|| 1857 - still exists|
- Central Presbyterian Church
A United Presbyterian congregation was formed on April 6, 1857 by Rev. John M. King, and a church was built at the junction of Metcalfe Street and the Blair Road. The church was renamed The Second Canada Presbyterian Church in 1861 and then Melville Presbyterian Church on January 7, 1866. In early 1870 the church was joined by the members of the short-lived Bayne Church and the name was changed to Union Presbyterian Church; it then became Central Presbyterian Church (with St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church) on May 18, 1880. Rev. James A.R. Dickson had been called to Union Church on October 14, 1879 and therefore assumed the ministry for the new joint congregaton. Rev. Dr. Dickson was to remain minister until forced to retire in January 1914 due to ill health. Ministers who followed him were Revs. M.B. Davidson (1914-1952) and David Gowdy (1952-1974).
On July 26, 1880, the cornerstone for a new stone church was laid; nearly two years later, on March 5, 1882, the opening sermons were preached in the new church. The gallery was added in 1889 and in 1905 electric lighting was installed. The church bells date from the following year, 1906. Many years later a large addition was constructed for office, meeting and Christian Education space; it was opened and dedicated on April 10, 1954.
Baptism dates: 1880- Location of records: at church
Marriage dates: 1880- Location of records: at church
Burial dates: 1880- Location of records: at church
The church holds the 1832-1875 St. Andrew's Church baptismal records, as well as records of other early Galt Presbyterian churches. The Communion Rolls 1852-1953, which include United, Second Canada, Melville and Union Churches, are also at the church. Marriages for 1851-1899, which include St. Andrew's, are on microfilm at the Cambridge Public Library. At the Archives of Ontario: Baptisms 1832-1902 and Marriages 1851-1899. The Church of Latter-Day Saints microfilm 0204131 contains Baptisms 1879-1902 and Marriages 1898-1899. Refer also to Huber (1986) for early marriages.
[ADDRESS/LOCATION: Queen's Sq, Cambridge, ON - located in the Galt section of Cambridge; 623-1080.]
References: Barrie, WHS 1982(70):8-14; Dickson 1904:64,89-90,106,129,136; Presbyterian Church; A. Taylor 1970:198; R. Taylor 1986; Young 1880:204.
Church Histories: 1) Dickson, James A.R. "Ebenezer." A History of Central Presbyterian Church, Galt, Ontario. Toronto: William Briggs, 1904. 2) Barrie, James R. A Century at Central 1882-1982. Ayr: Ayr News, 19821a
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]
United, Second Canada, and Melville Presbyterian Churches
Begun: 1857 Closed: 1870
Rev. John M. King, representing the United Presbyterian Church, arrived in Galt in the Fall of 1856. A new congregation was formed in January 1857. Rev. John Duff from Elora presided at the official organization of this new congregation (Presbytery of Wellington) on April 7, 1857; the congregation was said to number 135. The first church building was located at the corner of Metcalfe Street and the Blair Road; the first pastor was the Rev. John James, who was inducted as minister to the congregation on September 29, 1857.
In 1861 the United Presbyterian Church and the (Free) Presbyterian Church united to form the Canada Presbyterian Church. The church is recorded in the First Annual Minutes of the new organization as "Galt, 2nd Congregation" (Canada Presbyterian Church 1862:5). The "first" was Knox Presbyterian Church. Rev. William T. Murdoch (1862-1870) was ordained on September 10, 1862, and on the same day was inducted as the first minister of the church as Canada Presbyterian.
The church was renamed Melville Presbyterian Church as decided at a congregational meeting on January 7, 1866. In the autumn of 1869 dissatisfied Knox Church members left to form the short-lived Bayne Church which joined with Melville on April 13, 1870 to become Union Presbyterian Church. In 1875 the Presbyterian Church in Canada was formed from the Canada Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church of Canada in Connection with the Church of Scotland, and two other Presbyterian churches. On May 18, 1880 Union Church joined with the St. Andrew's congregation to become Central Presbyterian Church.
Baptism dates: 1857-1870 Location of records: Central Presbyterian Church
Marriage dates: unknown Location of records: unknown
Burial dates: unknown Location of records: unknown
The following records are currently located at Central Presbyterian Church: 1) United Presbyterian Church - Baptism rolls (includes Melville) 1857-70, Communion Rolls 1857-1863, Session Minute Books 1858-1863; and 2) Second Canada Presbyterian Church - Record Book 1860-1870, Communicants' Roll (includes Melville) 1863-1870. On microfilm at the Cambridge Public Library: the Baptism Roll Book (including Melville) for United Presbyterian Church, 1857-1870; indexed. Baptisms 1857-1870 are on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints microfilm 0204131.
References: Barrie 1982; Canada Presbyterian Church; Cant 1915:52-58; Dickson 1904: 31,53,64,89-90; A. Taylor 1970:198; R. Taylor 1986; United Presbyterian Church; Young 1880:204.
Church History: See Central Presbyterian Church history.2a
2aAmbrose, 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]