Southampton Pastoral Charge is located in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia. The one preaching point is at Southampton United. Former preaching points included New Canaan, Halfway River, Athol, Mapleton, and West Brook.
Southampton was originally part of the Parrsboro and Maccan Methodist circuit. In 1874, a new circuit appeared under the name Maccan and Five Islands, and in 1877 the name was changed to Southampton. A new church was built at Southampton and dedicated on 7 November 1875.
The church in Athol was much older as a log church was built in 1819 on land which is now the Southampton-Athol cemetery. The deed of land for the building and church was purchased in 1821 from John Harrison. A new church was built in 1855.
In 1925, all Methodist and Congregational Churches and a majority of Presbyterian Churches in Canada were merged to create the United Church of Canada. At this time, the Southampton Pastoral Charge consisted of New Canaan, Halfway River, West Brook, Athol, and Southampton and Mapleton.
In 1967, West Brook, Halfway River, and New Canaan amalgamated with Southampton United and two years later, Athol amalgamated with Southampton United Church and the church was closed with occasional services and weddings still being held there.
For many years, Mapleton United Church was connected with Southampton. From 1976-2001, Southampton and Mapleton formed Pioneer Pastoral Charge. In 2002, the churches separated to form individual pastoral charges.
Southampton amalgamated with Springhill on 29 January 2004 to become South Spring Pastoral Charge. This pastoral charge was disbanded in 2011 and Southampton and Springhill once again became separate pastoral charges.
History of Halfway River Union Church
In the early years, Halfway River was associated with Parrsboro. Construction began on a meeting house in Halfway River in April 1865. This was built on land deeded to the four trustees of the Halfway River meeting house who represented the four denominations in the union: Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, and Anglican. The resident ministers of that time of the church’s establishment were: Rev. Duncan McKinnon (Presbyterian), Rev. R. Tweedy (Methodist), Rev. M. Young (Baptist), and Rev. N.C. Custer (Anglican). These four denominations were all part of the Parrsboro charge of their respective denominations. In 1925, the Methodist and Presbyterian congregation joined The United Church of Canada. Baptist and United Church services were held on alternate Sundays since 1925. Anglican services were discontinued at the church sometime prior to 1925. Baptist services were discontinued in 1964.
The United Church of Halfway River amalgamated with Southampton in 1967.
History of New Canaan United Church
It is unknown when New Canaan (Canaan Mountain) church was begun as the deeds for the property were lost in a house fire. The congregation became part of The United Church of Canada in 1925 and eventually amalgamated with Southampton United in 1967. The church building was sold in 1971.
History of West Brook United Church
West Brook Church was built in 1867 as part of the Parrsboro-Maccan Methodist Circuit. West Brook became part of the Southampton Pastoral Charge in 1925 and regular services were held at West Brook until 1966. West Brook amalgamated with Southampton on 30 June 1967.
For a listing of records the Maritime Conference Archives holds for Southampton Pastoral Charge, click on the link below: