|| 1000 - 2011|
||47 Water St. N., Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario
|Former Geographic Area
||Buildings and Organizations
||18 May 2012 |
- South Water Street Baptist, First Baptist, Avenue Road Baptist Churches
According to Cant (1915:67), "About 1850 or 1851 the colored people in the village of Galt, who were Baptists, held their services in a house on King Street." The services were eventually discontinued. Some years later the Baptist organization held meetings in the same building on King Street, and were "regularly organized" (Ibid.). This was the early Baptist Church shown on Pollock's 1867 Map of Galt on King Street near Queen Street. Later services were held in the Methodist New Connexion Church. The Canadian Baptist July 21, 1870, (pg. 2) reported that the [Church] Council had met July 5, 1870 to consider organizing a Baptist congregation in Galt. The "newly formed church" had 14 members.
A Baptist Church was organized in 1876 by Dr. Thomas Leslie Davidson from the Guelph Baptist Church, and services were held in a number of downtown locations until a small building was erected in 1878 at the corner of South Water and Chapman Streets, and opened for worship on Sunday, October 6, 1878. Rev. Robert Clark was ordained pastor of the congregation the next day, October 7, 1878. This small church was replaced by a newer, larger one on the same site in 1886. The cornerstone for the new church was laid on August 5, 1886, with Rev. Dr. Castle, Principal of McMaster Hall, Toronto, officiating. Opening services in the new brick church were held on February 6, 1887; Rev. Dr. Castle preached at the morning service. An auditorium was built in the next year. Early pastors were Rev. Thomas Baldwin (1876-1878) and Rev. William S. Walker (1879-1888).
The church was known as South Water Street Baptist until August 7, 1955 when the name was changed to First Baptist Church by unanimous vote of the congregation. A new Christian Education wing was opened and dedicated the next year, on April 5, 1956.
On May 26, 1978 First Baptist and Delta Park Baptist churches voted to amalgamate effective July 1, 1978, and to relocate to a new facility when finances permitted. The two congregations continued to meet as one in the Water Street South building with the name of First Delta Baptist Church. The Water Street South property was sold to the City of Cambridge in November 1982 and the congregation then met in Avenue Road School. A sod turning ceremony was held in February 1983 and the congregation moved into the new building in November of that same year. The official opening and dedication service was held in January 1984.
A Sunday School Mission, which was to become Delta Park Baptist Church, was opened July 1, 1909 in a building on North Water Street. The mission became a church in 1919 with the name of Bremner Baptist Church until 1943 when Rev. W.F. Bremner, for whom the church was named, died. The church was renamed Delta Park Baptist Church at that time.
Baptism dates*: unknown Location of records: unknown
Marriage dates: 1896-1954 Location of records: Canadian Baptist Archives
Burial dates*: unknown Location of records: unknown
The membership list for 1888 is at the Canadian Baptist Archives, as are the Minutes 1895-1933. Records at the Canadian Baptist Archives may be seen with written permission from the church. *Please refer to the Introduction for an explanation regarding Baptist church records.
[ADDRESS/LOCATION: Avenue Road Baptist Church, 465 Avenue Road, R.R. # 3, Cambridge, ON N1R 5S4 - located in the Galt section of Cambridge; 621-4391.]
References: Baptist Church; Cant 1915:67-69; Struthers 1971; R. Taylor 1986.
Church Histories: 1) South Water Street Baptist Church, Galt, Ontario c.1930 & 1934 [brief Church Histories]. 2) How the Avenue Road Baptist Church Came To Be, n.d.1a
1aAmbrose, Rosemary. Waterloo County Churches A Research Guide to Churches Established Before 1900. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Waterloo-Wellington Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, 1993. [with kind permission of Rosemary Ambrose]