In 1831, the Rev. James Stevens of the Church of Scotland held the first service in Campbellton. His pastoral charge at that time included both Dalhousie and Campbellton, and he also extended his services to include Upsalquitch, New Carlisle, and Bathurst. A Sunday School was established in Campbellton in 1832 and from 1833-1834 a new manse and church were constructed. Campbellton and Dalhousie became two separate pastoral charges in 1835. The union with the Presbyterian Church in Canada took place in 1877, and the local congregation then became known as St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. On 11 July 1910, the church and the manse were both burned in the notorious Campbellton fire. A manse was erected that same year. A new church was also built and the first service in that church was held in February 1912.
In 1844, Rev. Robert A. Chesly introduced Methodism to the Campbellton area. The first Methodist Church was built in 1851, and in 1886 a new church was built. In the same fire that destroyed the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist Church and parsonage were completely destroyed and all church records were lost. A new church was built and dedicated in 1911.
On 10 June 1925, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church became a part of the United Church of Canada. The Methodist church in Campbellton also became a part of the United Church of Canada and the two new United Churches were known as the Campbellton United Church with services held in the two church buildings. On 27 November 1927, the two congregations began to worship in the former St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, and on 8 May 1929 the name “First United” was adopted. Construction on the current church building was started in 1950 and the building was officially opened and dedicated on 16 September 1951.
In 1946, Atholville and Richardsville were added as preaching places to Campbellton Pastoral Charge. As of 1969, they were no longer listed under the Campbellton Pastoral Charge.
The Presbyterian Church at Escuminac was built in 1858. There was also a Methodist Church in Escuminac. Both churches became part of the United Church of Canada in 1925.
In 1925, the Escuminac Pastoral Charge contained the appointments of Escuminac (Quebec), Pointe a la Gard (Quebec), and Oak Bay (Quebec). In 1953, Sillarsville and Broadlands which were formerly part of the Restigouche Pastoral Charge joined the Escuminac Pastoral Charge. Pointe a la Gard closed in 1963; Oak Bay was closed in 1989; Broadlands was closed in 1993; and Sillarsville was closed in 1994.
Sillarsville was also originally Presbyterian and became part of the United Church of Canada in 1925. People from Sillarsville (formerly known as Flatlands, Quebec) were part of St. Andrew’s church in Campbellton from 1831-1866. Flatlands in New Brunswick (NB) and Flatlands in Quebec jointed in 1866 to create one church in Flatlands, NB. Sillarsville separated from the NB congregation in 1907 and built their own church building.
The Campbellton/Escuminac Pastoral Charge was created with the merger of the former Campbellton Pastoral Charge and Escuminac Pastoral Charge in January 2004. The Pastoral Charge spans between Campbellton in the province of New Brunswick and Escuminac in the province of Quebec.
For a listing of the Campbellton-Escuminac Pastoral Charge records held at the Maritime Conference Archives, click on the following link: