Iroquois United Church

The History of Iroquois United Church

The history of Iroquois United Church and its Methodist predecessors can be traced almost to the immigration of the Loyalist in 1784.

William Losee, historically regarded as the pioneer missionary to Upper Canada from the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States, came to the valley of the St. Lawrence in 1790 and preached in the Matilda Settlement, now known as Iroquois.

In 1800, the first Methodist church in Dundas County was constructed at Iroquois Point. In 1811, the small frame church was visited by Bishop Ashbury, head of the American Methodist Episcopal church. The church grounds were the site of a skirmish in the War of 1812.

By 1825, the church was too small to accommodate the growing congregation, so four acres of land were bought from John W Serviss for 30 pounds sterling and a new stone church was built east of the former site.

As a result of dissension between the Wesleyan and the Methodist Episcopal churches, the Iroquois congregation split in 1855. The Wesleyan Methodists build a new church in the village which occupied until 1875.

In 1861, the Methodist Episcopals followed the Wesleyans into the village and build a new church. In 1875, the old Wesleyan church was demolished and a new church began. It was completed in 1877 under the ministry of J.G. Williams at a cost of about $22,000.

In the early 1950’s, canal construction again disrupted church life when word came that Iroquois United Church was in the path of the Seaway. Two hundred and fifty people attended the final service of the 80 year old church on Easter Sunday, 1957.

Until the new church opened in September 1958, services were held in space owned by Ontario Hydro in the new shopping plaza. The 400 seat church with windows of stained glass imported from Holland, church hall and manse were built at a cost of $421,000.

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