This isn't your typical office
That's right. We work out of a fully renovated church with 100+ years of history. Keep reading to learn more about the Nashville Presbyterian Church.
In the period preceding the establishing of the Nashville church there appears to have been a number of changes taking place in the congregations of the immediate area. Zoar, a Primitive Methodist church, at the south end of the present Nashville Cemetery, was closed in 1884 and a number of the congregation went to the Wesleyan Methodist churches at Coleraine (on Major MacKenzie west of Huntington Road) and Shilo (on #50 Highway just south of the Wildfield Road). Then in 1901, it was decided to close both the Coleraine and Shilo churches and build a new church at Central (corner of the Nashville Road and #50 Highway).
Coincidentally, in that very same time period there was increasing strain developing between the two Presbyterian congregations serving the Nashville people. The distance between the Caven Presbyterian Church in Bolton and the Knox Vaughan Church and the fact that the minister they shared now lived in Bolton, a long way from Elder’s, were the main obstacles. In 1901 it was decided that the pastoral charge be severed, with Knox being attached to the Woodbridge Presbyterian Church, and that a new congregation be established, responding to a long-felt need for a church in Nashville and sparked by the sympathetic support of the Rev. Thos. McLachlan of Bolton who visualized a more compact two-point charge.
A number of families who had been walking or driving the four miles or so to Bolton or Knox greeted the prospect of a new church home close at hand with enthusiasm. Of the founding members, those from Bolton included Bernaths, McCluskies, Dalziels, Mitchell’s and Lindsay’s, while those from Knox Vaughan included the Blacks, and Websters. Indeed the project was really a community rather than a purely denominational effort.
Land for the site was generously donated by Mr. & Mrs. Frank McCluskie and approved by Presbytery. A committee was formed, the people visited and when given the opportunity, eagerly endorsed the proposal and pledged money for the building fund.
Much of the successful financing and the speedy completion of the building operations was due to Mr. Adam Dalziel, treasurer of the building fund, and his committee who were able to raise the $1100 needed to complete the building. The contract was let to Mr. David Mowbray of Kleinburg. Men of the community helped in every possible way, giving their time at bees, drawing construction materials with horse drawn wagons and especially in the building of the church sheds.
The church building was raised in 1902 and the opening services were on Sept. 21st and 28th with an 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. service each of the two weeks with an overflow crowd in the basement and at the evening services many were unable to gain admission. The speakers included Rev. Prof. McClaren of Knox College, Rev. M. McKinnon of Woodbridge, Rev. R. Glassford of Guelph, Rev. W. Cannon of Kleinburg, and Rev. T. McLachlan, pastor of the church. The choir of Caven Church, Bolton led in the service of praise at each service.
When Nashville church was founded two elders from Bolton, James Bernath and Robert Agar, and two from Knox Vaughan, John Black and Thomas Webster, formed the new Kirk Session.
The first Sacrament of the Lord’s supper was observed on October 12th with an initial membership of 46. Some of the families taking part in this first Sacrament were the Agars, Blacks, Bernaths, Websters, McGillvrays, Mitchells, McCluskies, Hemphills, Dicks, Ellis’s, Taylors, Patterson, Arnolds, Cards, Dalziels, Devins, Goulds, and Tedders.
It was apparent from the outset that the congregation was happy and enthusiastic in their new adventure. So generous was the response that no mortgage was required and less than two years from the church opening all indebtedness was cleared away and the membership had increased to eighty. Bolton Caven church greatly assisted her young sister congregation by assuming all the ministers stipend for the first year.
In 1927 the Silver Jubilee of the congregation was observed. There was a tea meeting on the Monday evening followed by a concert. The anniversary cake was cut by two of the original session, James Bernath and John Black. All the ladies brought their fine cups and saucers. The Sunday service was conducted by Rev. F.A. Mustard.
In 1952 the congregation celebrated its 50th Anniversary . Rev. Allan Farris conducted the services and he welcomed Rev. Sibley, nephew of Rev. McLachlan, our first minister, who read the lesson. The return of many previous members and friends, estimated at over 400, filled the sanctuary and basement to capacity and late comers had to sit on the stairs or listen to the service out on the lawn. Speakers were even set up in the vestry which became a nursery for mothers with small babies. Approximately 200 to 225 returned for the evening service conducted by Rev. Farris and Tom Boyd , a student minister, who had cared for us while Rev. Farris was studying in Scotland. The ladies made over 40 loaves of sandwiches and brought trays of home made tarts to satisfy the hungry group during the following friendship hour.