Posted by: Manager / Associate Curator | May 31, 2017

First Baptist Church – 135 Years of Service

Many were involved in laying the groundwork for what would evolve into the community of faith known as First Baptist Church. Baptist missionary work in the region began in 1845 in the now Lost Village of Mille Roches by Rev. Newton Bosworth and later continued by Allen McLean at Osnabruck. Evangelist Rev. Peter Grant conducted meetings in Cornwall in 1874. Jane MacArthur and Jennie Hamilton formed Cornwall’s first Baptist Mission Circle on October 7, 1880. Many others also played a role.

On June 15, 1882 the new church was organized with 16 charter members; the community’s first service took place and the community’s first resident minister arrived that autumn. Meetings in local homes ended when the church moved to Kirkpatrick Hall on August 7 of that year. A January 26, 1884 fire consumed their church in Kirkpatrick Hall at the corner of Second and York Street, forcing a temporary relocation to the Y.M.C.A.

First Baptist Church – 1906

A new Gothic Revival style church was erected in the 100 block of Sydney Street that same year. The 260 seat building served the congregation until 1960 when it relocated to its new and larger premises at the intersection of York and Third Street West. The Sydney Street building later functioned as the House of Labour and more.

McGill Chair Company

The current church was erected on the site of the former McGill Chair Company; Prime Minister John Diefenbaker and his wife Olive, Baptists themselves, laid the cornerstone.

Olive Diefenbaker, Rev. D.A. Timpany, Frederica Ford – Nov. 6, 1960

Membership peaked at 330 in 1969.

The current church

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