Waterloo Region Generations
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Bridgeport United Church Kitchener
1876 - 2011


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  • Birth  congregation begun 1876  40 Bridge St. W., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Unknown 
    Alt Address  Bridgeport United Church, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Church  1933  40 Bridge St. W., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    construction 
    Former Geographic Area  Bridgeport 
    Died  still standing 2011 
    Person ID  I210  Buildings and Organizations
    Last Modified  18 May 2012 

  • Notes 
    • Bridgeport United Church

      Begun: 1876

      The early Evangelical Association congregations in Berlin and Waterloo date back to August 1839 when a Camp Meeting was held over a number of days at  David Erb's  farm (Lot 7, German Company Tract) at Lexington. Classes (or congregations) in Berlin and in Waterloo were organized at that meeting by Bishop John Seybert - on August 29th. Twenty-six charter members were divided into the two classes. Class leader for Waterloo and vicinity was  Jacob Hoffman . His brother,  John , was class leader for Berlin.

      The Waterloo class, along with classes at Lexington and Breslau, was connected to the Berlin Mission until the organization of the Canada Conference of the Evangelical Association in 1864. The Waterloo Mission was formed at that time. In 1866 the Breslau class was merged with the Lexington class and in 1876 the Lexington class, with 31 members, was referred to as the Bridgeport class for the first time.

      An old log schoolhouse was purchased in 1879 for $500.00 on condition that it be used only for Sunday School services, not for preaching. The exterior walls were covered with lumber and the building was dedicated on November 9, 1879. A new white brick church was built ten years later, in 1889, when the old schoolhouse became inadequate for the growing congregation. This church was in use until 1934 when the present building was completed. A decision had been made at a congregational meeting in July 1933 to proceed with construction of a new church. The ground-breaking service was held on August 28, 1933 and on October 1 of that year the cornerstone was laid by Rev. W.J. Zimmerman. Dedication services were held in the new red brick church on Sunday March 18, 1934. In 1942 the old brick church was sold to Mr. Minnacker for $100. An addition which was built on to the west side of the church in 1958 provided additional space for the Sunday School, as well as offices and a kitchen. The new complex was dedicated on November 30, 1958 with Professor John F. Schaefer of Naperville, Illinois preaching the dedication sermon.

      Bridgeport and Waterloo were a joint parish from 1876 until 1910, when Bridgeport was joined with Strasburg. This association lasted until 1914 when Bridgeport called its own full-time pastor. The Evangelical Church joined with the United Brethren in Christ Church on November 16, 1946 to form the Evangelical United Brethren Church. On January 1, 1968 when the Evangelical United Brethren joined with the United Church, Emmanuel's name was changed once again - to Emmanuel United Church. In February 1987 the congregation voted to change the name of the church to Bridgeport United Church.

      Rev. J. Kaechele (1864-1865) was pastor in 1864 when the Waterloo Mission was formed;  Solomon Kraft  was the Bridgeport class leader when the schoolhouse was bought in 1879 and  Rev. S.R. Knechtel  (1888-1891) was pastor in 1889 when the new white brick church was built.

      Records:
      Baptism dates: 1912- Location of records: at church
      Marriage dates: 1912- Location of records: at church
      Burial dates: 1912- Location of records: at church

      The church historian Wilfrid W. Roedding reported in 1967 that the church's records from 1879-1910 had been lost.

      [ADDRESS/LOCATION: 40 Bridge St. E., Bridgeport, ON N2K 1J5; 745-0931.]
      References: Bridgeport W.I.; Getz 1964:11 (picture), 38; Featherston, WHS 1939(27):82; Lamb, WHS 1979(67):60; R. Taylor 1986.
      Church History: Roedding, Wilfrid W. Local History of Emmanuel United Brethren Church, Bridgeport Congregation. Emmanuel United Church as of January 1, 1968. November 1, 1967 (appendix to October 1969).1a

      1aAmbrose, Rosemary. Waterloo County Churches A Research Guide to Churches Established Before 1900. Kitchener, Ontario, Canada: Waterloo-Wellington Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, 1993. [used the kind permission of Rosemary Ambrose 2011]

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsBirth - congregation begun 1876 - 40 Bridge St. W., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsAlt Address - - Bridgeport United Church, Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChurch - construction - 1933 - 40 Bridge St. W., Kitchener, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
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