Calvin United Church, Bathurst Township, Lanark County, Built – 1896

Calvin United Church Lanark County0001

As late summer turns to fall each year, I am reminded of the pretty little church on the hill, not far from DeWitt’s Corners.  It was on a bright September morning in 1896, that the very first service was held at Calvin United Church.

It seems only fitting, in this photo of my niece Meaghan, that she and her husband, Sean Christie, are standing in front of the building where her parents Judy Stafford and Jim Ryan were married on the 21st of May, 1966.

Judy and Jim's wedding

It is the same church where her grandmother Audry Stafford brought me, and my four siblings each Sunday, when we were children.

Calvin Church members 1

Calvin United Church was built on the property of Mr. John Cameron.  The first elected officers in the church were Andrew Gamble, William Scott, Andrew Palmer, George Miller, Andrew B. Miller, Andrew W. Miller, W.J. Palmer, John Jordan, Nichol Stewart, Alex Palmer and Sydney Miller.

Hymn of Offering:

“We give thee but thine own,

Whate’er the gift may be,

For all we have is thine alone,

A trust, O Lord, from thee.”

Portrait of Jesus

Portrait of Jesus at the front of the church

Some of the organists over the years:

Mary Miller – up to 1967

Beverly Miller Ferlatte – began to play in 1967, and throughout the years, including 2012-2020 ongoing, and from 2009-2020 ongoing, at Althorpe

Laura Milne – 1970s and 1980s

Kim Mackie – played up to 2009 at Althorpe

Pearl Ward – played up to 2012

Alma Churchill played while her husband Rev. Allan Churchill was minister

Calvin Church members 2

Calvin Church members 3

Calvin Church members 4

Calvin Church 5

There is a Roll of Honour for the brave veterans of Calvin United Church who served their country so faithfully, during times of war: Lloyd Henry Cameron, Helen Muriel Jordan, Hugh Boyd McLellan, John Grey Palmer, Harold Earl Radford, James Stewart Scott, Earl Alexander Tysick, Edwin Cecil Popplewell, John Ernest Miller, Donald Edwin Jordan, George Bertram Fyfe, Kenneth Arthur Kirkham, George Elwood Palmer, Howard William Radford, John Adam Scott, Andrew William Stewart, Raymond McIntosh Blackburn, Andrew Gordon Miller, William Arthur Stewart.

Calvin Church War Veterans

In September 1936 Calvin United Church celebrated their 40th Anniversary:

Calvin Church 40th anniversary Sept. 18 1936

Calvinettes Mark 10th Anniversary – May 1972

Calvinettes 10th anniversary

In 1979 Calvin Jordan was presented with an award for serving the church for over half a century. The award was presented by Charlie Patton and Alan Jordan for his outstanding service.

Calvin Church Calvin Jordan

Although because of the times, men held the offices in the church, women have also played an important role going back to 1894 with the ‘Ladies’ Aid’.

Calvin Church lawn social June 25 1915 p 5

Calvin Church Lawn Social, ‘The Perth Courier’, June 25, 1915, p.5

Later, there was a ‘Women’s Mission Society’, and even later the U.C.W., or United Church Women.  In 1962 the younger women formed the Calvinettes.

Calvin Church ladies auxiliary

Some of the dedicated women of the ladies’ auxiliaries over the years were: Lillian Cameron, Ethel Scott, Ethel Korry, Jean Korry, Mae Miller, Bertha Stewart, Edith Miller, Mary Miller and Mabel Palmer,  Marge Cook, Wilma (Scott) Peckett, Eleanor Conboy, Jean Jordan, Audry Stafford, Ona Closs, Maxine Jordan, Mabel Palmer, Isobel Cameron, Frances Dixon, Betty Johnston, Wilma Munro,  Mary Jordan, Betty Miller, Margery Conboy, Kathy Patton, Marion Majaury, Doris Popplewell, Agnes Stiller, and Carmel Jordan to name a few.

Many ministers have served at Calvin United Church over the years, offering spiritual guidance, sharing in the joys of baptisms, officiating at weddings, and offering comfort at the funerals of loved ones.

Calvin Church ministers 1

Calvin Church ministers 2

Calvin United Church has a rich history, and a steadfast presence in the community for over a century.  It’s a short drive from Perth out the Third Line to DeWitt’s Corners, turn right onto the Cameron Side Road, and a quick drive up the picturesque country road.

If you are visiting the area, stop by, and feel the sense of history, and of the generations who have passed before you, in this pretty church on the hill.

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photos: “Calvin United Church 90th Anniversary” & “Calvin United Church Bathurst 100th Anniversary 1896-1996”

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