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Topsail Road United Church <br>Topsail, NF

History of the Topsail Road United Church
Topsail, NF

 

 

Topsail United Church had its beginning in 1837 with the formation of a small Wesleyan Methodist " meeting house". Before this, the early settlers (farmers and fisherman who had moved into the area from Portugal Cove around 1822) had been holding church meetings in various homes throughout the small community, visited by clergyman from St. John's.

By 1869 the meeting house that was used for both church and school, was getting too small for the growing congregation. It was time to build a larger church, so the men got together and using new wood plus materials from the old meeting house began to construct a larger church on the same site. The new Church was opened in 1871. It had two rooms (the church sanctuary and the school). There was no bell, rough benched for pews and no organ, only a flute. Gradually a tower was built and a bell installed. Years later with money raised by the people of the congregation, an organ was purchased. The church became known province wide as the "Little Church by the Side of the Road".

The last anniversary was celebrated in the old church in 1971. It was the 100th Anniversary and by now the building was badly in need of repairs, however the congregation were trying to decide if they should repair the old one maintaining the historial landmark or build a new one. They finally decided on a new one and this was built in December 1977. The old one is landmarked by a cross constructed with its own timbers. Today, Topsail United has a congregation of 465 families, and the old brass bell from the old church still rings in the new one.

This Parish originally only covered Topsail area, but has now for sometime covered the areas from Holyrood to Paradise. This is the only United Church in this area.


Information and Records for
Topsail Road United Church
Topsail, NF

ADDRESS:

Topsail United Church
The Church by the Side of the Road
P.O. Box 13010, Topsail Station
Conception Bay South, NL
A1W 2K1

Telephone and Fax #:
(709) 834-4567 (Office)
Fax #: (709) 834-6200

e-mail address:
hwhitehorne@topsailunitedchurch.nf.net

Home page:
http://www.topsailunitedchurch.nf.net/

Pastor:
Rev. Trevor Harry Whitehorne
(709) 834-2256 (Minister)

Secretary:
Janet Andrews

Records available:

This church started in 1837, however, they only keep 25 years of records at the Manse. The records prior to this can be found at the United Church Archives. This church services the area from Seal Cove to Topsail Road and is the only United Church in this area.


Baptisms		(1886-1973)	Box 1	Reel # 42 (1884-1973)
Marriages		(1886-1982)	Box 2 	Reel # 42 (1882,1886-1982)
Burials			(1886-1958)	Box 1	Reel # 42 (1886-1958)
Burials			(1960-1984)	Box 1	Reel # 42 (1960-1984)

These are the following Vital Statistics Volumes (DPHW) that 
are available at PANL only:

Place:			Topsail
Parish:			Topsail
Religion:		Methodist

Baptisms:		1884-1901		Vol 33		Reel No. C
Marriages:		1882-1901		Vol 33		Reel No. C

These are the All Newfoundland Births - Vital Statistics Division 
microfilm available for this parish at the PANL for the period from 
1891 to1926 for baptisms and from 1891 to 1922 for marriages.

The death records for this parish start from 1886 onwards.  There are 
also microfilms at the PANL from the Vital Statistics Division from 
1891 to 1949 for deaths.

Cemetery used:
they have 3 Cemeteries : (1) United Church Cemetery, Topsail Road (adjacent to the Church on Topsail Road) (2) United Church Cemetery, Long Pond (on Anchorage Road in Long Pond) (3) United Church Cemetery, Upper Gullies (on the Conception Bay Hwy in Upper Gullies) A list of Ministers who served the parish of Topsail: Revs. John Pickavant & John Tomkins 1832-1833 Visiting clergy from St. John's Rev. John Haigh 1833-1836 Visiting clergy from St. John's Rev. J. Smithies 1837-1838 Visiting clergy from St. John's (small mission built 30 X 18) Rev. W. Faulkner 1838-1842 Visiting clergy from St. John's Rev. Richard Williams 1842-1848 Visiting clergy from St. John's Rev. E. Botterell 1848-1852 Rev. Henry Daniel 1852-1858 Rev. Mr. Gaetz 1866-1867 Rev. Mr. Comden 1867-1867 Rev. Mr. Ackman 1867-1878 Rev. Thomas Fox 1878-1886 Rev. Mark Fenwick 1886-1887 Rev. W.H. Adams 1887-1889 Rev. Samuel Snowden 1890-1891 Rev. John Reay 1891-1894 Rev. Anthony Hill 1894-1897 Rev. F.G. Willey 1897-1900 Rev. Jesse Heyfield 1900-1904 Rev. George Willey 1905-1908 Rev. James Nurse 1908-1924 Rev. S. Vatcher 1925-1926 Rev. Mark Fenwick 1927-1928 Rev. Wm. H. Thomas 1928-1929 Rev. Oswald Jefferson 1930-1930 Rev. A.W. Holmes 1930-1932 Rev. M. Butler 1932-1933 Rev. W.J. Morris 1933-1937 Rev. George A. Norman 1937-1938 Rev. Bert B. Snow 1938-1938 Rev. T. Thompson 1938-1941 Rev. E.C. Sturge 1941-1942 Rev. B.L. Hodder 1942-1943 Rev. S. Williams 1943-1950 Rev. G. Crew 1951-1952 Rev. Richard Reeves 1952-1956 Rev. H.M. Dawe 1857-1957 Rev. J.D. Barnes 1957-1958 Rev. James Downey 1959-1959 Rev. Pearce J. Penney 1959-1959 Rev. David L. Winsor 1959-1962 Rev. Pearce J. Penney 1962-1962 Rev. Wm Taylor 1974-1977 Rev. Reginald Rowsell 1975-1977 (fill in) Rev. Melvin Ralph 1977-1984 (June) Rev. Jack C. Mercer 1984-1988 Rev. Harry Whitehorne 1988-1991 (July) Rev. Lorraine Jarvis 1991-1991 (Aug) Rev. Myles Vardy 1991-1997 (Sept) Rev. Lorraine Jarvis 1997-1998 (July) Rev. Harry Whitehorne 1998-present

Most of these ministers were taken from existing records, year books and other histories of the church, there still are some missing and this is mostly due to the records from 1827 to 1884 that are missing due to the fire of 1892 where the Methodists Missionary lost all there records. All records were kept at the Methodist Offices in St. John's during those periods.

A number of Ministers were used for fill ins such as: Rev's: Thomas P. Moulton, Stanley Williams, A, Young, George Crewe, J. L Reynolds, Arthur S. Butt, Wm G. Bartlett, W.B. Johnson and many more.


Thanks to Rev. Whitehorne for the history and photo of the Church as well to the Janet Andrews for all her kind assistance for the above information.


 

 

Contributed by: Barbara McGrath (July 2000)

Page Revised: July 2002 (Don Tate)

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