The article following is provided by that wonderful publication, the “Puslinch Pioneer”, which for over thirty years has been dedicated to coverage of Puslinch Township news and history, and yes, most amazingly, is produced entirely by volunteers as a community service.  It is published ten times per year.  To assist with production costs, annual subscriptions of $25.00 are gratefully welcomed.  Please forward subscription requests, with remittances made payable to the “Puslinch Pioneer”, to the Puslinch Pioneer, R.R. #3, Guelph, Ontario, N1H 6H9.



The Aberfoyle Church

(from the Puslinch Pioneer, v. 15, issue 3, October 1990.)


The name Mount Carmel-Zion United Church came into being in 1975.  At that time Mount Carmel United Church in Aberfoyle and Zion United Church in Morriston amalgamated, forming Mount Carmel-Zion United Church.


In the early fall of the year 1874, a group of men drove to the general store of Mr. Samuel Falcon­bridge in Aberfoyle.  This was the first move by a group of people in­spired by the Rev. Ephriam Clements from Mountsberg to organize a con­gregation of the Methodist Episcopal Church.  There was obviously a need for another congregation in the area, and it was on November 19, 1876 that the first service of the newly form­ed congregation was held in the Council Chambers of the Township Hall, with 15 members present.


The new church was on a circuit called Flamborough of the Hamilton District of the Niagara Conference, consisting of six congregations: Bethany, Moffat, Mountsberg, Zion near Carlisle, Bethel and Aberfoyle.


Very soon after the formation of the new congregation, it became clear that a more suitable building was needed.  On October 19, 1870, a parcel of land was purchased from Joe Smith for the sum of $15, and the same day a contract was signed with Hugh Reid for the building of a church for the sum of $625.


The bricks for the church were priced at $82.50 for 11,000 bricks, and the laying of these bricks cost $25.  The Dictator box stove used for heating came to $12 and the pipes for the stove were 15 cents each.  The total cost of the property and furn­ishings amounted to the grand total of $625.


It took ten weeks to build the church, and on December 30, 1877, a service of dedication was held in the newly built sanctuary.


The oval board with the inscription “Mount Carmel Church” was built by George Stephenson, the wagon maker, for $2.50.  It was incorporated into the other church built later on.







After Church Union in 1925, the Aberfoyle Church became a member of the United Church of Canada, and according to the basis of Union, the congregation formed their first Official Board of Stewards and Elders.


Over the years, the congregation increased from 70 members to 81 and it became clear that more room was needed for Sunday School and mid­week activities.  When putting a basement under the church proved impossible, the decision was made to tear down the old church and build a new one.


It was a pleasant day in July, 1927 that the cornerstone for the new building was laid by Mrs. John Kennedy of Chalmers United Church, Guelph.  The silver trowel used on that occasion was given to the Aberfoyle congregation as a keepsake and is in a display case at the Morriston Church.


On Oct. 20, 1936, on the sixtieth anniversary of the charge, the mort­gage for the new church was burned, just nine years after its building.


Since 1876, Aberfoyle has seen and been part of many changes.  After being in the circuit of Flamborough, Aberfoyle came to be connected with Ebenezer, Campbellville, and Moffat.  In 1910, it was Aberfoyle, Ebenezer, Campbellville and Corwhin. 


As part of the United Church of Canada, Aberfoyle was first on her own, then formed a three-point charge with Freelton and Strabane.  After that, Aberfoyle was on her own once more under the ministry of Mr. A. W. Bowden.  During the next years, Aberfoyle and Morriston were served by student ministers until 1975 when the two churches came together to form our present Mount Carmel­ Zion United Church of Canada.


Over the years, many ministers have served the Aberfoyle congregation, many people served their Lord in the Aberfoyle Church, and many will carry with them memories of the Aberfoyle Church and its mission of worship, praise and service of Almighty God.


In 1987 the building was sold to Peter Robinson.  A farewell service was held with many former members and friends attending.


Some artifacts were moved to the Morriston Church, including enough pews for the choir loft.  An auction sale disposed of the balance.


At the present time the building is being remodeled into a family home.


This article was contributed by Bernice Penrice.