St. John's Lutheran Church, Riverside Heights, Ontario
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Item Type
Black and white photograph of the exterior of St. John's Lutheran Church in Riverside Heights, Ontario. The Memorial Cairn is on the right.
St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Riverside Heights, Ontario is a member of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. It began in the late 1700s as a congregation of settlers in Williamsburg Township, Upper Canada. In 1789 a church building was erected on the Center Commons Lot in the first Concession of Williamsburg Township. The church was originally named Zion Lutheran Church, but the name was quickly changed to St. George’s Church. The first pastor was Reverend Samuel Schwerdtfeger.

In 1814, St. George’s Church was taken over by the Church of England under the direction of Rev. John Gunther Weagant, a previous pastor of the Lutheran Church. The Lutherans were barred from St. George’s Church and were forced to hold services in the homes of congregation members. In 1826, Rev. Herman Hayunga accepted the call as pastor to the Lutherans in Williamsburg Township. He quickly formed two congregations in the area – St. John’s Church in Riverside, and St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Williamsburg.

For several years Hayunga petitioned the government to deed St. George’s Church to the Lutheran congregation. When the government denied his request Hayunga demanded that the congregation receive financial compensation for the loss of property. In 1846 the government granted the Lutheran church the sum of 500 Canadian pounds.

In 1833 the Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John was consecrated by Rev. Hayunga. The new wooden frame building stood on a lot donated by church member Conrad Frymire. In 1863 a larger, brick church was built on the same lot. In 1956 the St. Lawrence Seaway Project forced the relocation of the Church. On December 7, 1958, the new St. John’s Lutheran Church was completed at Riverside Heights.
Reverse: To Be Drowned But Not Doomed. Historic Canadian Church. In the path of St. Lawrence Seaway power project at Riverside, near Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada, is St. John's Lutheran Church, the oldest Protestand church in Upper Canada. It was founded in 1784.
Date of Original
Image Dimensions
Image Width: 19cm
Image Height: 24cm
Local identifier
St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Riverside Heights ON fonds
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Wilfrid Laurier University Archives & Special Collections
Wilfrid Laurier University Library
Agency street/mail address:

75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON Canada N2L 3C5

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St. John's Lutheran Church, Riverside Heights, Ontario

Black and white photograph of the exterior of St. John's Lutheran Church in Riverside Heights, Ontario. The Memorial Cairn is on the right.