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Church Photos

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Free Church
Free Church

The Presbyterian Free Church was located on Edinburgh Square at Sutherland St. In 1898 Church Union occurred and a new Church was built at the site of the Argyle Kirk. (Unknown)

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Caledonia Presbyterian Church
Caledonia Presbyterian Church

Church Union in 1898 resulted in the construction of this church. (Unknown)

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Caledonia Presbyterian Church
Caledonia Presbyterian Church

Church Union in 1898 resulted in the construction of this church. (Unknown)

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Parish Minister Directory

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Rev. James Black                  Pre-1888

Rev. John G. Shearer, D.D.   1888-1891

Rev. J.S. Conning D.D.           1891-1898

Rev. D.D. McDonald               1898-1902

Rev. William Wallis P.H.D.    1903-1910

Rev. Neil D. McKinnon           1910-1925

Rev. David Jack, M.A.            1925-1936

Rev. M.E.R. Boudreau S.T.D. 1936-1938

Rev. A. Norman McMillan     1938-

Parish Histories

Evelyn Gillespie's History (1950)

In the year 1846 the Rev. Andrew Ferrier, a minister of the Scottish church visited Caledonia and organized a congregation in a schoolhouse. Shortly afterwards he settled in the community in the home he called “Salem Cottage” after which the Women’s Missionary Society Auxiliary is named.

About 1849 a church was built on the site of the present church, influenced by the controversy that raged in Scotland between Established and Free Churches, Dr. Ferrier and those who sympathised with his stand left the Argyle Street Kirk and built another church on Edinburgh Square. This became known as the Sutherland Street Church or the Old Kirk. In Dr. Ferrier’s Kirk there was no organ or “Kist o’ Whustles”. The choir stood in the centre of the congregation and the precentor, William Brown, “raised the tune”. Dr. Ferrier was a scholar of first rank and a leader in the educational activities of the community.

In this congregation Dr. Ferrier was succeeded by a relative, Rev. Thomas Wilson, a man of scholarly attainments and spiritual power.

Meanwhile the Argyle Street congregation had called for the Rev. James Black whose faithful and fruitful ministry lasted for thirty-three years. He was of the pioneering spirit and did a tremendous work both in the spiritual realm and in establishing the educational system of the county. “Black’s” Church became an influence for right thinking and graceful living in the community. During his long and successful ministry in Caledonia he is reported to have received into membership nine hundred communicants and married over six hundred couples.

In the year 1887 the division was healed and the two churches happily became one congregation.

The corner stone of the present church on Argyle Street was laid on June 24, 1898, and the united congregation built a manse on the site of the Sutherland Street Kirk.

The following ministers have served the congregation since the ministry of the Rev. James Black:-

Rev. John G. Shearer D.D. 1888-1891

Rev. J.S. Conning D.D.         1891-1898

Rev. D.D. McDonald         1898-1902

Rev. William Wallis Ph.D. 1903-1910

Rev. Neil D. McKinnon         1910-1925

Rev. David Jack M.A.         1925-1936

Rev. M.E.R. Boudreau S.T.D. 1936-1938

Rev. A. Norman McMillan 1938-1950

On December 12th, 1878 the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society was organized in Caledonia. This organization later became known as the Women’s Missionary Society. Since the early days it has performed a valiant service. Their motto has ever inspired them to higher endeavor.

A great debt of gratitude is due the women of every generation for their kindly service to the church. This congregation has long been served by the Ladies’ Aid, and also in recent years by the Brant Auxiliary and the Young Women’s Club.

The young people’s Christian Endeavor flourished during Dr. Shearer’s and Dr. Conning’s ministry. In the years that Dr. Wallis served the congregation a Young People’s Guild was formed. In more recent years this has become the Presbyterian Young People’s Society. In all these groups young people have been trained for leadership and many so trained have occupied positions of prominence in church and community life.

Mission Band was first organized in the Manse by Miss Ferrier. The girls chose the name of Salem Cottage Band and the boys were the Golden Rule Band. Later both were united under the name of Farther Lights Mission Band, the name of the original band being retained by the Auxiliary of the W.M.S. The Farther Lights Mission Band is still flourishing under faithful leaders who are endeavoring to inspire the children with missionary zeal.

During the years various other youth organizations have served the youth of the congregation.

The choir has added much to the service of worship. The church has always enjoyed the services of a faithful choir and excellent leaders. For many years there have been both Junior and Senior Choir.

Our memories of our days in Sunday School are pleasant. We shall cherish in our hearts the memory of those teachers and officers who lead us in pleasant pastures, beside the still waters, and pointed us to the Good Shepherd, the Lover of children.

In the present church there are two Rolls of Honour on which are inscribed the names of members and adherrents of the church and Sunday School who served King and Country in the World Wars of 1914-18 and 1935-45. In October 1949 a new organ was dedicated to the memory of those who made the Supreme Sacrifice.

 

Caledonia & District, A History (1967):

On a mission trip in 1846, Dr. Andrew Ferrier organized a congregation of Presbyterians in Caledonia. Two years later Dr. and Mrs. Ferrier with their six daughters came to the village and settled in the home they called “Salem Cottage”. To this manse many early settlers came to be married or to have their children baptized.

The congregation met in a schoolhouse until 1849 when a frame church was built on the site of the present church. However, Dr. Ferrier never preached in this church. Influenced by the controversy that raged in Scotland between the Established Free Churches, he and his followers of the Free Church left the Argyle Street Congregation and built another church on Edinburgh Square. Dr. Ferrier was a scholarly man, inflexible in his principles, soundly orthodox, and deeply spiritual.

After Dr. Ferrier’s death in 1861, he was succeeded by a relative Rev. Thos. Wilson, and the Sutherland St. Church became known as “Wilson’s kirk” in contrast to Black’s Kirk on Argyle Street. Mr. Wilson possessed a strong personality and a keen sense of humour which made him beloved by his congregation and all with whom he came in contact.

Meanwhile the Argyle Street Congregation had called a young student minister, the Rev. James Black, whose faithful and fruitful ministry lasted for thirty-three years. His charge included the congregations of Indiana and Allan Settlement, later known as Carluke.

These early Presbyterian ministers in Caledonia, Dr. Ferrier, Rev. Thos. Wilson and Rev. James Black were all leaders in establishing the educational system of the county, which seems to have been one of the duties of the clergy in these pioneer days.

In the year 1887, the division was healed and the two churches happily became one congregation. The cornerstone of the present church was laid on June 24, 1898 and a manse was built on the site of the Sutherland St. Church.

The following ministers have served the congregation since the ministry of Rev. James Black.

Rev. John G. Shearer, D.D. 1888-1891

Rev. J.S. Conning D.D.         1891-1898

Rev. D.D. McDonald         1898-1902

Rev. William Wallis P.H.D. 1903-1910

Rev. Neil D. McKinnon         1910-1925

Rev. David Jack, M.A.         1925-1936

Rev. M.E.R. Boudreau S.T.D. 1936-1938

Rev. A. Norman McMillan 1938-

 

On December 12, 1878 the Women’s Foreign Missionary Society was formed in Caledonia. Other Women’s Organizations have been the Ladies’ Aid, the Presbyterian Women’s Club, and the Brant Auxiliary. The W.M.S. Auxiliary commemorates the name of the first manse in their Salem Cottage Auxiliary.

During the years various youth organizations have given direction to boys and girls, Christian Endeavour, Young People’s Society, and the C.G.I.T., Tuxis, Scouts, Sigma-C, the Farther Lights Mission Band, and Explorers. The Church School has been served by many loyal teachers and officers and the attendance is constantly increasing.

Choirs add much to the service of worship. The Church in Caledonia has always enjoyed the service of a faithful choir and excellent leaders. There are both junior and senior choirs.

Much improvement in the Church property has taken place during recent years. A Memorial Organ was dedicated in October 1949 to the memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice in the two wars. The Church edifice has been beautified by a colourful carpet, the kitchen has been enlarged, the heating system improved and the church basement equipped to accommodate the enlarging church school.

Related Photos

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Salem Cottage
Salem Cottage

The Salem Cottage was the Manse for the Presbyterian Church, located near where Zehrs Markets is today. (Unknown)

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Salem Cottage
Salem Cottage

The Salem Cottage was the Manse for the Presbyterian Church, located near where Zehrs Markets is today. (Unknown)

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Salem Cottage
Salem Cottage

The Salem Cottage was the Manse for the Presbyterian Church, located near where Zehrs Markets is today. (Unknown)

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Salem Cottage
Salem Cottage

The Salem Cottage was the Manse for the Presbyterian Church, located near where Zehrs Markets is today. (Unknown)

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Salem Cottage
Salem Cottage

The Salem Cottage was the Manse for the Presbyterian Church, located near where Zehrs Markets is today. (Unknown)

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