History of the Church

Sep 1, 2022 | 0 comments

“In 1895, Mill Bay was a small scattered settlement and although the Catholics had their church and cemetery, there was to quote Clara Copley McLean, “No place to solemnize the weddings; to christen the children and no dedicated place to lay the dead, at least for the Protestants. Several families had buried loved ones in a corner of their pasture. Later Reverend Garry McKean was visiting from Salt Lake City, and services were being held on a dance platform on a grassy glade near the site of the abandoned mill. ‘Now that cousin Jerry is here, let’s organize a camp-meeting, enthuse the neighbours and evoke interest in a church-building project.” (Clara C)

So late in the summer of 1897 it was decided to build a church. When the call came for monetary contributions, Major McLean who was said to be ‘as tight as the bark on a tree where money was concerned’ was not convinced. “I doubt if $50 could be raised in the whole settlement.” However, old Hans Peter Peterson said “I will give $50”. Now thinking there was a misunderstanding Rev. McKeansaid “Mr. Peterson means he will give $5. At this point old Hans extracted $50 in gold from his purse and handed it to the treasurer.

Where to put the new church! They thought they might buy the site of the platform and decided to approach the owner, Mr. Sayward. Frank Garnettt and Tom Chapman, returned from their meeting with Mr. Sayward with the deed for an acre near the southwest corner of the property. The only stipulation being that all early settlers who desired it, should be given free burial in the church-yard.”Volunteers came forward with offers of labour and materials. The lot was cleared with oxen and horses and men, women and children all worked diligently. Finally, on a fine morning in May 1898, the Mill Bay Methodist Church was dedicated by Reverend Winslow.

Fifty-five years later, in 1953, Reverend Bernard Knipe organized a committee to canvas the district and raised enough money to build a hall at the rear of the church, for Sunday School, meetings, bazaars and concerts.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest