It just so happens that November 20th in 1887 also fell on a Sunday so I thought it would be the perfect week to share this diary entry from Rev. David Sutherland. As a bit of background, David Sutherland was born in Bruan, Caithnesshire, Scotland in 1859 to Alexander Sutherland. He received his education at the University of Edinburgh, New College, and the Presbyterian College in Halifax, N.S. It was in Nova Scotia that he married Mary Ellen (Minnie) Weatherbie with whom he had 4 children. Ordained in 1888 by the Maritime Synod of Halifax Presbytery, he served in Grove Church, Richmond, Halifax, N.S. for a short while. He was inducted in Zion Presbyterian Church, Charlottetown, PEI on December 18, 1889 and was minister of the church until his death. Rev. Sutherland passed away on July 8, 1898 after an illness of several weeks. His funeral was held on July 10, 1898. Without further ado, here’s what his November 20th looked in 1887 (transcription of text follows):
Sunday, November 20th
“Today I preached my first sermon to a Canadian congregation. On Friday, a W. Crichhton, an elder at Grove Church, Richmond (in the suburbs of Halifax), came up to the college seeking supply for the pulpit of his church. Smith, one of the students, took him up to me. As he wished the supply of only one service, I consented to go.
The church is small and beautiful. It was comfortably filled. About 200 people were there. The platform is delightfully situated for speaking. Right opposite it at the other end of the church is an harmonium, the organist, and choir. I preached from Matthew 8:3, “and touched him.” Got on fairly well. At the close of the service a Scotchman came up and claimed a handshake. I was asked to take the congregational prayer meeting on Wednesday at 7:30. Consented. Received four dollars for the sermon.
I was to have gone to Rockingham to preach in the evening at a station there. A carriage was to have come for me, but the evening turned out fearfully wet and no carriage came. So I went to Fort Massey Church and heard Mr. Burns preach on the parable of the ten virgins.”
Here’s a listing of the records we hold for Rev. David Sutherland at the Archives.