Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Services ~ Bethel United Church, Proton Township, Grey County, Ontario

Bethel United Church, Proton Station
Proton Township, Grey County, Ontario ~ Built 1896
The little Church still stands today and is opened to the occasional special Service.

It was originally the Bethel Methodist Church. In 1925, the Methodist Church of Canada, the Congregational Union of Canada, seventy percent  of the Presbyterian Churches in Canada and the small General Council of Union Churches amalgamated to form the United Church of Canada.  SOURCE: United Church of Canada, internet search.  

The Bethel (Methodist) United Church was built in 1896, some 45 years after the Inistioge (Methodist) United Church. In 1851, that first Methodist Church at Inistioge was built of logs. It is likely that that log Church was built by George ARMSTONG, who was a builder and carpenter. His three sons, Frederick ages 30, Henry age 23 and John W. age 10 are all listed as carpenters in the 1851/1852 Canada Census. They were likely assisted by their pioneering neighbours. The log Church was replaced with a brick one 20 years later, The last service at the Inistioge United Church was held in 1961 and dismantled in shortly after. The bricks sold to a farmer to build a machine shed.

These two little Churches served the community of the earliest settlers, which included my 2nd great grandparents, Christina (FALLIS) and William ACHESON; my great grandparents, Mary Jane ACHESON and Christopher JOHNSTON; and my grandfather George Albert JOHNSTON/JOHNSON.
My Grandfather left the family homestead in about 1898.


         Christina (FALLIS) and William ACHESON:
The true spirit of adventure was theirs, and with their two-year old son [born November 1851] they travelled northward [on foot] by forest paths, and settled on Lot 205, Range 2, Artemesia. . . . Here two other children were born, John [June 1854] and Mary Jane [born October 1856 my great grandmother]. They then moved to the farm opposite Inistioge Church on the Toronto-Sydenham Road (now Highway 10). . . .

"Here at Inistioge the Achesons enjoyed the rich friendship of their near neighbours, the Henry Armstrong family -- a friendship still retained by the surviving members of these two families after a lapse of nearly one hundred years. Here, too, in the old log church, under the preaching of a Rev. Mr. Green, and the influence of the Holy Spirit, they gave their hearts to the Savior. Consequently, they endeavoured to bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, they, themselves, living consistent Christian lives." -- Aunt Kate.
[Aunt Kate is Catherine, youngest daughter, born August 1867.]
SOURCE: The Acheson Family 1850-1950; self published 1951;
family committee of ten; page 11.

NOTE: The Toronto Grey & Bruce "TG&B" Railway line to this Northern community was built in 1873.

As mentioned before, George ARMSTRONG was also one of the earliest settlers in this small community.
George died 29 July 1867, age 79. He is buried at the Inistioge United Church Cemetery.

The 1851/1852 Census Canada records show George, carpenter, age 61 (born 1791 in Inistioge, County Kilkenny, Ireland)  with his wife, Margaret, and four children, including son Henry, carpenter, age 23, (born in 1829 in Inistioge, County  Kilkenny, Ireland.
All are born in Ireland and are Wesleyan Methodists.

2010 Copyright © Carole Gates

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