South Dorchester and Springfield Churches

 Elgin County
Places of Worship
Records Inventory
South Dorchester Township
& Springfield

Elgin County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Published 2006

Churches in South Dorchester Township & Springfield:

            Chalmers Presbyterian, Springfield

            St. John’s United, Springfield

            Canada Methodist, Springfield

            Belmont United

            New Life Community Church, Belmont

            Little Baptist Mission

            Church of Christ (Disciples), Mapleton

            Ark Church

            Methodist Episcopal

            Crossley-Hunter United

            Avon United

            Mount Vernon United

            Lyons United

            Springfield Baptist

            Ebenezer Methodist

            Knox Presbyterian, Belmont


Township:                  Springfield (Malahide Township side of village)
Denomination:           Presbyterian

Name of Church:      Chalmers Presbyterian, Springfield

Location:                    Broadway Street, Springfield (Lot 43 – 44, Plan 78) now the Masonic Hall

Date of Formation:    1875

Date of Closing:         1923 (amalgamated with Methodist Church in Springfield)

Affiliations:                Knox Presbyterian Church, Aylmer (1889 – 1923)

Records:                     The United Church Archives in Toronto lists the following records for Knox Presbyterian Church, Aylmer (which would include Springfield):

 Session Minutes (1888 – 1923)

Minutes of the Board of Managers (1887 – 1921; 1922 – 1924)

The United Church Archives lists the following records relating specifically to Chalmers Presbyterian Church:

 Womens’ Foreign Missionary Society Accounts (1901-1909)

Chalmers Church Ballot Forms Re Union 1925

Papers regarding Chalmers Church property

History:    The building which became Chalmers Presbyterian church was formerly a Baptist [or Methodist Episcopal] church located about two miles north of the village of the Springfield corners on Concession 10, [possibly lot 6] South Dorchester.  Built in 1862, it was moved in 1875 [or 1885] to Springfield to what is now Broadway Street.  The first pastor was Rev. W. Y. Ross.  In 1889 the Aylmer and Springfield Presbyterian churches issued a call to Rev. J. B. McLaren who became their first regular minister as joint congregations.  In 1923, the church amalgamated with the Methodist Church in Springfield, which later became St. John’s United Church in 1925.  The Chalmers Presbyterian Church building became the Masonic Hall and is still standing on Broadway Street.

Further History:        see The Haggan Papers, Volume 4c, by Ida Haggan, published by the Elgin County Library in 1979


Township:                  Springfield (Malahide Township side of village)
Denomination:           Methodist  (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      St. John’s United Church, Springfield

Location:      76 Main Street, Springfield (51159 Ron McNeil Line)  Springfield St. Johns United Church

(Part of lot 20, concession 9, Malahide)

Mailing address: Box 39, Springfield, ON N0L 2J0     Phone: (519) 765-4675

Date of Formation:    1837

Date of Closing:         active

Affiliations:     – a Weslyan Methodist (later Canada Methodist) congregation in Springfield joined with St. John’s in 1884

-Kingsmill church closed in 1913 and membership joined St. Johns

-Trinity Church, Glencolin was part of Springfield circuit (1901 – 1964) and amalgamated with St. John’s in 1964

– Ebenezer Church closed in 1923 and some membership joined St. Johns

-Mount Vernon church closed in 1930 and membership joined St. Johns

-Chalmers Presbyterian Church amalgamated with St. John’s in 1923

-Crossley- Hunter United Church in South Dorchester was joined to the Springfield Circuit in 1944

Records:     see listing for Methodist Church (Burdick), Malahide, for earliest Methodist Episcopal records in Malahide township contained in Rev. Caleb Burdick’s register, 1822 – 1854; and the Wesleyan Methodist/Methodist Church of Canada Baptismal Register (1840-1874)

The United Church Archives in Toronto lists the following records for Springfield Methodist / Presbyterian / United in their collection:

Records of Springfield Methodist Church (1878-1925)

Baptisms (1913-1948) Springfield Pastoral Charge

Marriages (1931-1948) Springfield Pastoral Charge

Burials (1916-1948) Springfield Pastoral Charge

Marriages (1915-1930) Springfield

Records of Springfield Methodist Circuit (1884-1952)

Historic Roll (1930 – 1948)

Minutes of Official Board (Springfield Methodist Circuit) (1884 – 1930)

Circuit Register (Methodist Episcopal) (1875 – 1925)

Brotherhood Class Minute Book (1931 – 1935)

Diamond Jubilee Visitor’s Book (1939)

Sunday School Minutes and Attendance (1898 – 1914; 1917 – 1928 [accounts]; 1922 – 1924)

Young Peoples Union Minutes (1926 – 1928 ; 1939 – 1942)

Epworth League Minutes (1911 – 1914)

Miscellaneous Correspondence

Women’s Foreign Missionary Society (Chalmers Presbyterian) (1901 – 1909)

Chalmers Church Ballot Forms re Union, 1925

Papers re Chalmers Church Property

Young People’s Union Certificates of Recognition (1945 , 1946)

Ladies Aid Minutes (1878 – 1901; 1925 – 1931; 1932 – 1934)

History:     The Methodist Episcopal congregation had its origins in Springfield about 1837 when a log school was built near the corner of Joel Burn’s farm (the Yoder farm), and church services were held there.  The circuit consisted of thirteen congregations extending from Lake Erie to South Dorchester.

A church was built in 1850 immediately west of the present one (on site of cenotaph and park), on village lot 19, which was owned by a Mr. McIntosh.  The building was a white frame church with a square tower and steeple with a musical bell, and became known as the “church with of the shining tower”.

On July 1, 1878, the cornerstone for a new brick church was laid on land left to the church in the Rev. Charles Petty’s will.  It was located on village lot 20 (same site as present church), and dedicated on January 16, 1879.  A fire in 1902 destroyed much of the business section of Springfield, including the church, which was rebuilt on the same site.  Chalmers Presbyterian Church joined with St. John’s in 1923, and Trinity Church, Glencolin (Concession 8, Malahide), which had been part of the Springfield circuit, amalgamated with St. John’s in 1964.  Crossley – Hunter United Church in South Dorchester, was made part of the Springfield Circuit in 1944.

Further history:         -article in Aylmer Express, Jan. 31, 1929; 50th anniversary of St. John’s United Church; gives history

– Diamond Jubilee History Booklet, 1870-1939


(before 1879)

Rev. Ross

Rev. Short

Rev. Yokum

Rev. Draper

Rev. J. T. Davis

Rev. Bertram  

Rev. Chrichton                           

(after 1879)

Rev. J. N. Elliott                                             Rev. Harry Royle, 1936-1940

Rev. W. D. Hughson                                      Rev. Ross Hare, 1940-1944

Rev. J. T. Davis                                               Rev. J. T. White, 1944-1948

Rev. Albert Kennedy                                      Rev. H. J. Vickerman, 1948-1949

Rev. W. G. Brown                                          Rev. R. C. Copeland, 1949-1952

Rev. T. R. McNair                                          Rev. Milton G. Cook, 1953

Rev. R. E. P. Hamilton                                   Rev. George A. Shields, 1953-1959

Rev. George Thompson                                  Rev. G. G. Heffelfinger, 1959-1962

Rev. W. Fansher                                             Rev. Jean Donaldson, 1962-1964

Rev. R. C. Parsons                                          Rev. H. C. MacDougall, 1964-1966

Rev. A. G. Going                                            Mr. Willy Ziegler, 1966-1971

Rev. John Veale                                              Rev. Cecil M. Jardine, 1971-1975

Rev. John Morrison                                         Rev. Heidi Sievert

Rev. J. F. Edwards                                         Rev. Willy Ziegler, 1975-1981

Rev. W. H. Butt                                              Rev. James Barnes

Rev. George Andrews                                    Rev. Terry Deline

Rev. E. W. Edwards                                       Rev. Gary Boratto

Rev. J. F. Reycraft                                          Rev. Richard Fairchild

Rev. George Jewitt

Rev. Dr. Bameley

Rev. Waldemar Williams, 1921-1925

Rev. C. W. Dewitt Cosens, 1925-1929

Rev. A. M. Grant, 1929-1931

Rev. George Morley, 1931-1936


Township:                  Malahide
Denomination:           Canada Methodist (formerly Wesleyan Methodist)

Name of Church:      Canada Methodist, Springfield

Location:                    Lot 20, Concession 9 (Springfield Road, between Glencolin Line and College Line); and later East Street (now site of 70 East Street) in Springfield

Date of Formation:    1840’s

Date of Closing:         1884

Affiliations:                amalgamated with St. John’s Methodist Church, Springfield, in 1884

Records:   see listing for Malahide Circuit for earliest records of Methodists in Malahide Township, contained in Rev. Caleb Burdick’s Register (1822 – 1854) and the Wesleyan Methodist/Methodist Church of Canada Baptismal Register (1840-1874)

History:    This church began first  as a Wesleyan Methodist congregation which worshipped in a church located on the farm of Daniel McLachlan, lot 20, concession 9, and is believed to have had its origins in the 1840’s.

Much confusion exists here, as a deed exists bearing the date March 28, 1871 between Thomas Armstrong and the Trustees of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, for ½ acre, part of the north quarter of lot 21, concession 9.  However another deed exists dated Nov. 13, 1869, between George Dexter and the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church – Peter Hemmingway, John Cook, Reuben Johnson, Rodolphus C. McKinney and Alexander McKinney for part of the north half lot 20, concession 9, West East street.

The church was moved to the village of Springfield and placed on the Mills’ property (now numbered as 70 East Street), and became known as the Canada Methodist Church.  At the time of union of all Methodist denominations in 1884, the congregation decided to amalgamate with the larger church (now St. John’s United Church).

The Canada Methodist Church building was sold to the Horticultural Society and was moved to a site opposite the school, and later moved to where the Lions Club hall is now located, where it served as the Town Hall until destroyed by fire in the 1930’s.


Township:                  South Dorchester
Denomination:           Methodist (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      Belmont United Church

Location:                    245 College Street,  Belmont, N0L 1B0  South Dorchester Belmont United Church

(519) 644-1166

Date of Formation:    1853

Date of Closing:         active

Affiliations:            Belmont, Harrietsville-Mossley Pastoral Charge

Records:   The United Church Archives in Toronto lists the following records for Belmont (Methodist) United Church:

Minutes of the Official Board (1853-1925)              

Minutes of Trustee Board (1878-1921)

Circuit Registers (1858-1879; 1883-1912)

Sunday School Minutes & Reports (1902-1953)

History:   The history of the Belmont Circuit began with the meeting of its first Quarterly Conference, on August 20, 1853.  The Circuit consisted of seven churches, mostly in Middlesex County.  The first church was built on the present site, being a white frame building.  In the late 1880’s, it became too small and it was moved to property at the north end of College Street and later used as a driving shed on the McBride farm. A new white brick church was erected on the same site, and was opened on November 24, 1899.  Extensive renovations were made to the interior of the church in 1947. 

Further history:         Belmont United Church 1853-1965 (Elgin OGS has a copy)


Rev. E. L. Koyle, 1853-1854

Rev. William Savage, 1854-1857

Rev. J. Hutchinson, 1857-1859

Rev. W. W. Clark, 1857-1858

Rev. George Cochran, 1859-1861

Rev. William Dignam, 1861-1862                       

Rev. Samuel Tucker, 1862-1865

Rev. James Kennedy, 1865-1868

Rev. Thomas Crews, 1868-1871

Rev. Hugh McClean, 1871-1873

Rev. A. Edwards, 1873-1875

Rev. J. E. Dyer, 1875-1878

Rev. D. Hunt, 1878-1881

Rev. T. D. Parsons, 1881-1882

Rev. John Robbins, 1882-1885

Rev. C. C. Couzens, 1885-1888

Rev. E. E. Scot, 1888-1891

Rev. S. W. Muxworth, 1891-1894

Rev. T. Jackson, 1894-1897

Rev. D. M. Kennedy, 1897-1898

Rev. W. Quance, 1898-1900

Rev. H. D. Moyer, 1900-1904

Rev. F. T. Oaten, 1904-1906

Rev. R. H. Barnby, 1906-1910

Rev. A. E. Jones, 1910-1913

Rev. L. Bartlett, 1913-1917

Rev. A. R. Kellam, 1917-1921

Rev. H. B. Parnaby, 1921-1924

Rev. A. Page, 1924-1928

Rev. M. W. Goodrich, 1928-1934

Rev. A. Laing, 1934-1937

Rev. W. Osborne, 1937-1941

Rev. J. R. Peters, 1941-1943

Rev. George Oliver, 1943-1949

Rev. T. C. Wilkinson, 1949-1953

Rev. G. G. Howse, 1953-1958

Rev. A. L. Harley, 1958-1964

Rev. A. D. Boa, 1965

Rev. S. F. Fuller, 1965


Township:                  South Dorchester
Denomination:           Pentecostal

Name of Church:      New Life Community Church

Location:                    14168 Belmont Road

Date of Formation:    1982

Date of Closing:         active

Affiliations:                Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada

Records:                     contact church                                             

History:   New Life Community Church was formerly called New Life Pentecostal Assembly, and began in a house on Church Street, April 4, 1982.  In 1984, the lease and then purchase of eight acres of land, including St. Kevin’s Catholic School, on the northern perimeter of the village provided the church with a permanent home from which it still operates today.  Although the outside appearance still reflects its school days heritage, many renovations have been made inside to create a welcoming church atmosphere. 

The church’s website is at:  

The e-mail address is: [email protected]


Township:                  South Dorchester
Denomination:           Baptist

Name of Church:      Little Baptist Mission

 Location:                    Townline of South Dorchester & Dereham Townships 

Date of Formation:    prior to 1886

Date of Closing:         probably 1887 when Springfield congregation was formed


Records:                     no known records

History:     This congregation met in a little building on the townline of Dereham and South Dorchester townships, north of the former M. C. R. tracks. This building became known as the “Little Baptist Mission Church”, and thrived, largely due to the efforts of a Brownsville man, Benezi Brown, and his nephew George Brinton Brown.  These men began holding services in Springfield in 1886 and a congregation was formed there on February 13, 1887. 


Township:                  South Dorchester
Denomination:           Disciples 

Name of Church:      Church of Christ (Disciples), Mapleton

Location:                    Lot 21, Concession 12 (47471 Mapleton Line)  South Dorchester Mapleton Church

Date of Formation:    January 6, 1850

Date of Closing:         active


Records:          Any available records are housed at the church.  Researchers can contact

Church Archivist James McCallum, [email protected]

History:     The Disciple congregation first began meeting in homes under the leadership of Edmund Sheppard, a schoolteacher in Mapleton.  A small building was erected a short distance east of the present church.  The church was dedicated on August 25, 1850. A deed exists, dated Nov. 4, 1865, for the northwest corner of lot 21, from Edmund Sheppard to James Warwick, a Trustee.  This transaction may refer to the church property. By 1872, membership had grown to the point where a new church was needed. A lot was purchased from R. Bentley and an octagon shaped, white brick church was built on the present site. There is a deed dated June 29, 1876, between Randall S. Bentley to the Trustees of Necropolis Burying Ground – Benjamin Sherk, Peter McNeal & John Ballah, for 1/3 acres, part of the northerly corner of lot 21.  In 1903 the present red brick church was built on the same site, using the white bricks for interior wall. A grant exists, dated June 25, 1903 from Peter McNeil, David O. White & Randall W. Ballah to the Trustees – Denzil D. Finch, Dilman Ackert & Herbert S. Hawes – for a part of lot 21, concession 12.  In 1961 an addition was built to the east side of the church which included washrooms and a large entrance. 

For a few years in the 1980s the congregation at Mapleton participated in a joint ministerial relationship with the New Sarum Baptist church.


Edmund Sheppard, 1850

D. Stephens, 1892

R. Black, 1893

W. Ballah, 1895

G. Charlton, 1898

W. Ballah, 1902

N. Arnold, 1907-1909

I. Wheeler, 1909-1910

McColl, 1911-1913

Walton Fay, 1913-1914

R. Aldrich, 1914-1916

T. Stanley, 1916

Thomas Bradt, 1918-1919

K. Franks, 1920-1922

D. Stephens, 1923-1939

Butler, 1939-1942

Carlton Wells, 1942-1945

R. James, 1945

William Fermer, 1945-1954

Stanley Stainton, 1955-1956

 Carlton Wells, 1956-1962

William Bilson, 1962-1963

Donald L. Foley, 1963-1964

Carlton Wells, 1964-1966

Lorne B. Nethercott, 1966-1974

Thomas F. Rutherford, 1975-1980

Gerald Byron, 1980-1983

Fred Knutson, 1983-1991

Kelvin Kennedy, 1991-1992

Patrick Ferrer, 1993-1994

Richard Myer, 1994-2004

Larry Edwards, 2004-2005

Janet Anstead, 2005- 


Township:                  South Dorchester
Denomination:           Union

Name of Church:      Ark Church

Location:                    Con 10, lot 6 ????

Date of Formation:   

Date of Closing:         1883 moved to Lyons for township hall


Records:      no known records



Township:                  South Dorchester
Denomination:           Methodist Episcopal

Name of Church:      not known

Location:                    Lot 6, Concession 10

Date of Formation:    1861 [?]

Date of Closing:         after 1877


Records:                     no known records

History:      Very little information is known about this church, except that a deed exists, dated December 12, 1861, between Benjamin Prichard to the Trustees of the Episcopal Methodist Church, for part of the south part of lot 6, concession 10.  A reference exists stating a church was built in 1866.  A church building is shown at this location in the 1877 Historical Atlas for Elgin County.  It is possible that this is the church that was bought and moved to Springfield in 1885 to become Chalmers Presbyterian Church.


Township:                  South Dorchester
Denomination:           Methodist (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      Crossley-Hunter United Church

Location:                    Lot 18, Concession 10 (13894 Dorchester Road – at Crossley Hunter Line)  South Dorchester Crossley Hunter Church

Date of Formation:    1890

Date of Closing:         1964

Affiliations:                Lyons Circuit (1891-1906)

Sparta Circuit (1906-  )

 Orwell & Kingsmill

Lyons Circuit (1914-1929)

Yarmouth Centre (1929-1944)

Springfield Charge (1944-1964)

Records:   see also listing for Lyons and Springfield, as well as other affiliated congregations, above

The United Church Archives lists the following records relating specifically to Crossley-Hunter church in their holdings:

Women’s Missionary Society Minutes (1928-1946)

Women’s Missionary Society Account Books (1928-1962)

Women’s Missionary Society Certificates of Recognition (1946, 1955)

Women’s Missionary Society Mission Band Minutes and Records (1934-1945)

United Church Women Account Book (1963-1964)

Young Peoples’ Union Minutes (1939-1947)

Young Peoples’ Union Account Book (1941-1948, includes 1942 membership roll)

Young Peoples’ Union Cash Book (1932-1946)

 Trustee Board Meetings (1890-1905); minutes of public meeting held July 10, 1890, at S.S. # 7, S. Dorchester

Subscriptions for Minister’s Salary (1910-1911)

Trustees Accounts (1890-1910; includes subscriptions, collections, expenses and disbursements)           

History:    This congregation was organized in 1890 following a series of outdoor evangelistic meetings held on the tenth concession, at the request of Willson McCredie, who was a local preacher. Mr. McCreadie’s wife Elinor was a sister of evangelist H. T. Crossley; and his sister Ada McCreadie, was married to Edward Hunter, a brother of Rev. John Hunter. Revs. Crossley and Hunter conducted the outdoor services, and when the congregation was formed, it was named Crossley-Hunter in honour of them. A quarter acre of land on the northwest corner of lot 18, concession 10 was obtained from Henry A. Brown, in a deed dated December 18, 1890.  A frame church with brick veneer was built and completed on Aug. 3, 1891.  From 1891-1906, it was part of the Lyons Circuit.  Then it was linked with Sparta; then with Orwell and a preaching appointment in the Kingsmilll school house. It was reattached to the Lyons circuit in 1914, and in 1929 became part of the Yarmouth Centre circuit, until 1944 when it was joined to the Springfield charge.  The 65th anniversary was held in 1956 with Dr. Ernest Crossley  Hunter, son of the late Rev. John Hunter, as the speaker.  On Sept. 13, 1964, the church was formally closed, with Dr. E.  C. Hunter as speaker.  South Dorchester Crossley and Hunter

In 1965 the church was sold to an Evangelical Mennonite congregation for use as a church, and has since become a dwelling.

Further history:         “A Mini History of Crossley Hunter”, by Marie (Ferguson) Briggs; (Elgin OGS has a copy)


Township:                  South Dorchester
Denomination:           Methodist (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      Avon United Church


1) part of lot 3 & 4, con 7, S. Dorchester

 2) part of lot 3 & 4, con 6, N. Dorchester

On northeast corner in village of Avon

Mailing address: Avon-Putnam Pastoral Charge, Box 3, 7180 Hamilton Road, Putnam, ON N0L 2B0.  Phone (519) 425-1174

Date of Formation:   

Date of Closing:  closed


Belmont Methodist Circuit (1858 – )

Dorchester Methodist Episcopal Circuit (1872 – )

Avon Pastoral Charge (1925-1968) includes Harriestville & Crampton

Avon-Putnam Pastoral Charge (1968 – )

Records:  The United Church Archives in Toronto lists the following records for Avon Church:

Marriage Register (1896-1918; 1918-1960)

Baptisms (1917-1955)            

Burials (1917-1960)

Missionary & Maintenance Account Book (1942-1955 – includes Harrietsville & Crampton)

Record of Missionary Subscriptions (1907-1922)

Circuit Register (1884-1916)

Official Board Minutes (1884-1935)

Women’s Association Minutes (1918-1927; 1939-1947)

Epworth League Minutes (1889-1914)

Women’s Missionary Society Account Book (1936-1948; 1954-1961)

Women’s Missionary Society Minutes (1914-1930; 1935-1961)

Sunday School Financial Records (1898-1948)

Board of Trustee Minutes (1884-1910)

History:     church services first at school; first church built 1861, moved to new site in 1875


Township:                  South Dorchester
Denomination:           Methodist (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      Mount Vernon

Location:                    Lot 4, Concession 9               

Date of Formation:    1885

Date of Closing:         1930

Affiliations:                Lyons Circuit

Records:                     see listing for Lyons Circuit & St. John’s, Springfield

History:    One tenth of an acre was purchased from Robert & Mary Newell by the Trustees of the Mount Vernon Congregation on September 5, 1885, and a white frame building was erected in 1886.  It was 47 X 33 with a wooden verandah outside across the front and an L-shaped church shed.  The Mount Vernon church was part of the Lyons circuit for many years.

The congregation eventually dwindled and in 1930 the church was closed, many of the members transferring to St. John’s United Church in Springfield. The building was sold by auction on Jan. 24, 1933, and the land reverted to the farm from which it had been severed, then the Hevenor farm.

This congregation may have been in existence prior to 1885, as a church building is shown on that lot in the 1877 Historical Atlas for Elgin Co.

Further history:         “Where is Mt. Vernon”, by Dorothy (Charlton) Kipp (Elgin OGS has a copy)


Township:                  South Dorchester
Denomination:           Methodist (became United Church of Canada in 1925)

Name of Church:      Lyons (Methodist) United Church

Location:     Lot 12, Concession 11 (49391 Lyons Line)  South Dorchester Lyons Church

Date of Formation:    before 1867

Date of Closing:         1950

Affiliations:      Lyons circuit consisted of Lyons, Mount Vernon, Ebenezer and Crossley-Hunter

Records:                     The United Church Archives lists the following records for Lyons in their holdings:

Records of Lyons Methodist/United Church (1875-1952)

Marriage Register (1896-1929) includes Lyons, Mount Vernon, Crossley-Hunter

Register of Baptisms (1913-1948); Marriages (1931-1948); and Burials (1916-1948)

Circuit Register (1910-1938), includes Lyons, Mount Vernon, Ebenezer and Crossley-Hunter

Subscription List of Lyons Methodist Circuit, 1907-1925 (includes Lyons, Mount Vernon, Ebenezer, Crossley-Hunter, Culloden)

Board of Trustee Minutes (1872-1927); (1911-1952)

Treasurer’s Books (1869-        ); (1875-1931)

Minutes of Congregational Meetings (1931-  )

Willing Workers Treasurer’s Book (1927-1931)

Record of Missionary Giving (1910-1925)

Accounts Sheet (not dated)

  – see also listing for St. John’s United Church (Springfield Circuit)

History:  On March 6, 1867 Peter J. Putnam deeded to the Trustees of Lyons Wesleyan Methodist church – Daniel Gunn, George Appleford, Daniel Appleford, John Blake, Richard Fullerton, Thomas Wilkinson & Noah Lee, 1/4 acre, part of the northwest part of lot 12, concession 11. A log school house had already been built to the east of this location and was being used for worship services. A frame church was built, and the congregation at Lyons was at one time the largest in the London Conference.  Lyons became the head of a circuit which in 1903 comprised of Lyons, Crossely-Hunter, Kingsmill, Mount Vernon, Ebenezer and Culloden.  In 1931, weekly services were discontinued, but Sunday School and monthly church services continued to be held until May 1949.  In 1952, the church property was sold to Clarence McCallum, and was remodelled into a residence.

Further history:         see Lyons Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir History at Elgin County Archives


William Ames, 1872                                       Dr. Sheldon Bartlett, 1922-1923

N. Williams, 1875                                      H. M. Wright, 1923-1925

John Saunders, 1877-1879                              Rev. Johnson, 1925

Russell & John Charlton, 1880                    R. R. Connor, 1925-1927

W. Brown, 1884                                        A. M. Grant, 1927-1928

H. Gane, 1888                                           R. W. Langdon, 1928-1929

James Kennedy, 1890                                     A. M. Grant, 1929-1931

G. Staples, 1892                                         (see St. John’s, Springfield for later ministers)

Robert Thompson, 1895-1897

H. Moss, 1898

P. Wells, 1899

C. Edmunds, 1902

A. Shaw, 1908-1909

F. Kennedy, 1909

Joseph E. Jones, 1913

W. Butt, 1915-1918

E. Cook, 1918-1919

Clayton Searle, 1920-1921

Chester Wilkinson, 1921-1922


Township:                  South Dorchester / Springfield
Denomination:           Baptist

Name of Church:      Springfield Baptist Church

Location:                    51296 Ron McNeil Line, Springfield  Springfield Baptist Church New

[new church built 2005-6 at 12471 Whittaker Road]

Mailing address: P.O. Box 116, Springfield, ON N0L 2J0; (519) 773-9889

Date of Formation:    1887

Date of Closing:         active


Malahide-Bayham Baptist Church (to 1928)

Brownsville Baptist Church (1921-1962)

Records:                     -Ladies’ Aid Society Minutes (1908-1918) at Elgin County Archives

 -contact church at above mailing address for other records

History:   The beginnings of a Baptist congregation in Springfield had its roots in the Little Baptist Mission Church, which was a small building on the townline between Dereham and South Dorchester, north of the former M.C.R. tracks. Due to the efforts of Benezi Brown and his nephew George Brinton Brown, services were begun in the village of Springfield in the Horticulture Hall owned by the Springfield Fair Board in November 1886.  On February 13, 1887, twenty persons met and decided to organize a Baptist church. On March 8, 1887, this group was recognized as the Regular Baptist Church of Springfield.  In 1893 a lot in the village where a hotel had stood was bought by Mrs. M. White who donated it to the church.  Springfield Baptist Church Old  The cornerstone was laid on Sept. 11, 1893, and the building was dedicated in December of that year. For many years, around 1904,  the Malahide and Bayham church together with Springfield formed a circuit.  These two churches were joined by the Brownsville Baptist church in 1921, remaining together until 1928 until the Malahide-Bayham church withdrew and became affiliated with the Convention of Baptist Churches of Ontario and Quebec.  Brownsville and Springfield continued together until 1962, when the Springfield congregation required a full time pastor.  In 1914 a front entrance was built over the outside steps of the church.  In 1959 an addition was added to the back of the church to provide more classrooms for the Sunday School, nursery, and pastor’s study.  In 1986 the old front entrance was demolished and a larger addition was added, including a front foyer, pastor’s study, larger library and a class room. The parsonage next to the church was acquired in 1899.     Construction of a new church at 12471 Whittaker Road began in 2005, and at the time of compiling this inventory was not yet completed.  The Springfield congregation is part of the Fellowship of Evangelical Baptist Church in Canada.

Further history:         Springfield Baptist Church, 100th Anniversary 1887-1987


 Rev. G. B. Brown, 1887

Rev. W. E. Orton, 1898

Rev. W. Brown

Rev. J. C. Dunlop, 1902-1912

Rev. W. D. Magee, 1915-1917

Rev. J. B. Brown, 1917-1921

 Rev. George Creagh, 1922-1926

Rev. G. F. Watts, 1927-1930

Rev. J. K. Yalland, 1931-1954

Rev. Ross Laidlaw, 1954-1956

Rev. W. Bellsmith, 1956-1963

Rev. A. Ballantyne, 1963-1966

Rev. Cooper, 1966-1968

Rev. W. Piper, 1968-1975

Rev. Evans, 1975-1977

Rev. H. Wilkins, 1977-1980

Rev. J. Cianca, 1981-


Township:                  Dereham Township, Oxford County
Denomination:           Methodist

Name of Church:      Ebenezer Methodist Church

Location:                    Lot 28, Concession 8, Dereham Twsp., Oxford County

Date of Formation:

Date of Closing:         1923

Affiliations:                Lyons Circuit

Records:                     see Lyons church listing

History:    Although Ebenezer church was physically located in Dereham township, Oxford county, it is included in this project for Elgin county because many South Dorchester families were part of its congregation.  The church was located just across the road from South Dorchester township – on lot 28, concession 8, Dereham (at the intersection of Crossley-Hunter Line and Pigram Road on the Dereham side of Pigram road).  Ebenezer church closed in 1923, and the membership was transferred to Culloden church in Dereham township.  The building was later removed from the site.


Township:                  South Dorchester
Denomination:           Presbyterian

Name of Church:      Knox Presbyterian Church, Belmont

Location:    corner of College & Church Street, Belmont  South Dorchester Belmont Knox Church

Box 39, Belmont, ON N0L 1B0 (519) 644-1765

Date of Formation:    1847

Date of Closing:     closed

Affiliations:    St. James North Yarmouth (1856- present)

Records:    Session Records & Register of Baptisms and Marriages for the Free Church Congregation of Yarmouth (Session 1850-1889; Communion Roll 1847-1861; Baptismal Register 1850-1861)

Communion Roll (1862-1889) [Belmont & North Yarmouth]

Marriages [Belmont & North Yarmouth] (1896-1962)

Birth and Baptismal Register (1850-1889)

Knox Belmont Session Records (1889-1979)

Knox Belmont Congregational Meetings (1871-1892; 1895-1974)

Knox Belmont Communion Roll & Register (1888-1930; 1919-1951; 1952-1972)

Young Peoples Society records (1914-1940)

Knox Belmont Board of Managers Minutes (1947-1978)

The above records were located at the church at the time of our original survey in the 1990’s

The following records for Knox Church, Belmont are found on LDS microfilm number 0161503 (on indefinite loan at the St. Thomas LDS):

Baptisms (1889-1908)

Communion Rolls (1862-1918)

Minutes (1871-1900)

Session Records (1889-1900)

The Presbyterian Church Archives lists the following records on microfilm (including the congregation in Yarmouth):

Baptisms, 1850-1888; 1889-1908; 1889-1996

Marriages, 1896-1962

Communion Records, 1862-1888; 1891-1918; 1891-1926; 1931-1997

 Session Minutes, 1850-1889; 1869-1909; 1889-1979

Congregational Minutes, 1871-1974 (with some gaps)

Board of Managers Minutes, 1947-1977

Young Peoples’ Minutes, 1914-1940

Record of Weekly Offerings, 1957-1958

History:    Presbyterians in this community were first ministered to by Duncan McColl, who arrived in Canada in 1841 as an ordained catechist by the Church of Scotland, settling in Westminster Township. About the year 1846 or 1847, a log church was built on the southwest corner of Donald Kennedy’s farm on the sixth concession of Dorchester township. The group was established as a congregation in 1850.

In 1855 it was decided to build a new brick church in the village of Belmont on two lots donated by Thomas Nuegent. The trustees were Thomas Nuegent, Malcolm Baxter, Dougald McKellar, Alexander McKellar, Donald Kennedy and John Stewart. The building was opened on September 14, 1856.  In 1856, the congregation was linked with Kilmartion (St. James), Yarmouth.

The present church was built in 1889 and opened on October 28, 1889.

Further History:        “History of Knox Church Belmont, 1847-1922″ (Elgin OGS has a copy)

“Knox Thru the Years, 1847-1997″ (Elgin OGS has a copy)


Rev. Archibald Currie, 1862-1871

Rev. Neil McKinnon, 1872-1877

Rev. Kenneth McDonald, 1879-1886

Rev. James A. Brown, 1886-1891

Rev. John Currie, 1892-1918

Rev. J. Ure Stewart, 1918-1923

Rev. John Hall, 1924-1926

Rev. David Donaghue, 1927-1932

Rev. J. Knox Clark, 1932-1945

Rev. James Baillie, 1946-1948

Rev. W. A. Kincaid, 1948-1967

Rev. John Elder, 1968-1973

Rev. David Whitehead, 1974-1978

Rev. Kenneth Oakes, 1978-1980

Rev. Gale Kay, 1981-1985

Rev. Bill Vanderstelt, 1986-1992

Rev. Gloria Langlois, 1992-