The Islands: Amherst Island: Churches: St. Paul's Church

St. Paul's Church
Amherst Island

Click on photo for larger version.
Photo 2004 by Maureen Deacon.

I am looking for more information on this church.
Any help is greatly appreciated!

Inside Front of church & stained glass window.
Click on photo for larger version.
Photo 2004 by Maureen Deacon.

St. Paul's is an Presbyterian Church.
1st Wood Frame Erected: 1851
Located at: Tugwell property by Island Ferry Dock
Current Erected: 1883
Located in Stella, Amherst Island.
2045 Stella 40 Foot Road - 2 km south of Stella
Still active.

Records available from United Church Victoria University Archives.


Questionnaire to be answered by Presbyterian Ministers in Towns, Villages, Rural Charges and Missions Fields.

Date: Before church union
Minister, James Cumberland?

Mission covers population of -725
Estimated Roman Catholic Population-50

1 Presbyterian church with seating capacity of 300
1 Methodist church with seating capacity of about 150
0 Congregational Churches
2 Anglican churches with seating capacity of about 10 each
0 Baptist churches
0 Salvation Army Buildings
1 Churches of other Denominations with seating capacity of 150

Number and denomination of ministers and missionaries, including Salvation Army Officers?
3 resident, priest comes monthly.

Communicants 75, Families 50, Persons 350 under care of Presbyterian Church
Persons 25 under care of Methodist Church
Persons 300 under care of Anglican Church.

Presbyterian S. Schools with enrollment of 50


Submitted by Juanita K. Glenn
Submitted November 2004

This congregation has a long and honoured history. The largest group of the early Amherst Island settlers were the Scotch-Irish Presbyterians from Northern Ireland. In the earliest years the Presbyterians gathered to worship in homes and in the open air under large trees. The congregation was officially formed in 1849.

In 1851 the Presbyterians erected a modest wooden frame building, part of which can be seen as one of the barns on the Tugwell property at the Island Ferry dock. They worshipped in it until 1883 when the present sanctuary was erected on property in the centre of the Island.
Limestone, cut and prepared by Kingston Penitentiary inmates, was hauled over the lake ice in April by Presbyterians using horse-drawn sleighs. The interior of the sanctuary is as beautiful as the exterior is rugged and attractive. The ceiling of alternate oak and cherry wood, the comfortable pews, the attractive coloured windows and the magnificent huge stained glass window at the back of the sanctuary (in memory of The Reverend and Mrs. James MacLennan) all serve to make St. Paulís one of the most impressive structures on the island.

Architectural plans of the building indicate that Sunday School and meeting accommodations were planned for the basement but were never carried out.

As a result of a substantial bequest from the estate of the late Noreen S. Young, the proposal to provide the previously planned accommodations was initiated. A committee was formed which engaged in extensive planning and arrangements for financing.

With the co-operation of Kingston Presbytery which contributed a substantial amount of money from the Sunbury-Foxboro funds, the generous contributions of our Presbyterian Church Women and the many personal contributions of dedicated members and friends of St. Paulís, the construction was completed.

A new hall was added to the Sanctuary in 1992 to provide bathroom facilities, a kitchen, meeting rooms, Sunday School rooms and a great room. This facility has provided the island with a medium-sized venue for meetings and events and has been well-used by the community. Its proximity to the Glenwood cemetery makes it an ideal place for receptions following funerals. St. Paulís seeks to be a welcoming and out-going congregation serving all islanders.

The congregation, served by sixteen ministers, a catechist and a student minister, as well as committed laymen over its history, has always been actively involved in the life of Amherst Island. Many are the stories of suppers, teas, plays and bake sales which brought the Island together for good food, fun and fellowship. The Garden Party on the last Saturday of July, now in its 55th year, is one of the largest annual events on the Island and involves baking, clothing, candy, books and plant sales. a White Elephant Table, a tea room, a hamburger and hot dog concession and a pie and ice cream centre, as well as displays of quilts and special memorabilia. Then there is also an auction and live entertainment. Weather is always a mystery for the Presbyterians every year, what with it being an outside venue each year.

St. Paulís ministers have stayed for long pastorates. The Rev. James Cumberland gave leadership from 1881 to 1920, almost 40 years. The Rev. R.K. Earls, who ministered from 1932 to 1954, saw the church through the Second World War. The Rev. Norman Allison, 1970 to 1982, also served as Reeve for the Island. The Rev. Lindsay McIntyre, served in his retirement years, from 1982 until his death in 1996. The present minister, Zander Dunn, conducted worship as a student in Arts at Queenís University (1955-1959), was ordained and inducted into St. Paulís (his first charge) in 1962 and returned, after his retirement, to give leadership in 1999.

The following ministers, student and catechist have served this congregation with dedication and devotion through the years.

1852-53 Rev. D. McCurdy
1855-75 Rev. J. McIntosh
1876-78 Rev. H. Steele
1878-80 Rev. A. MacLennan
1881-1920 Rev. J. Cumberland
1920-24 Rev. W.T. McCree
1924-25 Rev. R.G. Fry
1926-29 Rev. J.V. Laughland
1929-31 Rev. S.H. Hill
1932-54 Rev. R.K. Earls
1962-64 Rev. C.A. Dunn
1964-66 Mr. L.E. Siverns
1966-69 Mr. J. Mullins
1970-82 Rev. N.J. Allison
1982-96 Rev. S.L. McIntyre
1996-99 Rev. William Duffy/Rev. J.B. Forsyth
1999- Rev. Dr. C.A. Dunn



See Above

If you have any information on the priests of this church please email me!

I am looking for name, dates of birth, death, ordination and when they served the church. Also photos, and anything else interesting during their pastorate.

Church Links

- Page with photos of church-recent


The Islands: Amherst Island: Churches: St. Paul's Church

Return to The Islands Main Page
Copyright (©) 2000-2004 Jennifer Hoeltzel. All rights reserved.
Send comments or suggestions regarding this site to the webmaster:

Jen Wylie nee Hoeltzel