Congregationalism was first introduced in Atlantic Canada by New England militiamen who conquered Louisburg, Nova Scotia in 1745. After the return of Louisburg to France, many Congregationalist New England businessmen moved to Halifax and Mather’s Meeting House, founded by Rev. Aaron Cleveland, was established in 1750. After the Acadians were expelled from the Maritimes in 1755, larger numbers of Congregationlists came from the States and established more churches. Congregationlism was never a significant denomination in Prince Edward Island or Newfoundland.
By the time of the American Revolution, most Protestants in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were Congregationalists. Since Congregationalist sentiment tended to be pro-American, many local congregations were divided during the war and many ministers returned to New England. New ministers were not able to be sent from England during the war so the church leadership was weakened in the Maritimes. Some Congregational churches became Presbyterian while others were eventually taken over by the Baptists, especially after 1780. For all of these above reasons, very few Congregational churches remained in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick after 1783.
The remaining Congregational churches united to form the Congregational Union of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick in 1846. This union joined the Congregational Union of Canada in 1908, functioning as a separate administrative unit until the formation of The United Church of Canada in 1925.The Congregational Union of Canada and its affiliated bodies continued until 1925, when they entered the United Church of Canada.
Congregational Churches in NS and NB were at:
Beach Meadows (associated with Liverpool)
Hemford (and Ohio)
Lake Island (Keswick Ridge area)
Queensbury (Keswick Ridge area)
Source: Congregational Churches in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick 1749-1925 by E. Arthur Betts and The Congregational Churches of Canada: A Statistical and Historical Summary by Douglas Walkington.
For a listing of the Congregational Union of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick records held by the Maritime Conference Archives, click on the following link:
Congregational Union of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick records