Opportunities for Worship and Fellowship
Sundays: Worship Service and Sunday School at 10am
Wednesdays: Bible Study 2pm
Thursdays: Choir Practice 7:30pm (from September to June)
Sunday: Food Bank Collection (1st Sunday)
Monday: Women’s Fellowship
– 1st Monday 7:30pm (alternate location)
– last Monday 1pm at church
Minister: Rev. Bethany McCaffrey, B.Sc., M.Div.
Administrative Secretary: Lindsey Simpson
Music Leader: Shannon Freiwald
Clerk of Session: Dawn Meszaros
A Short History of Melville Presbyterian Church
In the early 1800’s the Governor of Upper Canada opened land grants to those who would clear the land and begin farming. Many of the pioneers who accepted this offer were from Scotland or at least had Scottish ancestry.
The work was hard. The work day was long. The pay was minimal and there was no time for socializing.
One thing these Scottish pioneers wanted most of all was their “kirk”. The place where on Sunday they could worship and after the service socialize with their friends and neighbours. Several pioneers got together to see if they might build a church. By the late 1840’s these Christian farmers had obtained land for their “kirk”.
The land was on a high hill overlooking the Highland Creek valley. At the top of the hill you could look down to the creek in the valley bottom and your eye could follow it to Lake Ontario. A beautiful sight.
By 1851, a wooden church, complete with steeple, was under construction. Although there have been additions and upgrades since, the original structure of the sanctuary can still be seen.
On a Sunday in February 1852 the church, now called Melville Presbyterian was consecrated. The following Sunday 24 members in their new church celebrated the church’s first Communion.
Many members of Melville Presbyterian would walk, from the farms that surrounded the church, when the bell in the steeple sounded. Those whose farms were further away came by horse and buggy in the summer or by horse and cutter in the winter. Driving sheds surrounded the church.
The church bell has long since been retired to be replaced by an electronic carillon, which is sometimes drowned out by the noise of passing traffic. The driving sheds have been torn down and replaced by a parking lot. Many members who come to church still drive a long way, each Sunday, to worship in this fine old church. The many farms that ringed the church are all gone replaced by streets and houses or stores and factories.
Melville has changed over the years. The one thing that hasn’t changed is that warm, friendly feeling that drove those early pioneers to Melville. As a visiting minister in a sermon once remarked, “Melville is a warm and friendly country church in the middle of Canada’s largest city”.