This archive includes photos, a database of parish ministers, church history, and more.

Church Photos

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Caledonia Baptist Church
Caledonia Baptist Church

The new Church on Argyle St. S. (Unknown)

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Ministerial Directory

Ryan Edwards
Ryan Edwards

Current Interim Pastor (Unknown)

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1896-1902 Students from McMaster University

1902-1902 Rev. M. Boyer

1906-1909 Rev. A.S. Cross

1909-1912 Rev. McQuarrie

1912-1916 Rev. A.H. Brace

1916-1919 Rev. D. Britton

1919-1924 Rev. G. Connor

1924-1933 Rev. W. Spiddell

1933-1940 Rev. R.G. Price

1941-1945 Rev. A. Forsyth

1945-1949 Rev. S. Findlay

1950-1952 Rev. H. Slater

1953-1954 Rev. K. Morrison

1955-1960 Rev. G. Walker

1961-1962 Rev. A Hackson

1962-          Rev. R. Wright

Parish Histories

Mabel Howard's History (1950)

The Niagara Association recognized the Baptists as an organized religious group in 1896.

For two years, the members met over Scott’s Feed Store. Mrs. Thos. Spratt and Mrs. J. Howden (then Clara and Mary Harris) were the original organists. At this particular time there was a drive on for additional Baptist churches. Rev. J.M. Smith, then of Port Colborne, was anxious that Caledonia should have one of its own. It was he along with Mr. Harry Cowie and Deacon Carter who was mainly responsible for its founding.

The lot for the church was purchased from Dr. Burns. At that time it was just a huge hill. Near the present site of Pendrey’s garage there was a twenty foot drop.

The actual building of the church entailed a great deal of work and it is interesting to note that a great deal of it was done gratis.

In 1898 the church was officially opened. It was called a Missionary Church, and as such has never failed to raise its allotment. Dr. John Macheil (then a student and later a professor at McMaster) was the speaker. It is interesting to note that he spoke not only to a crowded church, but also to a crowd of approximately 250 gathered at the windows and door.

The Parsonage lot was donated by Mr. Harry Cowie. It was built in 1906. Mr. Cross was the first minister to occupy it.

Each minister tried to improve the church. During Mr. Brace’s ministry it was declared self-supporting and free from debt. It was, during this time, the parsonage was cleared too.

During Mr. Spidell’s ministry the present pulpit, platform and choir seats were added. It was during his ministry too, that Onondaga Baptist joined.

So many members have given so much the develop the spirit and strength of the church that to mention anyone in particular would be unfair. Their reward lies in the fact that their children have continued in their footsteps.

 

Caledonia & District, A History (1967):

The earliest attempt to form a Baptist Church is found in the files of the Grand River Sachem. In the edition of November 20, 1861, there appears a notice announcing the intention of Rev. A. Slaght of Waterford and the Rev. J.E. Ryerson of Simcoe to spend three days in Caledonia in order to organize a Baptist Church. Meetings were held in the late Dr. Ferrier’s church, the present Presbyterian Church, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings and in the Town Hall on Sunday morning. The Sachem of November 27, 1861 announced that a Regular Baptist Church had been organizes in the village on the previous Sunday. Bi-weekly announcements in the paper told of the services of worship which were held in the Town Hall. Evening services during December were held in the Presbyterian Church and the remainder in the Town Hall. These services were led by the Rev. John Alexander of Brantford, the Rev. W. A. Caldwell of Dundas, the Rev. Joseph Painter of Onondaga, the Rev. P. Clerihew of Paris, the Rev. J. Bates of Canborough and the Rev. A. Kippen of Scotland. 

On Monday, January 6, 1862 a missionary meeting was held in the late Dr. Ferrier’s Church, the first of its kind to be held in the village. According to the comments of the editorials of the Grand River Sachem, January 8, 1862 the meeting was a great success and the audience responded liberally to an appeal made for the Baptist Missionary Convention of Canada West. No notices appear in the Sachem until July 27, 1862 when it announces that services will be held in the Town Hall on the Sabbath at 3 p.m. The Rev. Wm. Muir of Woodstock, possible Woodstock College led the meetings for three weeks and that Mr. Bates also served the Mount Healy Union Church at the same time. Announcements of services appear from August 13, 1862 through October 15 of the same year, then no further notices appear until January 7, 1863. In this edition of the paper a proposed meeting of the Canadian Baptist Home Mission Society is announced for January 13, 1863 in the Town Hall. At that meeting Deacon Messenger presided and the editorial comment was “It was very sparsely attended.”

Nothing else is known of these early Baptists and their work lay dormant until the spring of the year 1896 when a group of neighbouring pastors and laymen concerned for the Baptists of Caledonia and a survey of the community was taken by the Rev. C.H. Emerson of Hamilton, Miss Laura Cowie and Albert Jones of Caledonia. The canvas revealed many interested people. On June 5, 1896 a meeting was held in the home of George Post over thirty people attended. The following day the Association Hall was rented and on Sunday, June 7, the first service was held. Mr. A.F. Cobbe, a student of Woodstock College, led the small group until August 31, 1896 when he left to return to College. He was followed in the work by other students who continued to supply and support the work until 1902.

The Baptist Church was formally organized on October 28, 1896 and was recognized as a Baptist Church by the Niagara – Hamilton Association of Baptist Churches on November 17, 1896. The officers of the church at the time of organization were.

Deacons – Henry Cowie, William Jones, C.R. Jones

Clerk – George H. Post

Treasurer – Albert E. Jones

Organists – Miss Clara Harris (Mrs. Thomas Spratt) 

Miss Mary Harris (Mrs. J. Howden)

The Sunday School began with the church but was not formally organized until November 4, when Henry Cowie was elected superintendent and Mrs. C.R. Jones as secretary. For two years, the members met over Scott’s Feed store. At this particular time there was a drive on for additional Baptist Churches. Rev. J. Smith, of Port Colborne, was anxious that Caledonia should have one of its own. It was he together with Henry Cowie and Deacon Carter who was mainly responsible for its foundation. The lot of Dr. burns was purchased in 1896 and the present church built in 1898 after the large hill had been levelled. Most of the work was done by the members themselves. In 1898 the Church was officially opened. It was called a Missionary Church and as such has never failed to raise its allotment. Dr. John Macheil, then a student and later a professor at McMaster University was the speaker. It is interesting to note that he spoke not only to a crowded church but also to an estimated two hundred and fifty people gathered at the windows and door. The Parsonage lot was donated by Henry Cowie and it was built in 1906 and the first minister to occupy it was the Rev. A.S. Cross.

There have been many improvements made in the church. During the Rev. A. Brace’s ministry, it was declared self-supporting and free from debt, and during this time the parsonage was cleared too. When the Rev. W. Spiddell was minister the present pulpit, platform and choir seats were added. At this time the Onondaga Baptist Church joined with Caledonia in supporting the minister and sharing his services. In 1950 the addition was made to the rear of the church for the Sunday School.

The following are the ministers who have served the Baptist Church.

1896-1902 Students from McMaster University

1902-1902 Rev. M. Boyer

1906-1909 Rev. A.S. Cross

1909-1912 Rev. McQuarrie

1912-1916 Rev. A.H. Brace

1916-1919 Rev. D. Britton

1919-1924 Rev. G. Connor

1924-1933 Rev. W. Spiddell

1933-1940 Rev. R.G. Price

1941-1945 Rev. A. Forsyth

1945-1949 Rev. S. Findlay

1950-1952 Rev. H. Slater

1953-1954 Rev. K. Morrison

1955-1960 Rev. G. Walker

1961-1962 Rev. A Hackson

1962- Rev. R. Wright

The earliest Mission Circle and Mission Board is recorded back to 1911, but very little is mentioned of these two organizations. Mrs. Elmer Senn is mentioned as the first Secretary-Treasurer of the Mission Circle. In 1918 Mrs. G. Connor, wife of the minister became the president and Miss R. Calder the Secretary-Treasurer. Apparently Mrs. Connor was a very active woman as she organized a Ladies Aid group in 1920 and became president of the group. Miss Jennie Blair was the first Secretary-Treasurer of the Ladies Aid. For many years the Ladies Aid was active and a large group and held suppers in the store of A.E. Jones Bakery and in the old Legion Hall. A full course supper was served for twenty-five cents. A great deal of time was spent in quilting and most often in parsonage. Ladies spent two days quilting by hand for two dollars.

In 1946 the younger ladies had increased that a junior Mission Circle was formed under the leadership of Miss Beatrice Campbell, who became the first president. The circle was given the name of the Mitilda Findlay Mission Circle. Mrs. Ernest Young was appointed counselor from the senior group.