The article following is provided by that
wonderful publication, the “Puslinch Pioneer”, which for over thirty years has
been dedicated to coverage of
History of Mount Carmel-Zion United Church 1840-1990.
(from the Puslinch Pioneer, v. 15, issue 2, September 1990.)
The Church, under its present name, came into
being in 1975. At that time,
The history of the
The work began with the early German settlers who came to this area, bringing with them their Christian traditions. At first they met in their homes, with someone taking the place of the “class leader” and reading a sermon from a book.
On May 13, 1840, Joseph Harlacher,
a Missionary who had been sent from East Pennsylvania to the
The first parsonage was a log and frame building erected long before 1880 and was valued at $200. In 1894, the present brick manse was built. Part of the first parsonage is now the vestry and minister’s office which was renovated and refurbished in 1978. The other part was placed at the rear of the manse and used as a utility room, but has since been removed and replaced with a family room.
It was not until 1952 that there was a basement under the church where Sunday School classes and social gatherings could be held.
For a number of years, services continued to be held in homes. Finally, a log meeting-house was erected on a quarter acre of land on the Calfas farm.
According to the 1851 census, it held 100
people. The log church was on the
In 1856, a red brick church was built on the
present site, the brick from Morriston Brick Yards. The street leading from
Up until that time, church suppers were held
either in the small vestry or in the Foresters’ Hall at the foot of
Under the leadership of the Rev. E.E. Dorsch, the basement project was planned and carried out with the help of many willing volunteers. Burrowing under the church floor was
the beginning of the work and meant digging 26,000 cu. feet of earth and passing it out bucketful by bucketful, a gigantic task.
On November 16, 1952, the basement was dedicated by Bishop J. Balmer Showers and a memorial plaque unveiled in memory of John Winer, a former Sunday School Superintendent and prime promoter of the project. The ladies have since been able to cater to their dinners from a convenient kitchen, church socials have been held there, the Young People have had a place to meet and many gatherings held in this room.
In 1911, a system of acetylene gas lighting was installed in the church. This served until the Hydro came to the community in the 1920’s. However, coal oil lamps were always kept filled and ready in case the gas failed which it frequently did. The present lights are a memorial to J. Howard Winer, a lifetime worker in the congregation.
Heating has also improved over the years. The two large box stoves, with long lengths of pipe, and those hungry wood boxes behind them, are a thing of the far past. Next came the oil burners which had a habit of going out. Then came a coal furnace when the basement was put in; this, in turn, was adapted to oil, and then a new oil furnace
was installed. The year 1990 saw one more step when this was replaced by a high efficiency gas furnace.
In 1960, the memorial windows were installed. In 1980, the final phase of the planned renovations was completed. The vestry and church office were in use, the exterior of the building was painted and the interior insulated, and the brick work was repaired and painted. Also, the sanctuary was painted, carpeting laid in the aisles and chancel, new hymn books put in the pews, all the result of careful planning, dedicated service and sacrificial giving on the part of the congregation. It was a day of great rejoicing.
Morriston circuit was at one time one of the
strongest and most promising in the Conference. It took in, besides Morriston, Ancaster,
The work was first carried on in the German language, and later the morning service only was in German. It was about 1918 that the services were held in English only.
The Morlock family had great musical
talent and the choir of
Christian education was of prime importance in the early church and a Sunday School was begun almost at once. Since this was conducted in the German language, others from the village who wished to learn this language often attended the “school”. Young Peoples' groups were organized and have been active throughout the years.
In 1940, the Centennial of the