Brinston United Church

Brinston United Church
1871 – 2001

The first church building in Brinston was called the Brown Church. The building of the Brown Church was started in 1871 and dedicated on 20 October 1872.

The site was donated by William Locke, the same site where our present church stands. Previous to this the congregations worshipped in the Locke, Dixon, and Branch school houses, also in homes and sheds. The Brown Church was Methodist Episcopal. It was a frame structure and cost $100.00 to build.

Before 1884 Brinston was part of the Matilda Methodist Episcopal Circuit. In 1884 the Wesley Methodists joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in Ontario and other Methodist groups. They became The Methodist Church of Canada. Therefore the new Brinston church became Brinston Methodist Church.

At the turn of the century, Brinston’s Corners was a thriving community with three merchants, a carriage shop, two public halls, a grist mill, a cheese factory, two blacksmiths, a barbershop, a telegraph office and a post office.

Brinston’s Corners Methodist Church had the largest congregation of the eight churches on the circuit. The Circuit register of 1900 reports a membership of 109. The minister at that time, the Rev. C.J. Curtis, was paid annual salary of $750.00 and “horse keep”.

In 1904, a few months after Rev. Tripp’s arrival, the congregation met above the carriage shop of Alonzo Shaver in Brinston’s Corners to discuss a new church. As a result of this meeting a committee was delegated to canvass the appointment. The old church was sold by auction to George Cooper Sr. for $200.00. Work on the new church began in the latter part of May 1905.

Dedication Services for the new church were held on 16 February 1906. By the end of three days of services, worship and fellowship the church was completely paid for.  Total cost $9149.54. This is the church we have today. Today the church is valued at $400,000.00.

In 1906 the congregation was about seventy families and had a Sunday School average of seventy-five.

The present parsonage was built in 1908 at a cost of $3870.32.

The St. Lawrence News states February 23, 1906 “Few churches in the history of Canadian Methodism can boast of building a $9000 church at an appointment with scarcely one hundred families and wiping out every dollar of indebtedness at the dedicatory services by voluntary offerings, as was accomplished at Brinston’s Corners last Friday, February 16th. $2000 was required, and before the day was over $2200 was secured. This is a record worthy of the people of this prosperous and generous spirited section.”

This written history is courtesy of the Iroquois-Matilda Pastoral Charge of the United Church of Canada.