Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Bible Christian Church - from Benjamin Bremner, An Island Scrapbook

From Benjamin Bremner, An Island Scrap Book - Historical and Traditional, published by Irwin Printing, Charlottetown: 1932, page 109

The Bible Christian Church in Prince Edward Island, under the pastorate of the Rev. Francis Metherall.  The latter was appointed by the Conference of the Bible Christian Connection of Cornwall, England, as a missionary to this Island in 1831 and set sail for the scene of his labors in 1832, arriving after a voyage of nearly two months in Bedeque, from whence he journeyed to Winslow Road where he began his labors as a missionary.  

Among the people in this vicinity were the well known families of Ayers, Esserys, Bryentons, McCoubreys, Yeos, Pickards, Holmans, Turners, etc. Mr. Metherall labored earnestly and successfully for many years and established connections in almost all sections of the Island except for Charlottetown. He died June 1875 at the age of 84 years having been 53 years in the ministry. The Charlottetown connections were established in January 1857 with Rev Cephas Barker as its first minister.

The large building on Prince Street nearly opposite Trinity United Church was the home of the congregation and was dedicated in August 1858.  

The following were the Charlottetown ministers up to the time of the Union of the four divisions of the Methodist Church: 

  • Revs. Cephas Barker -1856,
  • John Chappell -1865, 
  • George Webber -1870, 
  • William S Pascoe -1870,
  • John Harris -1870,
  • S H Rice -about 1880.  

(Mr. Pascoe was considered by the townspeople generally as a prince among preachers.  Of course it is well known that the United Church of Canada was not in existence until many years later.)

The Church building was afterwards disposed of and renamed The Lyceum, being thenceforth used as a theatre or for public entertainment, political meetings, ect, the lower front being turned into a grocery conducted by the late Michael Duffy Sr.

Referring to Mr. Duffy I’m reminded of a rather good story concerning him and the late lamented Rev William Dobson DD.  The latter was for some time pastor for the First Methodist Church, living in the parsonage where the Heartz Memorial Hall now stands.  Between Dr. Dobson and Mr. Duffy a very warm friendship existed and many a merry quip passed between the two, for Methodist Minister and a very devout Roman Catholic.  The story tells how Dr. Dobson stepped into Duffys shop one fine morning and asked “Duffy, can you give me a good Protestant turnip?” The other replied “Faith I can” and going to the cellar soon returned with a very horrible specimen, full of hairs, cleavages, and divisions and placing it in front of his reverence said “There ye are” Dr. Dobson responded with “Duffy you had me that time.”!

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