The Beacon Pastoral Charge, Yarmouth consists of Beacon United Church in Yarmouth, Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia.

Methodist:

Wesley Methodist Church, 1900

Wesley Methodist Church, 1900

Yarmouth was at one time known as Port Fourchu, but was being called Yarmouth as early as 1759. In 1810, a Yarmouth resident named Anthony Landers began holding Methodist meetings in his house in Hebron. Eventually, a minister, Robert Alder, was sent to Yarmouth in 1816. The Yarmouth Circuit was dvidied in Yarmouth North and Yarmouth South in 1865.

In Yarmouth, a Methodist chapel was built at the foot of Butler Hill in 1825 and was used until Providence Methodist Church was dedicated in August, 1860 on the site of the present South End Playground. The old Methodist chapel was sold at that time. A fire destroyed Providence in 1921 and the congregation united with Tabernacle Congregational. This congregation continued using the Tabernacle Congregational Church building. At the time of Church Union in 1925, the Tabernacle Church was renamed Central United Church.

A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in 1839 on the corners of Main and Elm Streets in the north area of Yarmouth known as Milton. This chapel became a Temperance Hall when the new Wesley Methodist Church was dedicated on October 22, 1865. After the formation of The United Church of Canada in 1925, the church became Wesley United Church.

In 1815, a large Methodist church was built at Hebron, but it remained unfinished. Services were conducted in this building in the summer and the congregation met in private residences during the winter months. A new church was dedicated at Hebron on July 28, 1878. This building burned to the ground in December 1890. The church was rebuilt in 1892. In 1925, Hebron Methodist Church became part of The United Church of Canada and was renamed Faith United Church.

Hebron appeared as a separate Circuit in 1872. The Hebron Circuit contained the appointments of Hebron, Pembroke, Port Maitland, and Brenton. Brenton and other appointments were separated from Hebron in 1884 to form a separate circuit, and after a few years joined with Port Maitland (1897). Both Brenton and Port Maitland were reconnected with Hebron in 1911 so that the Circuit included Brenton, Hebron, Lake Darling, Pembroke, and Port Maitland.

Methodist services were begun at Port Maitland in 1894. Port Maitland Wesley Methodist was erected in 1897. In 1897, Port Maitland was head of the Port Maitland and Brenton Circuit.

The Darling’s Lake Methodist Church was erected in 1874. This building was torn down in 1920 when the Darling’s Lake Congregation affiliated with the Port Maitland Methodist Congregation.

A Methodist Church was opened in Pembroke in 1884.

Acradia was connected with the Yarmouth Methodist Circuit until it became the head of its own circuit in 1870. The Arcadia Wesley Methodist Church was dedicated on 9 July 1871. The Tusket Methodist Church was dedicated on 3 February 1878.

A Methodist congregation was organized at Central Argyle in 1881. The Methodist chapel was dedicated on 13 December 1891. The Methodist work at Central Argyle declined prior to the formation of The United Church of Canada. The church building at Central Argyle was sold in 1939.

Plymouth Methodist Church was erected in 1892.

Congregational:

Tabernacle Congregational Church marine social, March 7, 1892

Tabernacle Congregational Church marine social, March 7, 1892

For a time, Congregationalists of Cape Fourchu near Yarmouth attended services at the Congregational Church in Chebogue. In 1767, Cape Fourchu organized as a congregation and the first Congregational Church at Cape Fourchu was erected in 1784. The Cape Fourchu Meeting House (as it was called) was on the site of the present War Memorial located in Yarmouth. In 1800 this building was purchased by the Baptists and became known as the First Baptist Church.

A second Meeting House for the Congregational Church was erected at Chebogue in 1820 and called Zion Congregational Church, and a third Zion Congregational Church was erected in 1860. In 1848, Congregationalists living in the town of Yarmouth were organized into a Church separate from Chebogue. During certain periods both congregations were served by the same Minister. The Chebogue Zion Congregational Church became the Zion United Church in 1925 and was a part of the Arcadia Pastoral Charge.

When the Congregational congregation at Yarmouth was organized January 1848, a temporary place of worship was found in Puritan Hall. From 1848-1850, a Congregational Church was built in Yarmouth and was dedicated 3 July 1851 as Tabernacle Congregational Church. This building was hit by lightning and burned to the ground on 11 March 1892. The new Tabernacle Congregational Church was completed and opened on 20 August 1893. A fire destroyed Providence Methodist in 1921 and the Congregation united with Tabernacle Congregational. This Congregation continued using the Tabernacle Congregational Church building.

This church joined The United Church of Canada in 1925 and called Central United Church.

The Chebogue Congregational Congregation called a Presbyterian minister in 1836 when they could not obtain a supply from the Congregational Church. This minister also organized the St. John’s Presbyterian Congregation in Chebogue while he was stationed in Chebogue. The Presbyterian Church building was erected in 1836. The St. John’s Presbyterian Church of Chebogue shared a Presbyterian Minister with St. John’s Presbyterian in Yarmouth for many years. In 1925 the Chebogue Presbyterian Congregation joined the Chebogue Congregational Church to become the United Church of Chebogue. The Presbyterian Church building was torn down.

St Johns Presbyterian congregational minutes, 1840
St Johns Presbyterian congregational minutes, 1840

Presbyterian:

St. John’s Presbyterian Church, Church of Scotland was erected on Cliff Street in Yarmouth in 1841. The new St. John’s Presbyterian Church replaced it in 1876, and was dedicated on 7 December 1876. It remained on the site of the old church building, which had been moved. In 1925, the Presbyterian Congregation joined the already united Methodists and Congregationalists of Yarmouth and used the old Tabernacle Church which had been renamed Central United Church.

St. John’s Presbyterian Church was used as the church hall until the building was sold to the Pentecostal Fellowship in Yarmouth.

Dedication of Beacon United Church, 1967United Church:

In 1925, all Congregational and Methodist Churches and a majority of the Presbyterian Churches in Canada were united to form The United Church of Canada. In Yarmouth this meant that the Wesley Methodist Church became Wesley United Church and Tabernacle Congregational Church (formed from Providence Methodist Church and Tabernacle Congregational Church uniting in 1921) and St. John’s Presbyterian Church became Central United Church.

At this time, the Arcadia Pastoral Charge included the appointments of Arcadia, Argyle, Brooklyn, Plymouth and Tusket. The Plymouth Church building was closed in 1929 and later torn down in 1935.

The Hebron Pastoral Charge contained the preaching points of Brenton, Hebron, Lake Darling, Pembroke, and Port Maitland. The church at Hebron became known as Faith United Church.

In 1925, the Chebogue Presbyterian Congregation joined the Chebogue Congregational Church to become Zion United Church and was part of the Arcadia Pastoral Charge. The Presbyterian Church building was torn down. Zion United Church was a part of the Arcadia Pastoral Charge. The church was in use up to 1967 when Chebogue ceased to be a preaching point and came under the new Beacon Pastoral Charge. The church has since been used for occasional Anniversary services. In 1975 South Shore Presbytery put in a request to have the Zion United Church building be preserved as a National Historic Site.

In 1926 the Carleton Pastoral Charge contained the single appointment of Carleton United Church (formerly Carleton Presbyterian Church) that only held services in the summer. The Carleton Pastoral Charge was dissolved in 1930 and Carleton became a preaching point of the Hebron Pastoral Charge. The appointment of Carleton was closed in 1955 and its members transferred to the Hebron United Church congregation. The building was purchased by the United Baptist Congregation in 1956 for a Church hall.

In 1967, Wesley United Church and Central United Church amalgamated, and the name Beacon United Church was adopted for the new congregation. After the Beacon United congregation was formed, United Church congregations in Yarmouth County (Arcadia, Brenton, Hebron, Port Maitland and Tusket) were amalgamated with Beacon United Church. The Wesley church building was sold and demolished in September 1967. The old Tabernacle Congregational Church building (Central United Church) was occupied by the Yarmouth County Museum after 1967. The Port Maitland building was torn down in 1969 and the Pembroke United Church building was sold in the same year. The Hebron Pastoral Charge was dissolved when the Yarmouth (Beacon United) Pastoral Charge was formed. The Acadia United Church building was torn down in 1984. In 1973 the Tusket building was sold to the Seventh­ Day Adventists. In 1967 the Hebron Congregation amalgamated with Beacon United Church and the Faith United Church building was torn down. The Brenton Church property was sold in 1980 to the Brenton Hill Society.

For a listing of the Yarmouth records held at the Maritime Conference Archives, click on the following link:

Yarmouth: Beacon Pastoral Charge records listing