County of Brant Public Library Digital Collections
History of the Onondaga United Church
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History of the Onondaga United Church

Onondaga United Church is a well established community church located in the village of Onondaga, where in the mid-nineteenth century the influx of settlers following the building of the Buffalo-Brantford-Goderich railroad several Protestant denominations quickly established flourishing churches. The Wesley Methodist and the First Baptist Churches were soon followed by the Trinity Anglican and the Onondaga Presbyterian Churches. As the projected growth of the village of Onondaga didn’t materialize and membership decreased through deaths and removal of residents, each congregation experienced severe difficulties. On October 5, 1925 the well built frame Methodist Church, overlooking the Grand River was destroyed by fire. Almost two years before the United Church of Canada was established the Methodist Church united with the Presbyterian Church. On June 21, 1926 the Baptist Church and the adjoining parsonage were sold to the newly established United Church of Canada for $ 2,700.00. Immediately, pews from the recently dismantled Brant Methodist Church on No. 2 highway were installed. In the late 1950’s,with the closing of Trinity Anglican Church, descendents of the four original churches of Onondaga were associated as members or adherents of Onondaga United Church. Their loyal support enabled the church to survive the difficult years of the Great Depression. From 1926 to 1961 the Onondaga and Salt Springs United Churches, as a single charge, were served by the following ministers: Rev. Cline, Rev. Douglas, Rev. Bole, Rev. Clugston, Rev. Mutton, Dr. Morrow and Rev. Pike. Since 1961 student ministers have served the charge: Mr. McKay, Mr. Arnell, Mr. Bates, Mr. Boumeester, Mr. Plum, Mr. Vander Schaaf and at present Mr. King. The charge has proven a challenge to the student ministers and a stimulation to the congregations. Through the years the church has received a number of memorial gifts - a baptismal fount, a communion table, flower tables, a pulpit Bible and hymnary, a pulpit lamp, stained glass windows, and new hymnaries now replaced by the new United Church hymnals. The front of the church has been panelled and centred by a lighted cross. A Sunday School has been built and recently fitted with dividers. In 1926, the late Mrs. A.M. Hamilton was the first President of the Ladies Aid of the newly organized church. Later the Women's organization was known as the Women's Association and since 1960 the United Church Women of Onondaga United Church. Mrs. Edwin Sharp currently is the President of this essential organization. The long established Sunday School is now complimented by two Bible study groups. In summary, Onondaga United Church provides a Christian stimulus in a growing rural and suburban community.