Churches of Morewood

The Methodist Church

The Methodist Church was the first church built in Morewood and was located next to the cemetery at the south end of town. According to Arnot MACGREGOR "It was a small white building that was in use prior to 1878, when the congregation joined the North Winchester (Cannamore area) one. The white church was eventually moved to St. Albert Station. The North Winchester building received a lot of attention due to its sharply slanted slate roof and tall spire. It was torn down in 1925 so parts could be used in the building of the new church in Morewood village following Church Union." "When I started to visit the MCCONNELL farm, father Alex Senior had died leaving the three boys Wesley, Lorne, and Howard to run the farm. The oldest of the family, Alex (Junior) was then attending college, studying for the ministry and after graduating served in churches across Canada, first in the Methodist and after union in 1925, the United Church of Canada. Daughter Annie, who was next in age to Alex remained on the farm to help her mother in the house."

The Presbyterian Church

What was the "old" Presbyterian Manse that housed the Minister's family may be the same building presently located next to the old Glasgow Telephone Switchboard and Moffat Family Residence. The last minister to live in the manse was Reverend GLOAG 1890-92. After he returned to England, the manse was not used to house a minister, because Reverend John M. KELLOCK 1892-1903 was single and lived in the residence of Mrs. Jimmie MOFFAT on St. Lawrence (Moffat) Street. In 1896, After marrying Jennie KENNEDY (a primary school teacher from Winchester), Reverend KELLOCK moved into the recently vacated home of Mrs. John F. HUNTER (known in the town as 'Mam John'). In describing the home, Arnot MACGREGOR wrote: "I have no idea who built this rather large house so located on a slight rise of ground that the building terminated on the street side with a small verandah and steps from it were 8-10 feet above the sidewalk. The stable in the rear was connected to the carriage house which led into a very spacious summer kitchen and wood shed. The lawn east of the house extended from the stable to the street (Main Street[Morewood Road]). The first occupant of the house that I can remember was Mrs. John F. HUNTER known to everyone as Mam John. Her daughter married David NADEAU, so it is not surprising that she had her oldest daughter Margaret live with her aunt. Mrs. HUNTER was very active in all Presbyterian Church work, but especially the Ladies' Aid. There were three groups of HUNTER family living in the area which were unrelated." As previously mentioned, the next occupants were Reverend KELLOCK and his wife. They moved into this home since the old Presbyterian Manse was in need of much repair. A new Presbyterian Manse was eventually built on property purchased from the MCCONNELL farm facing Russell Street, and in 1902 the KELLOCK family moved in [This building still stands as a private residence]. Arnot continues to describe events related to Reverend KELLOCK: "In order to get around the community the Reverend hired a horse and buggy from Father, and I was asked occasionally to go along with them to do the driving. I soon found he knew little about driving or the care of horses and had no desire to learn. Yet, Father never worried as he gave Mr. KELLOCK old Sultan to drive. The horse was a former saddle horse, faithful and so dependable that one could head him in a certain direction and continue on his own. When I was asked to drive the couple, most frequently they would be going to the KENNEDY farm, located two miles south of Winchester Village. Occasionally, my seat would be a small box placed between their knees, but otherwise I was perched high on those knees that grew sharper with each mile traveled. By the end of 12 miles and 1 1/2 hours, I could always expect a few blisters." Reverend KELLOCK had departed the village for Howick, Quebec in 1903. The KELLOCKs had at least two children in Morewood: Grace Jean (Mrs. SEBORG), born in 1899 and Murray born in 1903. While exploring the back room of Henry SMIRLE's blacksmith shop Arnot discovered a 'treasure': "The smaller room facing south had a more conventional door that opened on the flat roof of a small room off the main floor for storing iron and coal for the forge. A narrow stairs led to the ground. In this room was a massive wooden box full of books that belonged to a former Presbyterian Minister, the Reverend James PULLAN. The books had been shipped in this great case by boat from England at one time, being the contents of the minister's library. It was stored there for a long period. One day when poking around I found the cover on the box was not securely fastened so every opportunity, I would sneak up, look over the books and read some of them as all were so new to me they proved most interesting."

The Wesleyan Religious Group

Arnot MACGREGOR wrote some stories of an enthusiastic religious group that rented the MCQUARTER's hall for its services, and later a tent further south on Moffat Street. The nature of this group was apparently very expressive and drew crowds of spectators as well as worshipers. Unfortunately, they also drew the attention of hooligans with little else to do but cause havoc, once to the point of almost causing a catastrophic fire. The story relates the incident as relatively harmless stone throwing, but realizes that it could have been a terrible story to remember. Arnot also recalled one particular individual within the group, by the name of Radford LINK. First, Arnot describes how the Wesleyan church began: "Several years before inventory time, the great American evangelist Dwight Lyman MOODY (1837-1899) pressured all Protestant churches to participate in some form of revival services. During the frenzied and uncertain period that followed, many fundamentalist people of the Methodist church took their cue from its founder John WESLEY and his brother Charles, the distinguished hymnologist of the church. Eventually the groups coalesced into forming the Wesleyan church. One of these early splinter groups was led by a Mr. HORNER and were called Hornerites, along with the Scovites. In their worship exercises they displayed great emotion." The local group followed the Hornerite practices and thus drew a crowd of curious locals: "The service included long boisterous prayers that were frequently interspersed with shouts. Amongst the many shouts were [to some spectators] odd requests for the Lord to send Happiness, Glory, Power, and Fire. At the same time, many were on both knees, bending forward and backward while hopping around the hall from rear to front to be near the preacher. On occasion an enthusiast might throw up his arms and clap both hands with vigor, while praising the Lord. If a stranger came to the hall expecting the usual Christian type of service, he or she would be disappointed. Hearing of these goings on, many adults attended the service through curiosity. There were even rows of young folk who came to see a good show." CLOSE CALL FOR WORSHIPERS "Evidently sufficiently satisfied with the hall experience [and turnout], the group decided to transfer the service for the summer to a small marquee a little further south on St. Lawrence Street (Now Moffat). The tent was held in a solid upward position by two large central poles and several smaller ones at the outer edge of the structure. The grass on the ground was covered with a thick layer of clean wheat straw, while the seats were benches and chairs. The tent was lighted at night by small coal oil lamps that sat in brackets attached to the poles. The two lamps on the main poles were large ones." "Crowds came to the Sunday afternoon and evening services from the surrounding countryside and nearby villages to turn an otherwise quiet and peaceful village into one of excitement. Among the faithful were the curious, but there were also mischief makers. Management knew that in order to keep the crowds coming, each show had to be a better one than the last. It is quite possible they expected some trouble, but through June and July only minor incidents had occurred and management was beginning to feel relaxed. Then came reports off the village grape vine that the boys were anxious for some action on the last Sunday in July when the tent would be filled with perspiring excited people. Yet all that happened was that during one of the preachers long prayers all the ropes attached to the small poles were slackened allowing the tent to sag in several places. At another time water was squirted through a tent opening but before the service ended a fair size stone landed on the tent to give it quite a shake. Everyone realized the rascals were becoming more bold." "The first Sunday in August proved to be a hot humid one, yet there came to the tent the largest crowd of the summer - until finally many had to be turned away. In the tent there was shouting, yelling, and just plain prayers asking the good Lord for some special favor. One worshiper traveled on his knees from the rear of the tent to the front. If possible, he seemed to get louder every hop and collected straw on his great beard as he moved along. Nearing the preacher he shouted "Lord, Send the Power" then at [the preacher's] side in his loudest voice bellowed "Lord, send the fire". As he uttered the word "Fire", a stone somewhat larger than the one thrown a week earlier landed on the tent shaking it so hard one of the lighted lamps attached to a small pole was caused to jump out of the bracket and fall into the straw covering the ground. Many worshipers were burned as they put out the fire. The only thing that prevented a catastrophe was that the lamp had fallen near the preacher who had the presence of mind to reach down and grab a large pitcher of drinking water from a nearby table and throw it over the lamp and straw before the lamp could explode. The timing of when the stone hit the tent was so exact and perfect it might be easy to conclude, the worshiper had someone alert the thrower at the precise instant he would say the key word "Fire". Evidently, there was no such deal and the accuracy was merely a coincidence. I thought the incident was a wonderful example of how quickly God can answer prayer." "During the remainder of the summer, there was no more stone throwing. The weather in September was cooler than usual which helped slow down the crowds until the marquee was finally taken down for the season."