching the camp, bearing a white flag and open Bible, a Blackfoot savage shot him.

Among the chiefs at the hunt were Sayakamat, Chief of the Wood Crees after Maskepetoon’s death, Pakan, Samson and Ermine Skin – men who proved their loyalty in 1870 and 1885. Rev. Father Scollen, the Catholic missionary, was in attendance during the hunt, as were also Rev. Peter Campbell and Ira Snyder, the teacher from Victoria. No doubt this successful “summer school” for the Alberta Indians did much to hold them in subjection during the dangerous events at Red River in the fall of that year.

The transition from the rule of the Hudson’s Bay Company to that of the Government of Canada was an uneasy period for the missionaries of the plains. Buffalo were becoming scarcer every year in the valley of the North Saskatchewan and the Indians were inclined to blame the white men. Besides there were over seven hundred mixed bloods in the country West of Fort Canton, sullen and restless over the disturbances at Red River (1869-’70). Added to these difficulties was the terrible scourge of smallpox during the winter and summer of 1870 which carried off over one-third of the population. The Government of the North West Territories and the Hudson’s Bay Company sent John McDougall on a mission of peace in 1871, for the tribes were gathering at the Hand hills and evil counsel was being spread. Here he met Sweet Grass, Sayakamat, Little Pine and their headmen, and better counsel prevailed. For this service Mr. McDougall was given the status of an officer in the Hudson’s Bay Company.

In 1871 Superintendent McDougall (Rev. George) decided to establish the headquarters of the Saskatchewan District at Edmonton. Leaving his son John in charge at Victoria and the White Earth Settlement (near the site of Old White Earth House of 1810), he built a mission house and church outside of the Hudson’s Bay Fort, on the site of the McDougall Church of the present day. This was the beginning of modern Edmonton, and Rev. George McDougall was its founder. Next year the District meeting of Saskatchewan transferred Rev. Peter Campbell from Pigeon Lake to Victoria and John McDougall to Pigeon Lake.

Mission at Morley Alberta

During the summer of 1872 the first Methodist Conference held west of the Great Lakes was convened in Winnipeg. All the missionaries from the Saskatchewan Valley attended—Rev. George McDougall, Rev. Henry B. Steinhauer, Rev. Peter Campbell, and Bro. John McDougall. The conference decided to open a new mission for the Mountain Stoneys at Morleyville, named after Rev. Dr. Morley Punshon, who attended the conference, and to put Rev. John McDougall, ordained at the conference, in charge. The site of the mission was selected the following spring (1873) by Rev. George McDougall, and building commenced in the autumn of the same year. Materials for the buildings were brought from Font Benton. This has been one of the most successful Indian missions established in Western Canada and is still in operation.

Rev. Lachlan Taylor, General Secretary of the Methodist Missionary Society, visited Alberta in the summer of 1873, with John McDougall as guide, calling at Whitefish Lake, Victoria, Edmonton, where he dedicated the first McDougall Church building, and Pigeon Lake. Continuing his journey southward through the Blackfeet Country, he spent a night at Fort Whoopup, and crossed over to Fort Benton on his way home to Eastern Canada. Next year (1874) Rev. George McDougall visited all the missions in Alberta as far north as Athabaska. Rev. John McDougall was sent by the Canadian Government to explain the coming of the North West Mounted Police to the Blackfeet tribes of Southern Alberta. He visited Fort Kipp, Fort Whoopup and Blackfoot Crossing, where he met some of the famous whiskey traders of the time. Here he met Crowfoot and Old Sun. The announcement was welcomed by the Blackfeet chiefs as one of deliverance and protection from the plundering, murderous whiskey traders, but at the same time it was a poignant realization that the glory of their nation had departed forever. Henceforth they would be wards, not masters in the land of their birth.

We come now to the end of the Indian regime on the plains. Up to this period we have been dealing with Indian missions. After the formal entry and taking possession of the country by the North West Mounted Police the way was prepared for settlement. From this date onward Indian missions have been confined to the Reservations. We hear no more of big missionary gatherings of the various tribes during the buffalo hunts. The time had come for permanent missions and settled pastorates.

After a trip among the Crees and Stoneys to prepare them for taking treaty, Rev. George McDougall and his son John visited the Blackfeet late in 1875 to establish a mission among them. A location was chosen at Pincher Creek, but the untimely death of the intrepid missionary delayed the project for two years. It was not until the summer of 1878 that a mission was established among the Blackfeet by the Methodist Church.

The death of George McDougall at the age of 56, after sixteen years of heroic service on behalf of the natives of the plains was a great loss to the Church and to the State. The tragic circumstances of his death made the loss still more lamentable. Word reached Morleyville January (1874) that the buffalo were moving westward. Mr. McDougall, his son John, and three others set out to secure a supply of meat. On the 24th of that month they were camped about ten miles from where Calgary is now. After three days’ run they were returning to camp, eight miles away, Mr. McDougall, when within two miles of the lodge, went ahead to prepare supper while the rest brought home the meat. Thirteen days days later he was found frozen not far from the camp. lie was buried at Morleyville. His name and his work will ever be an unfailing treasure of inspiration to the Methodist Church in Western Canada.

His work was taken up by his son John, then, and for many years afterwards, stationed at Morleyville. A church was built at Calgary in 1877, although John McDougall had held services there from the time the Police established Fort Brisbois, the first name given the police post at this point. Next year he sent Miss E. A. Barrett and one of nis daughters to open the first Protestant mission in Southern Alberta at Macleod. Six months later Rev. Henry M. Manning succeeded Miss Barrett, and in the summer of 1880 John Maclean, a student, took  the work which he carried on with pronounced success for over ten years. Meanwhile Mr. Maclean completed his theological studies and acquired a wide knowledge of Indian history, languages, manners and customs, which he has given to the world in a number of books. He is now the chief archivist of the Methodist Church in Canada. In 1881 the mission was moved to Blood Reserve, where it was carried on until 1892, when it was turned over to the Anglican Church.

In 1880 Dr. Alexander Sutherland, General Secretary of the Methodist Missionary Society, made a tour of inspection of Western missions. He came over the Southern plains from Fort Benton to Edmonton, thence by boat down the Saskatchewan to Prince Albert, thence overland to Winnipeg. A new church was built in Calgary in December, 1883, a few months after the Canadian Pacific Railway reached the town, by Rev. James Turner, the first settled pastor. The same year the first Methodist Church in Medicine Hat was built, Rev. Wellington Bridgeman being the first pastor.

When the coal mines were opened at Lethbridge, Rev. John Maclean from the Blood Reserve, held services for the miners on the river bottom before there was a town of that name. These services were held once a month until 1887, when Rev. Wellington Bridgeman of the church at Macleod, took up the work. In 1889 Rev. James Endicott, now General Secretary of the Methodist Missionary Society, was sent there as a young man under the superintendency of Rev. A. B. Hames, of Macleod.

A new Indian mission was opened in 1883 at Lesser Slave Lake, under Rev. E. R. Steinhauer, son of the veteran native missionary of Whitefish Lake. The name of this mission soon disappeared from the yearly reports, and Mr. Steinhauer was transferred to Morleyville. In the early eighties missions were established among the Indians on the reserves on the Battle River. Rev. John Nelson ministered to the Stoneys at Woodville and also visited the reserves at White Whale (Wabamun) Lake and Riviere Qui Barre. Rev. E. B. Glass was in charge at Battle River from 1882. After the rebellion in 1885, Rev. Geo. E. Somerset established a new station at Bear’s Hill. After the death of Henry B. Steinhauer at Whitefish Lake (December 29, 1884), Rev. Orrin German, a famous Cree scholar, who had served many years at Norway House, Oxford House and other stations in Northern Manitoba, was sent to Whitefish Lake (August, 1885). He conducted this mission until he was transferred to Battle River and Bear’s Hill in 1892, where he labored until his death in ,July, 1905. Rev. Geo. E. Somerset took charge of the missions at White Whale Lake and Riviere Qui Barre (1892), and Rev. E. B. Glass was transferred at the same time to Whitefish Lake. Next year (1893) an Indus- trial School for the training of the Indian youth was established at Red Leer, and placed in charge of Rev. John Nelson and R. B. Steinhauer, B.A., another son of the famous missionary of Whitefish. Next in charge was Rev. Geo. E. Somerset from 1894 to 1903. Then followed: Rev. John P. Rice, 1903-1907; Rev. Arthur Barner, 1907-1913; Rev. J. F. Woods- worth, 1913 to the present time. in 1920 this school was moved to a site a few miles North of Edmonton. It draws its pupils from Louis Bull’s Reserve, Samson’s Reserve, Paul’s Band at Wabamun.

The importance with which the Conference of Manitoba and the North- West regarded its w’ork among the Indians was indicated by the appointment in 1903 of Rev. John McDougall, founder of the McDougall Orphanage and Mission at Morleyville, to the position of Superintendent of Indian Missions for the Methodist Church, and organizing the work among the Indians into a separate department or an Indian District. On Mr. McDougall’s retirement a few years later he was succeeded by Rev. Thomas Ferrier, the present Superintendent of this work.

A Galician mission was established in 1901 at Pakan, the new name given to Victoria. The importance of Victoria as an Indian mission had ceased. The country South and North of the Saskatchewan River was filling up with new settlers from Galicia. C. H. Lawford, M.D., who was placed in charge of the new mission, still labors in this field.

The McDougall Orphanage at Morleyville was closed in 1906, and remained closed until 1921, when the institution was reorganized and opened as a boarding school, Rev. E. J. Staley in charge.

The year 1906 brings us to present day conditions. Churches began to spring up in every town. Towns grew as railways were extended. The Methodist Church, following the lines laid down by the Conferences, and directed by the genius of the Superintendent of Missions, Rev. Dr. James Woodsworth, pursued a vigorous and comprehensive policy of establishing its ministry in every town and settlement, and of strengthening its organization to meet the increasing demands. The territory, comprising what is now Alberta, was divided into three districts—Calgary, Red Deer and Edmonton—with twenty-five stations in each district. Twenty years before, June, 1883, the first Conference in the West had been organized in Grace Church, Winnipeg. Rev. Dr. Geo. Young, the first Methodist minister in Winnipeg (1868), and then Superintendent of Missions in the West, was elected President. At that time there were only five self-sustaining fields, forty-six missions to White settlers, and seventeen to the Indian tribes in the whole of the North-West.

Conditions were ready for further advancement in the organization of the church in the West. So in 1904 the Conference of Manitoba and the North-West, meeting again in Grace Church, Winnipeg, divided the jurisdiction into three Conferences, namely: Manitoba, Rev. Win. Saunders, President; Saskatchewan, Rev. Hamilton Wigle, President; Alberta, Rev. J. M. Harrison, of Medicine Hat, President, and Rev. T. C. Buchanan, Superintendent of Missions for Alberta.

In anticipation of the division of the territory, the Conference of 1903 authorized the organization of Alberta College at Edmonton as a preparatory and collegiate institution under the Methodist Church. Accordingly, Alberta College was opened December 3, 1903, with Rev. Dr. J. H. Riddell as principal. Dr. Riddell held the position until he took over the principalship of Alberta Theological College (now Alberta College South), when that institution was opened on the campus of the University of Alberta. Rev. F. Stacey McCall succeeded Dr. Riddell as principal of Alberta College North. In 1918 Dr. Riddell accepted the principalship of Wesley College, Winnipeg. Rev. D. A. S. Tuttle then became principal of Alberta Theological College.

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1907 Red Deer District Ministers

Red Deer  Rev. C.H. Huestes, Rev. Leonard Gaetz, Rev. E.E. Michener, Rev. R.O. Jolliffe, Rev. J.R. Earle B.A., Rev. R.S. Longley B.D.

Springvale  Rev. W.E. James B.A.

Penhold  Rev. H.M. Horricks

Innisfail  Rev. George G. Webber

Milverton  Rev. C.E. Rogers

Bowden  Rev. J.B. Howard, Rev. H.M. Mobbs

Mayton  Rev. S. Webster

Olds  Rev. J.W. Bruce B.A

Eagle Valley  Rev. T. Colwell

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1910 Alberta Methodist Conference at Red Deer, Alberta

The Cayley Hustler – June 8, 1910

In 1880 in Alberta there was one District with 20 ministers, now there are 15 Districts with nearly 200 ministers and probationers and 10,620 members.

1910 High River District

High River  Rev. J.B. Berry

Okotoks   Rev. George G. Webber

Lineham  Rev. P.H. Neville

Arrowood  Rev. H.J. Ball, Rev. Brant E. Fairweather

Cleverville  Rev. J. Horsley

Cayley  Rev. F. Bushfield

Nanton  Rev. E.S. Bishop

Parkland  Rev. H.D. Ainley

Stavely  Rev. G.H. Backus

Claresholm  Rev. A.B. Argue

Carmangay  Rev. J.W. Coone

Bowville  Rev. H.M Bosomworth

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