The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

March 29, 2006

March 29, 2006 – Methodist Church

In 1858 Rev. William Ryan, a Methodist Minister, held Revival Meetings in private homes in Springhill. He was assisted by Mr. Lockhart, Parrsboro, Matthew Lodge, Mapleton and James Sproule of Halfway River . The people of Springhill eventually decided they needed a church so in 1863 the Church at Miller Corner was built. It was framed by Thomas Reid of Athol and Rev. Ryan was the first Minister.

When the town started to grow and expand to its present location it was decided that a new Church would be built on land donated by Nathan Boss at the corner of Main Street and Hospital Street . The corner stone was laid in 1874 and Rev. Joseph Hale was the first Minister. The Church was again moved in1882 to its present location at the corner of Main Street and Junction Road . In 1883-1884 a twenty foot addition was added which allowed for the choir to be placed behind the pulpit and for more pews to be added. The Trustees at that time were: Richard Bennett, George Canfield, Thomas Humphrey, William Boran, John Bradley, R.H. Cooper, C.B. Hewson, Nathan Boss and Alex McInness. The Secretary was Dr. Cove and the local Preachers were Richard Bennett and Joseph Simpson.

In 1887 one hundred and eighty-five attended Sunday school and although the new church had 400 seats more were need. In 1888 a transept was added on the east side of the building. The young people of the church secured a bell for the church. This bell is still in use today in the St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church.

A Parsonage was built beside the Church in 1885-1886. For eighty years it played an important part in the Methodist Church . But since it was built on Main St as the town grew it was undesirable to have the parsonage on Main St so it was removed.

In 1897 there was a Union of the Churches and the Wesley Methodist Church became Wesley United. An article in the Springhill Record dated March 27, 1897 stated:

“The People of Springhill have been the first in the County to make a move for the completion of organization in pursuance with the plan adopted by the recent county convention held in Amherst . The representatives of the churches and orders of Springhill at the request of S. McDowell met in the Vestry of the Methodist Church and appointed the necessary committees. The officers elected were – President, S. McDowell, secretary, Charles Rennie; treasurer, John Hunter; executive, William Hall, A. G. Purdy, J. Thompson, Mrs. R. McKenzie, Mrs. Amos Hunter and Mrs. James Gilroy.”

The old church was torn down in 1914. The corner stone for the present church was laid July 16, 1913 by Ross H. Cooper. Others, taking part were Rev. J.W. Prestwood, President of Conference, Rev. W. H. Hearts, D.D. and Rev. D.W. Johnson, D.D., editor of the “Wesleyan”. The Trustees of the Church at that time were W.D. Matthews, T.G. Canfield, D.M. Mattinson, A.W. Brown, Joseph Price, James Scott, H.S. Terris, A.L. Somers, C.R. Hannah, J.F. Gilroy, A.C. Fullerton, H.W. Perrin and C.W. Smith. The church was formally opened and dedicated in 1914 and the old bell was reset.

In 1964 the St. Andrew’s Church and the Wesley United were amalgamated and became known as the St. Andrew’s – Wesley United Church . The church is still in use today and along with the usual services has been the scene of many plays, concerts and suppers over the years. The present minister is the Rev. Danny Compton.

The old Church in Miller Corner was purchased by W.C. Fullerton of Amherst and converted into a three tenement house. About the year 1891 Richard Letcher bought the place, tore it down and rebuilt it with the original lumber. Around this time a new Community Church was built near the site of the original Church in Miller Corner. It became known as “The little Methodist Church ”.